With the establishment of Coursera, edX and Udacity, MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) becomes a popular trend since early 2012. Also in this year, MOOC witnessed a great development in China, having around 22 thousand users registered. MOOC in China has its domain name “Guokr” which is a combination of courses offered by many e-learning platforms like Coursera. Since MOOC courses are free and deliver elite education to ordinary people, it is regarded as a revolution to traditional higher education model. Discussions after MOOC class are more heated. There are well-designed homework and exams to ensure the quality of teaching.
Specifities of MOOC
Learning platforms such as Cousera, edX, Udacity have some common features. First, there are no time or space limit for attending but a deadline for homework and exams. Second, course content are delicately designed considering students` receptive ability. Third, the platform usually provides quizzes, automatically graded questions, grading writing assignments and classroom projects for assessment. Fourth, online forums, social networks and video conferencing help build a lively learning environment.
Potential of MOOC market in China
Development of learning education in China
In Chinese university, there are over 35 million potential high-level learners, including 24 million full-time university undergraduates, 5.8 million students for continuing education and 5.7 million students for online education (National Bureau of Statistics in China, 2013). If we do an accumulation of undergraduates and graduates (white-collars now) in the past decade, the sum is around 266 million.
However, if we take Coursera, the largest MOOC course provider, for estimation, we can find a great difference between the number of potential learners and the number of active MOOC users. Till Jan 2014, there are more than 22 million students worldwide at Coursera. This figure is 12.5 times the sum 1.76 million in Novermber 2012. Supposing the increase rate of student numbers is the same in China. The number of Chinese users should be 920 thousand (4.2% of the worldwide registered students).
Student market in China
According to National Bureau of Statistics of China, from 2003 to 2012, the number of students in higher education institutions doubled. Till 2012, the increase rate of student numbers turns to be stable. This indicates China`s university entry mechanism tends to be mature and it is a period of revolution when more effective teaching methods should be applied. This change gives chance to rising education agencies. According to the record in Mar 2014, on MOOC China, the number of coming courses is 180, including 66 held by Coursera, 48 by Open2Study, 11 by edX. And there are 360 more courses waiting to be scheduled. The large amount of offer hints the potential demand for courses. The explosion of this MOOC market is expected in the next decade.
Sources : market report in China