Blog: Education by the Numbers

Data analysis of MOOCs shows that many students skip videos

The MIT Technology Review posted, “As Data Floods In, Massive Open Online Courses Evolve,” on June 5, 2013. Writer Tom Simonite reports that both Coursera and Udacity data show that “a large subset of students who prefer to skip videos and fast-forward as much as possible.” Udacity is already restructuring courses to reduce the amount of video and is rerecording old videos.

I would encourage MOOCs to retain videos. But improve the liveliness and humor in them. Pack them with content. The production quality doesn’t need to be fancy. I suspect it’s not that students hate videos per se, but that students hate boring videos.

The big challenge for MOOCs is how to get more people to finish the online courses that they start. Only 10 percent of students complete them now.


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