Visualization of the Week: MOOC completion rates

Educational researcher Katy Jordan created an interactive visualization using completion and enrollment data from recent MOOCs.

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered through platforms such as Coursera, EdX and Udacity, are arguably helping to fill higher education needs around the world. Educational researcher Katy Jordan noted in a post, however, that “although thousands enroll for courses, a very small proportion actually complete the course.” To take a closer look, she pulled together an interactive visualization to show enrollment numbers and completion rates from recent MOOCs.

Jordan noted that official statistics from the schools are ad hoc at the moment, so she pulled together completion rate and enrollment data from online news stories and blogs. The data in the visualization can be filtered in the drop-down options on the right by platform, completion criteria, university and assessment type.

Users also can click individual points for more data, including university name, course title, dates of the course, percentage of completion and total number of students enrolled:

Most MOOCs have completion rates of less than 10%, Jordan pointed out, and though enrollment numbers can reach 180,000 or more, most classes top out around 50,000. It’s interesting to note that of the schools and courses included in Jordan’s study, the highest percent of completion achieved was just 19.2% in the Functional Programming Principles in Scala class from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Hat tip to Jeff Leek for linking to Katy Jordan’s work.

More visualizations:

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