Last week, Harvard and MIT published a report on their first year of MOOCs, with close to 600 000 unique users in almost 850 000 registrations. Of these 43 196 registrants earned certificates of completion (among whom yours truly). Harvard and MIT contend that the seemingly low completion percentages are counterproductive indicators of MOOC impact. They argue that in open course with large scale enrolment, there is no trade-off between certified and non-certified registrants and that the unmeasured learning of non-certified participants must be taken into account. Other metrics than grades and course certification are needed to capture usage patterns, including those who accessed substantial content, but took no tests. All in all, Harvard and MIT seem quite satisfied with their first year of MOOCs, both from the point of view of the learning that took place and from the point of view of the data collected on learning patterns.
Report also available through firstname.lastname@example.org.