MOOC hype dies down, but enrollment continues to grow

Coursera, edX dominate the market

The hype surrounding MOOCs may have died down, but the courses remain popular with students, according to a new report.

The number of students who registered for MOOCs in 2015 is nearly equal to those did so over the last three years—combined, according to the report from Class Central, a MOOC aggregator. 

In 2011, fewer than 10 MOOCs existed. It wasn't until 2012 that there were more than 100 industrywide, but now there are nearly 4,000.

"It's the novelty of the technology that people talk about initially," says Richard DeMillo, director of Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for 21st Century Universities. "If there's value that's going to be provided, there's a slow and steady buildup. That growth curve tells you volumes about the number of people that are seeing value."

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And most of that growth is showing up in business, management, and introductory statistics and computer science classes.

It is also concentrated in Coursera and edX offerings. Coursera offers 34% of MOOCs while edX offers 17%. The next largest platform,, accounts for only 7%.

And the big two will likely continue to grow, according to Class Central founder Dhawal Shah.

"Credentials are what will be more sustainable," he says. "That's what the big providers feel. A lot of the new courses that are coming up are part of a credential. They're not just random courses; they are part of something bigger" (Wexler, "Wired Campus," Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/19).

Thoughts on the story? Tweet us at @eab_daily and let us know.

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