The Success Behind Massive Open Online Courses

One of the top-secrets about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is that they are not worthy if you measure effectiveness in terms of completion rates. 20 percent of students completing online courses are considered a wild success while 10 percent or lower is a standard that suggest MOOC is a hobby than a viable alternative to classroom education. Many people argue in favor of the online courses that is a negative sign for people seeking admission in colleges for degree programs. If 100,000 students take a free online course and only 5% complete it, then it is also considered as a significant number.

MOOCs are a mobile target, because they are computerized and networked. MOOC offer ideal medium for measuring what works and what does not work. San Jose State University in California contracted with MOOC developer, Udacity (for-profit educational organization) to create three pilot classes and noted that National Science Foundation agreed to fund research to study the impact of the classes.


Udacity alongside with other MOOC designers is quickly moving away from the video conferencing model to highly interactive model that is based on frequent quizzes and human mentors to provide proactive online support for students. There are indications that highly interactive and personalized feedback of online education may ultimately offer learning structures that cannot be matched by traditional classrooms.

Duolingo, a free web-based language learning system that cultivated out of a Carnegie Mellon University research project is not an example of orthodox MOOC. On the other hand, the system now teaches German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and English, and it has roughly 1 million users, and about 100,000 people spend the time on that site daily. Duolingo business is based on likelihood of using students to translate documents in a crowd-sourced fashion.


Carnegie Mellon University’s computer scientist, Luis von Ahn says that seventy five percent students of the university are outside U.S. (United States), and they have higher completion rate as compared to their American counterparts.

Duolingo was founded by Dr. Luis van Ahn and his students, and it commissioned a study of the effectiveness of the language training system that shows that students may learn languages more promptly online. An average person using Duolingo with no knowledge of Spanish will need 34 credit hours to cover the material for the equivalent of a first college semester; however, number of credit hours for a college language class vary from semester to semester.


The researchers stated: “The main factor for higher effectiveness was the motivation of the participants with people learning for travel gaining the most while people studying for personal interest gaining the least. Another factor for higher effectiveness was some knowledge of Spanish with beginners gaining the most whereas advanced learners gaining the least.

Researchers who have previously conducted studies of the effectiveness of other commercial learning programs such as Rosetta Stone (education technology software company), Auralog (bought by Rosetta Stone) or Berlitz (global leadership training and language education company) began with a sample of 556 students who were using the Duolingo service.


Dr. Luis von Ahn admitted that the results are initial, and researchers found out that it was not possible to generalize beyond the study of Spanish based upon their sample. On the other hand, Dr. Luis von Ahn noted that he has started a longer and more general study with other researchers. Duolingo is attracting 15,000 to 20,000 new users daily, and Dr. Luis von Ahn said that it will expand five times in the upcoming year.

Duolingo is now working to add Chinese to its list of languages with the main focus of teaching English to Chinese speakers. It is revealed that 1.2 billion people in the world want to learn a foreign language, and 400 million of them are in China.


Ibrahim Saleem is a creative writer, and he has experience of long-term in the marketing field as a content writer. Majority of his articles are about education since he likes to guide students. He is currently working in an assignment writing writing firm that provide Custom Assignment Help writing services to students.