MOOC Student Demographics (Spring 2013)

Posted on January 27, 2013 by

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all-age

I report on survey responses from  1,207 of the 25,589 students who enrolled in a Massive Online Open Class (MOOC) titled “Computational Investing, Part I” via coursera.org  in Spring 2013. The responses represent 56% of the students who completed the course and 2.5% of those who initially enrolled but did not complete it.

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Executive summary

Here are a few of the most relevant and interesting bits of data:

Enrollment and completion:

  • 25,589 enrolled (clicked “sign me up”).
  • 15,688 (61%) watched a video
  • 6,855 (27%) took a quiz.
  • 1,165 completed the course, which is:
    • 4.5% of those who enrolled.
    • 7.4% of those who watched a video.
    • 17% of those who took a quiz.

Of those who completed the course:

  • 36% live in the US.
  • 53% are white.
  • 89% are male.
  • 9%  hold Ph.D.s.

And now, for a more detailed examination.

Background

This data concerns students who enrolled in the second offering of Computational Investing, Part I in Spring 2013. The MOOC was taught by Tucker Balch of Georgia Tech and delivered via coursera.org. The statistics here are self reported by the students.

The data is for this particular course only, so it does not represent statistics for MOOCs overall.

The demographics of students in the course are likely affected by affected by the course topic, which is typically taught at the graduate level.

Demographics: Country of Residence

Chart 1: Country of residence of students who completed the course. There were students from over 100 countries participating in the course.  This chart reports the percentage of the top 15 participating countries of the students who completed the course.

Countries of students who completed the course.

Countries of students who completed the course.

Chart 2: Country of residence of students who did not complete the course.  This chart reports the percentage of the top 15 participating countries of the students who did not complete the course.

Countries of students who did not complete the course.

Countries of students who did not complete the course.

Demographics: Participation by residents of non-OECD countries

Membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is considered by some as a measure of economic development. Here we provide statistics regarding those students from OECD and non-OECD states:

  • 26.7% of the students who completed the course live in non-OECD countries (73.3% OECD)
  • 40.7% of the students who did not complete the course live in non-OECD countries (59.3% OECD).

(note: OECD data is from the Fall 2012 session.)

Demographics: Age

For students who completed the course:

  • minimum: 17 years old
  • mean: 35 years old
  • maximum: 74 years old

For students who did not complete the course:

  • minimum: 16 years old
  • mean: 34 years old
  • maximum: 88 years old

Chart 3: Age distribution of students in the course.  This chart reports the percentage of students in 5 year age “bins”.

all-age

(note: age data is from the Fall 2012 session).

Demographics: Sex

For students who completed the course:

  • male: 94%
  • female: 6%
  • prefer not to say: 1%

For students who did not complete the course:

  • male: 89%
  • female: 9%
  • prefer not to say: 2%

Demographics: Race

For students who completed the course:

  • white: 65%
  • black or african american: 1%
  • asian: 27%
  • native hawaiian or other pacific islander: 0%
  • american indian or alaska native: 0.3%
  • other: 6%
  • prefer not to say: 3%

For students who did not complete the course:

  • white: 53%
  • black or african american: 4%
  • asian: 29%
  • native hawaiian or other pacific islander: 0.2%
  • american indian or alaska native: 0.5%
  • other: 8%
  • prefer not to say: 6.8%

Demographics: Highest level of education attained

Chart 4: Highest level of education attained by students who completed the course. These statistics were self reported by the students.

Education of students who completed the course.

Education of students who completed the course.

Chart 5: Highest level of education attained by students who did not complete the course. These statistics were self reported by the students.

Education level of students who did not complete the course.

Education level of students who did not complete the course.

Participation in online forums

Of students who completed the course:

  • 92%  read the forums
  • 40% posted in the forums

Of students who did not complete the course:

  • 66% read the forums
  • 21% posted in the forums

Satisfaction with the course by students who completed the course

Students who completed the course were asked “How much do you agree with each of these statements regarding your learning in the course? (Please rate on a scale of Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree).” We report the percentage of students who selected Agree or Strongly Agree below improvement from last session in green:

  • Considering everything, the instructor was an effective teacher: 87.9% up 26.8%
  • For the amount of time I invested in this course, I’m happy with what I learned: 90.4% up 22.9%
  • The course materials were presented in an engaging manner: 83.1% up 26.1%
  • I would like to take a more advanced course on this topic: 94.5% up 2.3%
  • I found the course personally fulfilling: 85.5% up 26.5%
  • I learned what I was hoping to learn in this course: 76.4% up 33.6%

Satisfaction with the course by students who did not complete the course

  • Did you find the course useful even though you didn’t complete it? Yes: 93.4% up 3.7%

Completion rates

  • 25,589 enrolled (clicked “sign me up”).
  • 15,688 (61%) watched a video
  • 6,855 (27%) took a quiz.
  • 1,165 completed the course, which is:
    • 4.5% of those who enrolled.
    • 7.4% of those who watched a video.
    • 17% of those whotook a quiz.

Acknowledgements

Fatima Wirth, Ph.D. assisted with instructional design, and the course was TA-ed by Sourabh Bajaj.

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