Hardly Anyone Wants to Take a Liberal Arts MOOC


Hardly Anyone Wants to Take a Liberal Arts MOOC

Feb 2, 2016

SCANT INTEREST: Of edX's top five courses of 2015, only one—The Science of Happiness—is unrelated to programming. None involve the liberal arts. It's not for lack of choice, either: 130 of edX's courses fall under "Humanities," and 65 are listed as "Arts and Culture," according to Quartz. The publication also looked at the top 20 courses on Coursera, and the results aren't much different. US News and World Report's first rankings of online degree programs is dominated by professional degrees and schools.

What gives? Why the lack of interest? Coursera president and co-founder Daphne Koller told Quartz that MOOC participants tend to already have undergraduate degrees, so they're looking to develop specific skills. Koller said that these users are seeking an immediate payoff rather than a deepening of their cultural knowledge.

UPDATE: In response to this story, Nancy Moss, edX's Director of Communications, reached out to provide EdSurge with numbers on the nonprofit's liberal arts students. She said that 1.86 unique users have enrolled 4.1 million times in edX's liberal arts courses.

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