Massive open online courses saw great growth in 2015, and according to new data from Reportlinker, more demand for this affordable education option means more growth.
Driven by increased platform connectivity and device-based computing adoption, as well as the emergence of online and collaborative learning and technology personalization, Reportlinker estimates the MOOC market to grow by nearly $7 billion by 2020.
Here’s a look at where MOOCs fared last year by the numbers with data collected by Class Central:
35 million: total number of students who signed up for at least one course.
1,800: number of new courses announced.
10 percent: how much computer science and programming classes grew in 2015. In general, many MOOC providers and university partners offered more courses covering skills that are at a premium in the technology and business fields.
75 percent: the amount of courses available in English, which is a decline from 2014, when 80 percent of courses were English language.
- 2,200: courses offered for the first time.
Class Central Founder and CEO Dhawal Shah offered a few standout trends including:
Self-paced courses are getting a boost. About half of all courses listed on Class Central don’t have a start date per se, which indicates a growing trend toward customer-friendly services. Users can choose when they begin and end a course with less concern about when a hot-ticket class will be offered again. More than 800 self-paced courses exist in the MOOC market, and that number is only getting larger.
MOOC providers are realizing their value. No longer are MOOC providers offering free certificates. At Coursera, the average course is $56; at edX, it’s $53. Further, Coursera is putting up a paywall for graded assignments for some courses. These days MOOC providers are creating their own credentials and as a result, a new source of income.
There is more intentionality amid course offerings. MOOC providers are intentionally playing in spaces where learners have proven they are a captive audience, offering more tangible acknowledgement of student engagement via credentials and credits.
Given these trends, learning leaders should be aware that as the demand for MOOCs increases, so will the price tag associated with them.
“In 2016, we can expect to see a lot more credentials and credits,” Shah wrote in edSurge.com post. “But as MOOC providers try to aggressively monetize, early adopters may find that critical components of the learning experience will no longer be free.”
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