Massive Open Online Courses not a threat to traditional business schools, according to study

Jun 04, 2014 by Amanda Mott
Massive Open Online Courses not a threat to traditional business schools, according to study

(Phys.org) —Data from a University of Pennsylvania study of massive open online courses offered by Penn's Wharton School suggest that MOOCs aren't a threat to traditional business programs, but rather an opportunity to expand to underserved markets. The findings were published today in the Harvard Business Review.

The study is the first of its kind to focus on MOOC participants taking classes. The researchers were Ezekiel Emanuel, Penn's vice provost for global initiatives; Gayle Christensen, executive director of Penn Global; and Brandon Alcorn, Penn Global project manager. They surveyed more than 875,000 enrolled in nine MOOCs offered by Wharton. They found that business MOOCs do not appear to be cannibalizing existing programs but are reaching at least three new student populations: those from outside the United States, especially those in developing countries; foreign-born Americans; and under-represented American minorities.

Seventy-eight percent of individuals who registered for the Wharton MOOCs came from outside the U.S., with about 45 percent hailing from developing countries. By comparison, 45 percent of two-year M.B.A. students and 14 percent of executive MBA students are foreign. Thirty-five percent of all U.S. individuals enrolled in the Wharton business MOOCs are foreign-born. By comparison, only 12.9 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born. Nineteen percent of Wharton's American MOOC students are under-represented minorities compared to 11 percent of students enrolled in traditional M.B.A. programs at nine of the top U.S. business schools.

The study also found that, for the majority of the Wharton MOOCs students, completing an online course is not the most important outcome. Just 43 percent of respondents to a pre-course survey indicated that receiving a certificate of accomplishment was "extremely important" or "very important." The implication, researchers suggest, is that schools should move away from a business model of charging for certificates of completion.

Explore further: Keeping tabs on massive open online courses

More information: The complete study is available online: blogs.hbr.org/2014/06/moocs-wo… eyll-diversify-them/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Probing Question: Are MOOCs here to stay?

Jun 20, 2013

In higher education, 2013 may be remembered as the year of the MOOC. For those playing catch-up, MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are college-level classes taught entirely over the Internet. Like students ...

Keeping tabs on massive open online courses

Jan 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —Is the Internet causing a revolution in education by enabling large numbers of students to take college courses online, at little or no cost, from faculty members at leading universities?

College credit for online courses gains momentum

Nov 16, 2012

The American Council on Education, a nonprofit organization that represents most of the nation's college and university presidents, is preparing to weigh in on massive open online courses - MOOCs, for short - a new way of ...

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

18 hours ago

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

19 hours ago

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

How to teach all students to think critically

19 hours ago

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

Dec 17, 2014

When designing a new car, manufacturers might try to attract consumers with more horsepower, increased fuel efficiency or a lower price point. But new research from San Francisco State University shows consumers' loyalty ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.