4 major MOOC findings–and where to go from here

Harvard, MIT combine research efforts to uncover new MOOC trends

MOOC-research39 percent of edX learners are teachers. This is just one new finding from one of the largest MOOC investigations to date.

A joint MIT and Harvard University research team has identified a number of findings about MOOC participants, enrollment, and certification.

Building on these researchers’ prior work — a January 2014 report describing the first year of open online courses launched on edX, a nonprofit learning platform founded by the two institutions — the latest effort incorporates another year of data, bringing the total to nearly 70 courses in subjects from programming to poetry.

“We explored 68 certificate-granting courses, 1.7 million participants, 10 million participant-hours, and 1.1 billion participant-logged events,” says Andrew Ho, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The research team also used surveys to gain additional information about participants’ backgrounds and their intentions.

(Next page: Key findings, and important questions)

Laura Ascione