Researcher Katy Jordan has taken a look at completion rates across a wide variety of free online courses for academic subjects (often called MOOCs).
What’s striking is that the highest completion rate is around 18% — less than 20% of students complete the course.
Means there’s lots of interesting work to do: how can we make online courses more engaging and effective?
Gamify! My current program (Prosperity’s Kitchen) is free — we hold class on Google Hangouts and all the “missions” (aka homework) are hosted on a dedicated website. We’ve got 14 people playing at home in addition to our (now) 12 public contestants. There were 15 public contestants up until a week ago when one team imploded due to a combination of clashing personalities and time zones. But those that are there with us (we’re in week 7 of 13 weeks now) are ALL doing the work. They’re all on track and seeing the benefits of participating fully.
That’s interesting – kinda hard to compare to e.g. Coursera courses that have 10K+ students per course, but I’m interested in the idea that large-scale courses could learn engagement strategies from small-group programs…