The report presents a comprehensive research of the global MOOCs market based on subjects (technology subjects, business and management subjects, arts and humanities subjects, science subjects, and other subjects) and model (xMOOCs and cMOOCs). The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies such as APAC, the Americas, and EMEA.
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Market driver: rise in regional MOOCs
The English language continues to dominate as the medium of instruction in the MOOCs market. While languages such as Chinese, German and Spanish have existed their prevalence was minimal 2-3 years ago. However, as the learner base expanded and with improved technological solutions, leading players such as Coursera have increased their offerings in other languages as well. Few of the prominent players in regional language MOOCs arena are XuetangX in Chinese language, MiriadaX for Spanish, and Swayam for Indian learners.
According to a senior analyst at Technavio for education technology research, “All the leading players in the MOOCs market, who currently provide over 70% of their courses in English, intend to expand their portfolio in different languages. This is because emerging economies are showing a keen interest in affordable online education. A substantial portion of learners in these potential regions do not have adequate English communication skills, which deter their confidence to interact in learner groups and grasp the pace of lectures. By creating MOOCs in regional languages, vendors intend to overcome these challenges and gain the confidence of this learner group which represents a huge revenue generating opportunity.”
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Market trend: developing economies
An inherent advantage of MOOCs is its ability to attract a huge learner base beyond the traditional college-age student population. Despite numerous challenges related to the quality and credibility of MOOCs, this phenomenon has garnered huge sustained interest from the learner base in developing economies, specifically in non-OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) low-income nations.
Apart from providing general courses that are available for all learners, MOOCs providers are developing and promoting specific courses for this segment of learners, mainly in the areas of entrance examinations and college degree courses. The former assists learners to improve their general level of education and the latter developing their employability prospects.
Market challenge: completion rates
While all the leading vendors are introducing numerous MOOCs at a rapid pace, the issue of persistently high drop-out rates continues to challenge the profitability of many vendors in this market. Conventionally, the course completion rate for technical courses has been less than 15% for most classes irrespective of the course and service provider. Although, the objective of providing knowledge through MOOCs platforms is knowledge sharing and better access to free education, persistent issue of completion rates continues to be a primary concern.
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