"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"The Life Cycle of a Million MOOC Users"

Early this month, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania presented a report entitled "The Life Cycle of a Million MOOC Users" during the MOOC Research Initiative Conference held at the University of Texas in Arlington. (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses) The report examined in detail the participants in the following 17 Coursera courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania:


"Life Cycle" seems misplaced in the title since the major findings indicate very low persistence among participants. Here is a figure copied from the presentation illustrating the very low completion rate in all courses:


The persistence rate is even lower when the course requires work:




These data hopefully should bring pause to the irrational exuberance of those who are proclaiming that MOOC's are about to transform higher education.



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