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COVID-19 - University Rankings Methodology

MoocLab's COVID-19 University Rankings aim to showcase those universities that have offered the best provision through MOOCs to help students, teachers and professionals impacted by the cornoavirus pandemic.

The rankings only include universities that have offered free course certificates on some of their open online courses and/or those that have developed courses specifically in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Only universities that deliver MOOCs on either Coursera, edX or FutureLearn were included.

In total, 62 universities were reviewed based on six performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance. Weight values were determined based on the intended purpose of the table - to showcase universities that have offered the best provision through MOOCs to help students, teachers and professionals impacted by the cornoavirus pandemic.

  • Number of MOOCs (5%)
  • Course programs without credit (5%)
  • Course programs with credit (10%)
  • MOOC-based degrees (10%)
  • Courses offering free course certificates (40%)
  • COVID-19 courses (35%)

Number of MOOCs

The number of MOOCs was recorded for each institution offering courses across the three main MOOC platforms - Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

Course programs without credit

Course programs consist of a series of related courses to provide learners with more in-depth learning of a particular subject or skill. In some cases, these programs offer transferable credit whereas some do not. This performance indicator only includes course programs that do not grant credit: "Specializations" on Coursera, "XSeries" on edX and some "Programs" on FutureLearn. The number of such course programs was recorded for each institution offering these programs across the three main MOOC platforms - Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

Course programs with credit

These course programs are made up of a series of related courses to develop a particular skill for professional development or earn transferable professional or academic credit. They provide deep learning in a specific career field and are increasingly recognized by employers for their real job relevance. The number of credit bearing course programs was recorded for each institution offering these programs across the three main MOOC platforms - MasterTrack™ Certificates and Professional Certificates on Coursera, MicroMasters® and MicroBachelors® Programs on edX, Microcredentials and some programs on FutureLearn.

MOOC-based degrees

MOOC-based degrees offer a more affordable (and more flexible) alternative to on-campus degrees as well as other online degree programs. They also have the advantage of being "stackable" as they are built on MOOCs and/or MOOC-based micro-credentials. The number of MOOC-based degrees was recorded for each institution offering these programs across the three main MOOC platforms - Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

Courses offering free course certificates

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, some institutions waived the fee to obtain a course certificate for some of their open online courses. The number of courses granting free course certificates was recorded across Coursera, edX and FutureLearn. Given the intended purpose of the table, this performance indicator was attributed the highest weight (40%). To note, free course certificates were made available for a limited time and may not be available at this time.

COVID-19 courses

Some universities launched free online courses specifically in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These include courses on understanding and preventing the spread of coronavirus as well as courses designed to help those impacted. The number of such courses was recorded across Coursera, edX and FutureLearn

Data sources

Data relating to MOOCs and MOOC-based credentials was collected directly from the three main MOOC platforms, Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

Rank calculation

To calculate the ranks, the weighted composites of the Z-scores for the 6 individual measures were calculated for each institution where the weights represent relative importance of the different measures in light of the intended purpose of the table. The institution with the highest score was given a rank of #1.

Browse the full results of the COVID-19 - University Rankings by MOOC Performance

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