MOOC Completion and Retention in the Context of Student Intent
Interesting article based on analysis of "nine HarvardX courses, which had a total of 290,606 registrants and 79,525 survey responses". They use quantitative course data, plus responses from introductory course questionnaires in which MOOC learners were asked whether their intention was to complete the MOOC, to audit the MOOC, to browse it (plus there was an answer "unsure"). Although a larger proportion of people who said they were aiming at completion, did complete (22% of them), there were also people who said that they aimed just to browse or audit, but in fact completed (e.g. 6% who said they intended to browse). Another "takeaway" is that "Attrition happens early; course beginnings are important. Regardless of a student's stated intentions, attrition rates are highest in the early part of a course. Course developers should recognize that, for many students, a course's first unit is the only part some students will see. Course teams should consider allocating resources to making that beginning unit inviting and compelling."
Reich, J. (2014, December 8) MOOC Completion and Retention in the Context of Student Intent. Educause review. http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mooc-completion-and-retention-context-student-intent Photo by Sheila Webber: December trees, December sky.