Almost three-quarters of students who enrolled in the first year of online classes under a joint Harvard-MIT initiative were from outside the United States, demonstrating the global reach and growing popularity of the large-scale open courses.
But only 5 percent of students who registered for courses through the online learning platform edX completed their class and earned certificates, although far more were involved in classes and reviewed much of the material, according to a new study by a research team from the two universities.
The findings were included in a trove of data released last week that provides insight into the demographics of the students who use what are known as massive open online courses.
Of the 842,000 students who registered for the free online classes offered by the edX initiative in the 2012-2013 school year, just 28 percent were from the United States. About 13 percent were from India, followed by the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, and Spain.
The most typical edX student was a male with a bachelor’s degree who is 26 or older. But less than 1 in 3 students fit that profile, researchers found, suggesting there is a broad array of different types of students.
[ Full article available at The Boston Globe: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/06/nearly-three-quarters-online-students-harvard-mit-are-from-outside-report-finds/BuZiQngGDHkpwEWwLEhMrM/story.html ]