Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350964
 
 

References (16)



 


 



The MOOC Phenomenon: Who Takes Massive Open Online Courses and Why?


Gayle Christensen


Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania

Andrew Steinmetz


Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Brandon Alcorn


Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania

Amy Bennett


Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania

Deirdre Woods


Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania

Ezekiel J Emanuel


Office of the Provost, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Health Care Management, University of Pennsylvania

November 6, 2013


Abstract:     
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have commanded considerable public attention due to their sudden rise and disruptive potential. But there are no robust, published data that describe who is taking these courses and why they are doing so. As such, we do not yet know how transformative the MOOC phenomenon can or will be. We conducted an online survey of students enrolled in at least one of the University of Pennsylvania’s 32 MOOCs offed on the Coursera platform. The student population tends to be young, well educated, and employed, with a majority from developed countries. There are significantly more males than females taking MOOCs, especially in BRIC and other developing countries. Students’ main reasons for taking a MOOC are advancing in their current job and satisfying curiosity. The individuals the MOOC revolution is supposed to help the most — those without access to higher education in developing countries — are underrepresented among the early adopters.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, Online Education, Distance Education

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Date posted: April 18, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Christensen, Gayle and Steinmetz, Andrew and Alcorn, Brandon and Bennett, Amy and Woods, Deirdre and Emanuel, Ezekiel J, The MOOC Phenomenon: Who Takes Massive Open Online Courses and Why? (November 6, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2350964

Contact Information

Gayle Christensen
Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
Andrew Steinmetz
Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
Brandon Alcorn (Contact Author)
Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
Amy Bennett
Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
Deirdre Woods
Office of the Provost, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
Ezekiel J Emanuel
Office of the Provost, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Health Care Management, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
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