MOOCs ranking

These are the top 50 MOOCs

A ranking website curated the top 50 MOOCs based on student reviews

Of the top 50 MOOCs, the No. 1 spot belongs to a computer science course–an introduction to interactive programming in Python, to be exact.

The list from Class Central ranks MOOCs based on thousands of reviews written by Class Central users, Dhawal Shah noted in a blog post. The rankings will be updated as reviews increase and change.

“In providing a small but well-reviewed list of courses, our hope is that new learners will not be overwhelmed when entering the MOOC space. Reviews will help new learners figure out if a course is right for them, and they will have a great first experience,” Shah noted.

A few notes about the list:
1. Coursera is the top provider with 26 courses in the Top 50, and edX is second with 10 courses
2, Stanford tops the list of universities present in the Top 50 with five of their courses making it in, and MIT comes in second with three courses
3. the list includes courses from 34 universities, of which 21 universities are in the US
4. UIUC’s Aric Rindfleisch has two courses in the top 50

(Next page: The top 5 MOOCs)

Courses also are arranged into four major categories: technology (20 courses), sciences (13 courses), business (5 courses), and humanities (12 courses).

Currently, the top 5 MOOCs are:
1. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)
2. Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“ModPo”)
3. Aprender
4. A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
5. Introduction to Programming with MATLAB

Class Central curates MOOC listings and reviews from students who have taken the MOOCs.

Educators have struggled with different strategies around how to improve MOOC retention.

Social media tools might be the key to keeping students engaged in MOOCs and preventing course dropouts, according to research presented at the annual ACM conference on Learning at Scale in April.

A study comparing students’ use of their MOOC course’s built-in message boards and forums to the same students’ use of course Facebook group revealed that students seemed more engaged in the Facebook groups. Students told researchers they preferred social media interaction to interacting with the MOOC communication tools.

Results of the study have implications for future MOOC course design, the researchers said in their paper.

Patrick Lowenthal, assistant professor at the Educational Technology College of Education at Boise State University; and Dr. Charles Hodges, associate professor of Leadership, Technology & Human Development at Georgia Southern University, released a research study on trying to measure the quality of MOOCs.

The researchers explained that as institutions look to third-party (Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc.) provided MOOCs for credit, it’s important to investigate whether these MOOCs meet certain standards of quality. The problem is, very little research has been done to investigate the instructional quality of MOOCs.

Read more about that study and its implications here.

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Laura Ascione

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