A new report released by the University of Edinburgh shows that a majority of students who take the university’s six Coursera massive open online courses (MOOCs) do so simply to learn and have little interest in gaining a certificate.
The report, “MOOCs @ Edinburgh 2013,” is based on data collected over 10 months and answers to entry and exit surveys that were conducted before and after participants took the MOOC courses. The six MOOC courses covered philosophy, critical thinking, eLearning and digital cultures, astrobiology, artificial intelligence planning and equine nutrition.
The survey found that 95 percent of the 45,182 respondents enrolled in MOOCs to “learn new things,” while 33 percent were taking them to “get a certificate.”
“It is probably reasonable to view these MOOC learners as more akin to lifelong learning students in traditional universities than to students on degree programmes, which is a common comparison being made,” the report said.
The Edinburgh report also found that social interaction among those taking the MOOCs was low.
Only 15 percent of what the report calls active learners posted on the accompanying forums. The number of students who interacted with these posts was even lower, the report said, with just 10 percent voting on them and 6 percent commenting.
See Page 2 to find out what percentage of MOOC students watched video lectures every week…