Online Universities? I am a big fan, but let’s be sober about the stats…
I am a big supporter of ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOCs).
Stanford University claimed that one MOOC had 160,000 people ‘register’ as students.
But let’s take a sober look at what ‘registration’ as a MOOC ‘student’ really means.
It does not mean filling in an application form, being interviewed, turning up on campus, and then getting in line/queuing to sign up.
It just takes one click on a MOOC website, such as the leading MOOC provider ‘Coursera’.
These stats from one online course show that of the 16,000 people who expressed an interest by ‘enrolling’, only 12% actually started the course, and of those only 13% completed it. More worryingly for Coursera’s business model, only ½% (89 people) gave over $50 for a ‘verified certificate’ (that’s less than $5,000 income for a course that cost $50,000 to create):
|Coursera Exploring Quantum Physics stats 2014|
|Number of enrolled students||16,318|
|Number of different countries represented by enrolled students||152|
|Number of students graded (which is the number of those who submitted any of the homework or exams)||2,090||12.8%|
|Number of students who completed the course||272||1.7%|
|Number of students who completed the course, with distinction||65||0.4%|
|Number of students on Signature Track||89||0.5%|