Life Cycle of a Million MOOC Users
Much attention has focused on the impressive number of individuals who are enrolling in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). But little is known about the life cycle of these enrollments, including the pattern of persistence beyond initial enrollment to course completion. Without this knowledge, it is not clear how to productively assess access or success, or how to understand the forces that influence student progress through these courses. This project is designed to address this knowledge gap by producing a map of the basic ecology of the first-generation of MOOC enrollments and identifying key user-transition points. This project will produce a map of the basic ecology of the initial wave of MOOCs by studying the progression of users through the 17 Coursera courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania between June 2012 and June 2013.The analyses will also explore differences in the patterns of progression on various attributes of Coursera course offerings. Potentially relevant course dimensions include course length, course requirements, course content, and more. Establishing a framework for describing and monitoring user behavior is a necessary building block for any empirical examination of the role of MOOCs in increasing access to and efficiency of higher education. The results of this descriptive but foundational research may also inform the design of future MOOC offerings, guide the revision of existing courses, help institutions assess the viability of MOOC courses, and inform user-selection of courses.
Athabasca University (with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
Nicole Wang, Chad Evans, Janie Schull, and Seher Ahmad
Kevin Bell, Meg Benke, and Wallace Boston
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Perna, L., Ruby, A., Boruch, R., Wang, N., Scull, J., Ahmad, S., & Evans, C. (2014, May 12). Sequential Flow. Excerpt from unpublished manuscript, Life cycle of a million MOOC users.
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Perna, L. W., Ruby, A., Boruch, R., Wang, N., Scull, J., Ahmad, S., & Evans, C. (2014, May 5). "Sequential flow." Excerpt from unpublished manuscript, Life cycle of a million MOOC users.