Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Open2Study MOOCs Research Report

Open Universities Australia have been running free open source courses under the "Open2Study" brand for several months. They have released a series of reports on how the students went.  The latest is "Research Report October 2013" (actually released in November 2013). This 128 report is well worth reading for any educator or university administrator considering running a "MOOC". But it is doing the Open2Study courses a disservice to call them MOOCs.

From March to October 2013, Open2Study had 100,000 students in 32 courses, with a 24% completion rate (much higher than MOOC's 5 to 10%).

While these are free open and on-line, they are much smaller and more personal than the average "MOOC". As touched on in my talk at the Inaugural Student Experience Conference, 4 December 2013 in Sydney, OUA seem to have a good formula for introducing students to higher education.These courses have more of the flavor of a vocational education program, than university, which is not a bad thing.

However, what is not clear is how many of the students who undertake the free Open2Study courses then enroll in the fee paying OUA on-line courses, or conventional on-campus courses of the member organizations. It is not viable for OUA to give away free courses in competition with its fee paying ones.

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