Just one more MOOC post….

November 23, 2013

I was one of many who finished the class! Photo by James Cridland via CC

I was one of many who finished the class! Photo by James Cridland via CC

The professor shared some statistics with us on the Google Media MOOC, and I thought I would share them with you:

  • Of the original 40,000+, 1,196 received certificates of accomplishments and 2,100 were still registered.
  • 985 participants submitted all the assignments
  • 1 student made 187 posts (!) and 9 students posted more than 100 times
  • Total number of posts to the forums: 25,647


  • 1 person got a perfect 100%!
  • 127 people scored 95% and above
  • 257 scored 90%-94% (my score was 92.2%)
  • 247 scored 85%-89%
  • 187 scored 75%-79%

Looking at the above, some people may conclude that out of the original group who signed up, only 2.9% completed the class.  However, we can look at this another way: almost 1,200 people successfully undertook a 6 week class FOR FREE from all over the world.  In a traditional classroom, perhaps the class would have consisted of 30 people.  So, 40 times more people were able to enrich their knowledge on a current topic by using an online medium rather than just a face-to-face class. FOR FREE.

When reading about MOOCs, many people have a misconception that it is both easier and cheaper to provide classes online.  Northwestern’s Google Media class was extremely well done and thought out, and that type of instruction doesn’t come cheaply, in time or technology.  The upside is that once you have developed the course, it can be replayed again and again, with minor changes updating quizzes or reading lists. This article estimates that the cost to set up a MOOC could be around $150,000.

We the participant benefit from these free educational opportunities, but will the costs be sustainable for those producing them?  This remains to be seen.

I would definitely take another course, and do think that there is a future for these types of courses.  It will be very interesting to see how traditional colleges handle them, or incorporate them into their classes over time.


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