Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released the 2017 version of their ongoing study that analyzes student participants in MOOCs. The study can be found here: Study. The results of the study reflect only the performance of students enrolled in edX, which was cofounded by Harvard and MIT, but it covers 4.5 million learners who have participated in edX MOOCs since 2012, making the data pretty reliable.
A summary of key findings are as follows:
- The participation in edX MOOCs has now plateaued since edX discontinued the option for learners to earn a free certificate of completion. That further reinforces one of the drivers of attendance to be personal credentialing.
- 32% of the participants in edX MOOCs currently work (or used to work) as teachers. This may suggest that MOOCs are important sources to keep teachers current in their fields.
- 60% of the learners who enroll in a typical MOOC elect to receive the paid certificate. Again, this statistic points to one of the motivators behind enrollment: personal credentialing.
- The average student in a MOOC spends 29 hours with the courseware before earning a certificate.
Harvard and MIT will continue to publish these results which in turn will help all of us understand what elements are driving attendance, and thus required by the attendees. Competition for MOOCs include shorter certificate courses and massive courseware providers such as Udemy and Coursera.