Information Technology

Who completes MOOCs?

Attendance and Completion

A few instructors have systematically tracked demographic information about students in their MOOCs. Reports indicate that many students are from outside the U.S. and have completed college, but the breadth of experience is notable. Below are two examples.

Course: Computational Investing I

Data from Tucker Balch's (Georgia Tech) Coursera Course, offered October 2012 (Data via his blog)

  • 53,205 enrolled (clicked “sign me up”).
  • 53% (1/2) watched a video.
  • 26% (1/4) took a quiz.
  • 12% (1/8) submitted the first homework.
  • 2,535 completed the course, which is:
    • 4.8% of those who enrolled.
    • 18% of those who took a quiz.
    • 39% of those who submitted the first project.

Of those who completed the course:

  • 34% live in the US.
  • 27% live in non-OECD countries.
  • Average age is 35 years old. Youngest is 17. Oldest is 74.
  • 70% are white.
  • 92% are male.
  • 279 hold Ph.D.s.

For students who completed the course:

  • minimum: 17 years old
  • mean: 35 years old
  • maximum: 74 years old

For students who did not complete the course:

  • minimum: 16 years old
  • mean: 34 years old
  • maximum: 88 years old

Course: Bioelectricity: A Quantative Approach

Data from Roger Barr's (Duke University) Coursera Course, offered September 2012 (See the Full Report)

Chart via Inside Higher Ed

Duke Chart

Chart via Duke Report