How Much Would You Pay?

OK, here’s a question for you.  How much would you pay for an online course taught by professors (perhaps garden professors?) about plants and gardening including things like fertilizers, pest control, etc.?

Hour long lectures once a week (through Skype or something similar) with an additional 1/2 hour built in for questions?  12 weeks of lectures.  No college credit.

I haven’t talked to the other garden professors about it — this is purely a hypothetical question for now.  I’m just wondering if there is interest in this kind of thing, and if so, how much. 

Thanks for your responses!

10 thoughts on “How Much Would You Pay?”

  1. Ahhhhhhhhhh, trying to monetize online education in a world where Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc. are giving away knowledge from MIT, Harvard, Penn State, University of Michigan, Stanford, etc. Also, look at the vast quantity of information Khan Academy and other sites are giving away – FOR FREE! John Dvorak posted an interesting article about web monetization on the today (see,2817,2404507,00.asp). Bottom line, the way to make money is to gather boatloads of data about the visitors to this blog and sell it to the highest bidder! It’s just like old-fashioned TV – convincing someone that has something to sell that you can deliver to them people that are receptive (susceptible) to their sales pitch – unfortunately:-( Unless you can (conveniently) deliver insanely high levels of value-added information, I’ll stick with what I can glean (for free) from the Minnesota, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, and Washington State extension websites (regardless that all extension systems are in peril of vaporizing in the not too terribly distant future). Please let me know if I can brighten your day in any other way;-)

  2. You lost me at Skype . . . live video does not play nicely with satellite internet. Any online courses that require me to be available at a specific time gets a pass, too. The beauty of online courses is the fit with my schedule, which is erratic given the nature of my job plus the demands of managing even a subsistence farm like mine. I have paid $20-200 for niche online courses related to either my profession or related research. Interaction and feedback from instructors was managed through email or private forums.

  3. I would pay $150 for the series.
    $20 for individual classes.
    A hardship charge would draw in seniors, students or financially strapped.

    At the end of the 12 sessions, present a package of the courses discussed for the price of the course and edited costs.

    Since there is an association with extension services, another offering could be that an individual attends the class and donates to WSU Extension or one of the other colleges listed on the sidebar.

    While Skype is cool, you may want to try actual online education programs such as moodle. The objective it to reach a large audience and maintain connectivity at the same time. Skype fails frequently.

    Looking forward to your next steps.

  4. I would pay for an on-line course. How much? I haven’t a clue how much non-credit classes are running at my local community college, but they are usually fairly priced. That may be a place to look for pricing.

    As for specific meeting times, I agree, that gets a pass. The beauty of on-line is that the material is presented for my use on my time. Quizzes, projects, essays, etc
    ., are due by a specific date and are outlined in a syllabus.
    I’ve taken courses using WebTyco and there is a discussion forum that you post to, read other posts, and comment.

  5. Hmmm, I’d be willing to pay up to 150, particularly if it had some continuing ed credits for things like pesticide applicator licensing, etc. I think a big part, though, would be the delivery. I also know some folks in other corners of the world without the online capacity for reliable skype – but they’d be interested in a class for NGOs. Something to think about, anyway.

  6. I live on an island in Washington State and our local master gardeners just love this sort of thing. We could all get together at the library. We all just paid $30 each for three one hour classes in one day where the instructors were either local or had to come and spend the night. Some of the instructors got paid, some of them did not. Graham Kerr was the keynote speaker. We are required to take some training every year and I think this would qualify. Linda has come here in the past to help us fulfill our requirement. Not sure how much we paid her for the approximately 2 hour presentation on Plant CSI.

  7. I agree with the previous posters who declined a set time for the class to occur. But Judy makes an excellent point. Who are you marketing it to? I think Master Gardener programs and garden clubs could (at least should) get excited about access to info like this. Cost? Obviously you need to cover your effort in putting something like this together. But your first responder up there made a good point about perceived value. Why pay when the web has info for free? Whoever you market to you’d have to really establish your credibility, which sounds absurd because you’re profs but my experience with garden club ladies tells me that even though they want your advice, they still think they’re right anyway. (Have I been in garden center retail too long?) As a former orn hort B of S student myself (DelVal) I would pay around $200 for a non-credit course like this. If I were an employer I would comp part of the cost in a nifty deal for my permanent staff of my garden center. But I’m not. Wishful thinking.

  8. I took online courses for a certification a few years ago. I think Skype would be interesting at a set time for those of us who could “attend” at that time and recorded for those who needed more flexibility. The live class was always more interesting to me than the recordings that I watched. We could text in questions during the lectures.

    I’m looking for a Master Gardener class (I’m in South Carolina) that would be convenient since I work during the day time. SC does offer an online MG course but the new course doesn’t start until the fall.

    Why pay? There is the convenience factor — having all the information in one place and available. Not having to do multiple searches. $150 for 12 weeks course, similar to MG course. Not too bad.

    I stumbled into this site because I was searching for scientific information on leaching (if any) from the new treated posts (MCQ). Haven’t found that info anywhere.

  9. I recently paid $20 for a pair of local classes on blueberry production: a lecture, followed by an in-field demonstration. (The $20 was a donation amount I made up in the lack of any guidance in amount from the presenters. I probably would have given more if I had known how valuable it would be.) There were around 40 people in the class.

    I’d gladly pay $20-50 to spend an hour or two with a pro WATCHING them DO stuff. Heck, I’d probably pay just for the privilege of walking around their field/orchard/etc and asking questions.

    I’d be willing to pay less to listen to someone lecture about gardening. Especially if I don’t know what I’m going to get out of it. If I have to pay for 12 lectures up-front, no way. If the first lecture is worthless, I don’t want to be stuck with the rest of the series.

    “Show me how you spray your peach trees.”

    “What are you using for mulch on your tomatoes?”

    “How are you keeping weeds down in the berry patch over there?”

    Those answers don’t deliver well in an audio-only lecture format (well, maybe the tomato mulch). If you’re going to answer questions by posting videos during next week’s class, that might be valuable. Though it would be a bummer that we can’t ask for clarification in real-time. Live in-field video feed?

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