TIME FOR A CENSUS: Once upon a time, there was a city with 1.7 million residents. Its citizens were overwhelmingly young, male, and well-educated, with an average of 2,200 people moving to the city each day. But urban planners faced a conundrum: How could they make their city more attractive to different demographics, and what could entice new residents to explore suburbs outside of the hip, central neighborhood of Computer Science?
Yes, that city is the land of MOOCs, according to an extended metaphor in a new report from Harvard and MIT. The two universities analyzed trends in 68 MOOCs offered on the edX platform, providing data around questions of learner diversity, completion rates, and how to popularize MOOC material beyond Computer Science, which, with just nine out of 68 courses, commands over half of those enrolled in the classes.