MOOC Student Demographics (Fall 2012)

Posted on May 25, 2013 by

4


I report on survey responses from  2,350 students who enrolled in a Massive Online Open Class (MOOC) titled “Computational Investing, Part I” via coursera.org  in Fall 2012. The responses represent 41% of the students who completed the course and 2.6% of those who initially enrolled but did not complete it.

Alert: This is an old post. See the new post about the more recent survey here.

Related articles

Executive summary

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

Enrollment and completion:

  • 53,205 enrolled (clicked “sign me up”).
  • 53% (1/2) watched a video.
  • 26% (1/4) took a quiz.
  • 12% (1/8) submitted the first homework.
  • 2,535 completed the course, which is:
    • 4.8% of those who enrolled.
    • 18% of those who took a quiz.
    • 39% of those who submitted the first project.

Of those who completed the course:

  • 34% live in the US.
  • 27% live in non-OECD countries.
  • Average age is 35 years old. Youngest is 17. Oldest is 74.
  • 70% are white.
  • 92% are male.
  • 279 hold Ph.D.s.

And now, for a more detailed examination.

Background

This data concerns students who enrolled in the first offering of Computational Investing, Part I in Fall 2012. 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 from one 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 10 participating countries of the students who completed the course.

completers-country

Chart 2: Country of residence of students who did not complete the course.  This chart reports the percentage of the top 10 participating countries of the students who did not complete the course.

non-completers-country

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

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

Demographics: Sex

For students who completed the course:

  • male: 91%
  • female: 6%
  • prefer not to say: 3%

For students who did not complete the course:

  • male: 88%
  • female: 11%
  • prefer not to say: 1%

Demographics: Race

For students who completed the course:

  • white: 69.8%
  • black or african american: 1.4%
  • asian: 18.8%
  • native hawaiian or other pacific islander: 0.2%
  • american indian or alaska native: 0.3%
  • other: 6.7%
  • prefer not to say: 4.9%

For students who did not complete the course:

  • white: 56.3%
  • black or african american: 3.4%
  • asian: 28.3%
  • native hawaiian or other pacific islander: 0.3%
  • american indian or alaska native: 0.2%
  • other: 7.8%
  • prefer not to say: 5.1%

Demographics: Highest level of education attained

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

all-education

Participation in online forums

Of students who completed the course:

  • 95.8%  read the forums
  • 33.2% posted in the forums

Of students who did not complete the course:

  • 62.4% read the forums
  • 15.2% posted in the forums

Satisfaction with the course by students who completed the course

The 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:

  • Considering everything, the instructor was an effective teacher: 61.1%
  • For the amount of time I invested in this course, I’m happy with what I learned: 67.5%
  • The course materials were presented in an engaging manner: 57.0%
  • I would like to take a more advanced course on this topic: 92.2%
  • I found the course personally fulfilling: 59.0%
  • I learned what I was hoping to learn in this course: 42.8%

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 (89.7%)

Completion rates

  • Enrolled (clicked “sign me up”): 53,205
  • Watched a video: 53% of those who enrolled
  • Took a quiz: 26% of those who enrolled
  • Submitted first homework: 12% of those who enrolled
  • Completed the course:
    • 4.8% of those who enrolled
    • 18% of those who took a quiz.
    • 39% of those who submitted the first project.

Acknowledgements

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

Advertisements