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Why Do Students Enroll in (But Don’t Complete) MOOC Courses?

05 Apr

Udacity office in Silicon Valley, ground zero for MOOCs.

By Ian Quillen

Less than 10 percent of MOOC students, on average, complete a course. That’s the conclusion of Katy Jordan of Open University, who published her analysis, pulled together from available data of some Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs.

But do completion rates matter?

It’s not that course completion rates don’t inform observers about the nature of MOOCs, said Michelle Rhee-Weise, who follows higher-ed developments in online and blended learning as an education senior research fellow for the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (formerly Innosight Institute). But with no negative academic consequences from dropping out, that information is less about the effectiveness of the courses themselves, and more about the reasons people might be enrolling, she said.

Among those reasons:

  1. Just because MOOCs give free access to higher education courses doesn’t mean their work is being ignored by the for-profit sector of an online learning industry estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Rhee-Weise said. That can make MOOCs a fruitful observation ground for those who are looking for ideas to infuse into their own online learning efforts.

[ Full article available at KQED: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/why-do-students-enroll-in-but-dont-complete-mooc-courses/ ]

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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