Australian MOOC platform makes big claim about completion rate

Open2Study has a social component that helped boost completion rates, the company said.

Open2Study, an massive open online course (MOOC) initiative launched by Open Universities Australia, announced May 24 that 25 percent of its students complete their courses, more than triple the completion percentage of most MOOC offerings.

MOOC platforms – even the best funded options – have had trouble boosting completion rates for the free courses originally designed to draw lifelong learners to world-class curriculum.

Open2Study’s claim of a 25 percent completion rate is shockingly high when compared to recent research that showed MOOC completion rates to hover around 7 percent. Katy Jordan, an Open University doctoral student who conducted research into web-based academic social networks, said in May that her examination of 29 MOOC platforms showed that only 7 percent of people who signed up for courses actually completed those courses.

The highest completion rate found in Jordan’s research was from a Swiss-based course in which 19 percent of students finished the class.

Even more surprising, perhaps, was Open2Study’s charge that half of students who signed up for one of the company’s 14 MOOCs did nothing after enrolling. That would mean around 50 percent of those who went beyond simply signing up for the course completed their classwork.

Open2Study’s announcement was scant on details showing how the MOOC platform achieved such a high completion rate.

See Page 2 for details on how many courses Open2Study might offer by the end of 2013…