University passes MOOC milestone

The University of Melbourne has passed the one million enrolments milestone for its massive open online courses (MOOCs) delivered in partnership with Coursera.

The University was the first in Australia to sign up to Coursera in 2012, and began offering an initial seven MOOCs in 2013.

The University now offers 20 courses on the platform, from animal behaviour and the French Revolution to citizen journalism and corporate financial decision making, with enrolments coming from 188 different countries.

The University was also one of the first to join with a global corporate partner on Coursera – the New York based BNY Mellon – to design and deliver a series of Finance courses leading to a distinct subject specialisation.

University of Melbourne Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation) Gregor Kennedy said the University has learned a great deal from its three years on the platform.

“Our involvement in Coursera has been incredibly valuable to the University on a number of fronts, including the development of innovative practices in teaching, learning and assessment, and also research opportunities in the area of learning analytics,” Professor Kennedy said.

“It’s helped encourage many academics across the university to consider the ways in which technology can benefit teaching and learning across the whole institution, and not just in MOOCs.

“It has certainly helped enrich our on-campus course offerings accordingly.”

Data available to the University of Melbourne from the MOOCs delivery has shown:

  • 95 per cent of Coursera learners would rate their experience in a University of Melbourne MOOC as good or very good
  • 94 per cent of Coursera learners would recommend a Melbourne course to someone else
  • Across the three years of coursework, more than two million assessments have been submitted, and nearly 10 million video lectures watched
  • 36 per cent of learners are from emerging economies
  • On average, each University of Melbourne MOOC has participants from 167 countries, making this a truly global educational experience for MOOC learners.

“What originally was started as an experiment by the University has turned into a great success, and we’re incredibly gratified by the number of students our courses have reached,” Professor Kennedy said.