State of the MOOC 2016

A Year of Massive Landscape Change For Massive Open Online Courses

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  1. Carolyn
    Online Course Report
    Contact: Josh R Jackson
    Telephone: (501) 350-9878


    State of the MOOC 2016: A Year of Massive Landscape Change for Massive Open Online Courses
    14 March 2016
    NEW ORLEANS—Small fees go up for massive open online courses
    (MOOCs) as completion rates increase and hundreds more courses emerge. Yet elite universities continue to monopolize the marketplace along with pet provider platforms, Coursera, Udacity and edX.

    Often hosted by professors from Ivy League schools like Stanford, MIT, Yale, Harvard and several well-known international institutions, the number of massive open online courses has exploded in recent years. In January alone, more than 4,550 MOOCs were made available according to MOOC database, Class Central, over 600 more than were offered at the end of December 2015.

    Data suggest that most of these MOOCs group around the topmost schools on U.S. News’ National University Ranking list, implying that massive open online courses are unequally distributed in the industry of higher education.

    Colleges and universities below the Top 50 show an average of 18 fewer MOOCs per university than those above the Top 50 mark, the difference between an average of 21 and an average of 3. Undoubtedly, much of this inequity can be explained by the high cost of designing, developing and building a MOOC, a cost often unfeasible for the non-elite.

    Meanwhile, corporate learning departments at many of the biggest names in tech—Google, Microsoft, Tenaris and AT&T—are seeing a rise in completion rates for their MOOCs, some as high as 80 percent. This in addition to reports from international MOOC users on receiving returns on their investment by way of increased career options suggests that massive open online courses are becoming more successful than last year’s coverage led us to believe.
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