By Steve Kolowich
Philadelphia — Massive open online courses have gained renown among academics for their impressive enrollment figures and, conversely, their unimpressive completion rates.
What accounts for the high attrition in MOOCs, and what does it mean? Coursera and data researchers at several partner universities of the MOOC provider have begun trying to answer those questions by learning more about why students wash out of MOOCs—and what instructors and course designers could do to stem the tide.
Some of that research was on display over the weekend at Coursera’s first-ever partners’ conference, where MOOC professors, instructional designers, and various invited guests spent two days talking shop.
The data so far are preliminary. But the company believes that the low completion rates in its early courses should not be read—as many critics have done—as an indictment of the MOOC format.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/coursera-takes-a-nuanced-view-of-mooc-dropout-rates/43341 ]