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We're beyond TED-talk territory here.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Online college courses at EdX mostly attract people from outside US

About three-quarters of students who take massive free online college courses hosted by the Harvard/MIT platform EdX are from outside the U.S., reports the Boston Globe. The whole MOOC thing is so new that it's hard to say whether this is surprising or not - or whether it's indicative of long-term patterns.

As I noted earlier this year, about two-tenths of one percent of EdX students are from New Hampshire - including me. According to some loosey-goosey back-of-envelope calculations, that is twice the rate of the rest of the world!

From the Globe story: "Only 5 percent of students who registered for courses through the online learning platform edX completed their class and earned certificates, although far more were involved in classes and reviewed much of the material."

That also describes me - I have dabbled lightly or seriously in a half-dozen EdX courses and have yet to earn a certificate, which signifies a passing grade but carries no academic credit. This failure is mostly because I don't want to spend the effort, although it's also because some of the material is over my head - for example, no amount of solo effort would have allowed me to pass 12.340X Global Warming Science. That's not too bad, however, because 14,000 people enrolled, only 10,000 completed the course and only 452 got a certificate!