Coursera Survey Pins Down MOOC Benefits

24 Sep

By Dian Schaffhauser

More than seven in 10 learners report career benefits and more than six in 10 report educational benefits from completing massive open online courses (MOOCs). Participants from developing countries and particularly those with lower socioeconomic status and less education appear to be more likely to report benefits from pursuing MOOCs.

Those results and others come out of the first major research survey done among Coursera learners and reported in the Harvard Business Review. The survey was sent in December to 780,000 people from 212 countries who had completed a Coursera course prior to September 2014. The researchers received 51,954 survey responses from people in every one of those countries. The top ones represented were the United States, China, India and Brazil. Fifty nine percent of respondents were male; 58 percent were employed full-time; and the most common age was 26 to 35. The five-person research team included two data scientists and the president from Coursera, the assistant vice provost for global affairs at the University of Washington and a former project manager for Penn Global at the University of Pennsylvania.

The study asked people to state their motivations for taking a MOOC, then divided them into two “core” groups: career builders (pinpointed by 72 percent of respondents, but referenced as the primary driver by 52 percent) and education seekers (chosen by 61 percent, but designated as the primary motivation by 28 percent).

Among career builders:

  • Nearly nine in 10 reported benefits that included improved candidacy for a new position or becoming better prepared for a current job;

[ Full article available at Campus Technology: ]

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Industry News, MOOCs in the News


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