Harvard and MIT release data on MOOC users

June 3, 2014

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released data on more than a million MOOC users. It is hoped that the data—carefully scrubbed of any identifying information—will help researchers identify best practices in online learning. The dataset includes information from 16 HarvardX and MITx courses from 2012–13. Co-lead researchers Andrew Ho and Isaac Chuang have already released a working paper and visualization tools to help researchers work with the data. They hope that sharing the dataset will not only shed light on effective online education, but demonstrate a privacy model that will inform further edX data releases. “By sharing these de-identified data, we hope to show that we can protect information about individuals while still enabling replicable research about what works in online learning,” said Ho, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Co-chair of the HarvardX Research Committee. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | MIT News