Harvard researcher Andrew Ho on what we can learn from the first set of edX MOOC data.
The data sets were considerable: On average, 20 gigabytes of data were analyzed per course. Among the key findings:
- Course completion rates are not necessarily an indicator of a MOOC's impact on students. Even when large numbers of registrants failed to complete a course, they still accessed substantial amounts of course content.
- While 50 percent of MOOC registrants dropped off within a week or two of enrolling, attrition rates decreased substantially after that window.
- The most typical MOOC registrant was male, 26 or older, with a bachelor's degree — yet that demographic represented fewer than one in three students.
- There are considerable variations in average demographics across courses, in terms of gender, college degree attainment, median age and percentage from the U.S.