Table of Contents

Mass Attrition: An Analysis of Drop Out from a Principles of Microeconomics MOOC

Rebecca M. Stein, University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics
Gloria Allione, University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics


ECONOMICS EDUCATOR: COURSES, CASES & TEACHING eJOURNAL

"Mass Attrition: An Analysis of Drop Out from a Principles of Microeconomics MOOC" Free Download
PIER Working Paper No. 14-031

REBECCA M. STEIN, University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics
Email:
GLORIA ALLIONE, University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics
Email:

Though Mass Open Online Courses are very different from each other in their structure, content or audience, they are all characterized by low completion rates. In this paper, we use the Cox proportional hazard model to analyze student retention in the MOOC Principle of Microeconomics. Using two different measures of retention, video watching and quiz submission, we show that students’ commitment to the course can be strongly predicted by their participation in the first week’s activities. Data collected through a voluntary opt-in survey allow us to study retention in relation to demographics, for a subset of enrollees. We find a higher dropout rate for college students or younger participants. Female attrition is larger when measured by video watching but not when measured by quiz completion. Self-ascribed motivation for taking the course is not a predictor of completion. We conclude that raw completion rates cannot be the criterion to judge the success of MOOCs, as it is in case of traditional courses. The results are consistent with the existing literature which separates MOOCs students into two different groups: Committed Learners and Browsers.

^top

About this eJournal

This eJournal is devoted to advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning economics encouraging contributors to combine ideas in economics with current ideas about teaching and learning, in a way that is public, open to critique, and in a form on which others can build in a timely manner. Unlike refereed journals, this electronic journal does not subject submissions to review but will publish abstracts as works in progress with links to the full-text working papers in the SSRN database. Eligible submissions could provide descriptions of innovative courses, case studies, student activities and other teaching materials and information related to the manner in which economics is taught or its teaching assessed at the post-secondary level. (Note: Suitable material submitted to the Journal of Economic Education (http://www.Indiana.edu/~econed) will be considered automatically for inclusion in Economics Educator, thus, giving potential JEE authors worldwide visibility for their work during the extensive JEE refereeing and editorial process.)

Editor: William Walstad, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Submissions

To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.

Distribution Services

If your organization is interested in increasing readership for its research by starting a Research Paper Series, or sponsoring a Subject Matter eJournal, please email: RPS@SSRN.com

Distributed by

Economics Research Network (ERN), a division of Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Directors

ERN SUBJECT MATTER EJOURNALS

MICHAEL C. JENSEN
Harvard Business School, Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc., National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: mjensen@hbs.edu

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for ERN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Economics Educator: Courses, Cases & Teaching eJournal

SAM ANTHONY ALLGOOD
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

WILLIAM L. GOFFE
Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Oswego - Department of Economics

PAUL W. GRIMES
Dean, Kelce College of Business, Pittsburg State University, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Mississippi State University - College of Business

KIMMARIE MCGOLDRICK
Professor of Economics, University of Richmond - E. Claiborne Robins School of Business

MICHAEL W. WATTS
Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education, Purdue University - Department of Economics