Education

MOOCs: Retention versus achievement

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Science  06 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6261, pp. 647-648
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6261.647-f

Massive open online courses (MOOC) open up higher education to citizens across the globe. As MOOCs continue to rapidly expand, the empirical research surrounding them strives to keep pace. Through examination of input characteristics, including learner demographics, prior experience, and self-reported commitment (data points that can be collected before the MOOC begins), Greene et al. provide insight into student retention and performance within the same MOOC. Coupled with survivor analysis, results showed that considerations such as intent to earn a certificate predicted retention, whereas the prior level of schooling predicted achievement. Depending on the goals of institutions interested in using MOOCs, data from this study can be used to determine whether any specific interventions should be implemented.

Am. Educ. Res. J. 52, 925 (2015).

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