MOOCs In 2013: Breaking Down The Numbers

Career College Central summary:

  • While the debate rages on about the possibilities of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), teachers have been busy offering MOOCs and students have been signing up in droves — Ed Surge estimates at least 10 million people have registered for MOOCs. The number of courses offered has grown from about 100 MOOCs in 2012 to almost 700 starting in 2013, with an average of nearly two new MOOCs starting every day. More than 1200 courses have been announced so far.
  • Coursera remains the largest MOOC provider by far, with almost half of all the MOOCs offered. But its share is slowly being reduced by new MOOC providers from different parts of the world. Aside from Coursera, edX, and Udacity, other startups from outside the U.S. are gearing up to offer MOOCs. To mention a few, 2013 saw the launch of FutureLearn, Open2Study, iversity, and France Université Numerique.
  • The first wave of MOOCs in 2011 were overwhelmingly concentrated in the Computer Science/Engineering category. But Ed Surge is now starting the emergence of courses that tackle a broad array of topics. Significantly, the Humanities (comprising numerous sub-categories) has edged out Computer Science/Engineering to become the largest category. One particular fast-growing category is Education and Teaching where courses are geared towards teaching pedagogy (many of which are offered on Coursera).
  • As we turn the corner to 2014, there will surely be continued growth in course offerings and new or emerging MOOC providers. But other trends seem likely to take off as well:

    • Credit-granting MOOCs: Universities are starting to grant credit for MOOCs, the most ambitious being Georgia Tech’s Online Masters in Computer Science, but others are currently planning ways to offer college credit.
    • Corporate-developed public MOOCs: Separate from the trend of companies using MOOCs for internal training, more companies will start to offer free MOOCs to provide training for current or potential customers, following examples set by MongoDB University and OpenSAP. Additionally, Udacity has offered courses taught by experts from Autodesk, Google, Nvidia, and recently announced a Data Science and Big Data track, which will jointly offer MOOCs along with industry partners.
    • Broader access to MOOC creation: On the major provider platforms, the opportunity to teach MOOCs has been somewhat of an invite-only proposition to established universities and professors. But new platforms promise to make this more easily available, such as the much-anticipated (a partnership between open EdX and Google to create a MOOC authorship platform), and the current offering from OpenLearning.

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