Survey: Alumni, parents have more favorable view of MOOCs than students

A new study suggests that parents may be more interested in taking a MOOC than their student children.

While the conversation around massive open online courses (MOOCs) has been largely focused on the good they can do for students, a new survey suggests that it’s parents and alumni who have the most positive views of the technology.

The survey, which was commissioned by public relations and communications agency Brodeur Partners and is the first public opinion survey about MOOCs, examined and compared the attitudes of five audiences affected by the courses: students, parents, alumni, employers and donors.

The study found that while students were the most aware of online courses, only 26 percent said MOOCs were “a good idea,” compared to the 41 percent of alumni who had a favorable view of them. The presence of MOOCs, and the respondents’ opinions of the courses, seemed to have little effect on students’ or alumni’s relation to a university, however.

While 23 percent of students said a MOOC program would make them more likely to attend a specific school, 26 percent said it would make them less likely. The difference was more pronounced among alumni and their decisions to donate. Twenty-six percent of alumni said a MOOC program would make them less likely to donate, and 13 percent said it would make them more likely.

See Page 2 for what percentage of respondents were unfamiliar with MOOCs. 

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