The number of users who registered for at least one massive open online course last year reached 58 million, up from approximately 35 million in 2015, according to new figures from MOOC aggregator site, Class Central.
The number of students enrolled on a MOOC in China is set to exceed 10 million by the end of 2016, up from 1.5 million just two years ago, a Ministry of Education white paper has predicted. But despite the boom in enrolments and courses, 90% of China’s colleges and universities have not developed MOOC provision.
MOOC platform, FutureLearn, which is owned by The Open University, will be offering programmes, compiled of a series of courses, which will count towards academic and professional qualifications, it has announced.
Career development continues to be a large motivation for students to enrol in MOOCs, meaning demand for credit certification is growing. In response, a number of providers have introduced fees for a handful of course certifications and assessment services.
Leading MOOC platform Coursera has announced it will begin charging students to submit assignments for grading in certain courses, in its latest move to generate revenue from the thousands of free online courses supported by the platform and created by 120 top universities.
Six universities around the world are developing a MOOC credit transfer system that would enable students to gain credit towards their degrees from online courses at other institutions. The aim of the project is to enable students to gain credit for MOOCs taken at any of the institutions involved to count towards a qualification at their home university.
Nearly three-quarters of participants who have completed a MOOC say that the course had a positive impact on their career, while two-thirds indicate academic benefit, according to a recent study of over 50,000 Coursera users who have completed a course.