Penn Research Study on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) | Open Health News
"Because there were no robust, published data that describe who is taking Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), the University of Pennsylvania conducted an online survey of 34,799 students who have enrolled in at least one of the 32 MOOCs offered by Penn on the Coursera platform. The survey consisted of 18 questions relating to the respondent’s demographic information and their reasons for taking the online courses. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have taken higher education by storm. In just three short years, millions of students from around the globe have enrolled and taken thousands of courses now being offered by hundreds of universities. The disruptive potential of MOOCs are one more key component in the 'Open' Education & Training revolution' that is currently underway. The following are some of the key findings of the study: • Across all geographic regions, MOOC students have very high levels of educational attainment - 83.0% of the students had a post-secondary degree. • In addition to being highly educated, the Coursera student population tends to be young, male, and employed, with a majority from developed countries. • Over 40% of MOOC students are under 30 years of age, with less than 10% over 60. • Significantly more males (56.9%) than females take MOOC courses. • More than half (62.4%) of MOOC students report being employed full-time or self-employed, while only 13.4% report being unemployed or retired. • In the U.S. nearly 20% of students are over 60 and 14.0% are retired; in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) only 1.6% of students are over 60 and just 1.2% are retired. • Over two thirds (67.9%) of BRIC students are male compared to 48.1% male students in the U.S. • There were two main reasons survey respondents cite for enrolling in a MOOC course: advancing in a current job and curiosity. * For more detail, download a copy of the study 'The MOOC Phenomenon: Who Takes Massive Open Online Courses and Why?'"