uPenn study confirms low completion rates for MOOCs

December 9, 2013

Preliminary results of a new study on MOOC users provide consistent new data on MOOC completion rates. The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (GSE) study examined results from some 1 million students in various uPennsylvania courses in June 2012 to June 2013. In the course with the highest completion rate, only 13% of the 40,000 enrolled students completed the course. The data show a 4% completion rate across all courses, ranging from 2% to 14%, depending on the course. Across all courses, only half viewed even one lecture within their selected course. The researchers reported that “courses with lighter weekly workloads and fewer assignments had somewhat higher completion rates than those that expected more of participants.” They also explained that the data present numerous challenges because they differ so widely in program type, user, and length. Chronicle of Higher Education | uPennsylvania GSE News Release