Many of the arguments around course completion in MOOCs are, I have argued, category mistakes, based on a false comparison with traditional HE, semester-long courses.
In a fascinating survey taken at the start of the University of Derby’s ‘Dementia’ MOOC, using Canvas, where 775 learners were asked whether they expected to fully engage with the course, 477 said yes but 258 stated that they did NOT INTEND TO COMPLETE. This showed that people come to MOOCs with different intentions. In fact, around 35% of both groups completed, a much higher level of completion that the vast majority of MOOCs. They bucked the trend.
As MOOC audiences are different from traditional HE students and as their audiences change in terms of age, background and moticvation, the more likely MOOCs will have to respond to these new audiences and not mimic University semester courses. The team at Derby have already suggested an alternative set of metrics for measuring the success of a MOOC. They’re right. It’s time to move beyond the boring. Repetitive questions we hear every time the word MOOC is mentioned – dropout, graduates only…..