Who Takes MOOCs?

By Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are popular. This much we know. But as investors and higher ed prognosticators squint into their crystal balls for hints of what this popularity could portend for the rest of higher education, two crucial questions remains largely unanswered: Who are these students, and what do they want? Some early inquiries into this by two major MOOC providers offer a few hints. Coursera, a company started by two Stanford University professors, originated with a course called Machine Learning, which co-founder Andrew Ng taught last fall to a virtual classroom of 104,000 students. Coursera surveyed a sample of those students to find out, among other things, their education and work backgrounds and why they decided to take the course.

Inside Higher Ed http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/05/early-demographic-data-hints-what-type-student-takes-mooc

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