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Since joining nonprofit online learning consortium edX and forming DartmouthX in 2014, Dartmouth has produced seven massive open online courses (MOOCs) through the platform and reached 75,000 learners. So just who participates in these massive online courses? Enrollment data from the recent DartmouthX offerings reveal some interesting statistics.
Introduction to Environmental Science, offered in January 2014 by Professor Andy Friedland of the Environmental Science Department, enrolled more than 13,000 individual learners from 178 countries around the world, with the largest representation (31%) of learners from the United States. The median age of learners was 30, with more than half of all enrolled learners between the ages of 26 and 40.
Introduction to Italian Opera, offered in October 2015 by Professor Steve Swayne of the Music Department, enrolled over 9,000 learners from 143 countries globally. Among these, the largest group (37%) were from the United States. The median age of learners was 34, with learners distributed fairly evenly across generations—24% of learners were ages 25 and under, 36% were ages 26-40, and 38% were ages 41 and over. Just over half (57%) of learners were female, and over three-quarters hold a college degree or higher.
The American Renaissance: Literature of the 19th Century, a course offered in February 2016 by Professors Don Pease and Jed Dobson of the English Department, enrolled a total of 4,239 learners from 121 countries. Learners from the United States again made up the largest group at 31% of total enrollments. The median age was 30 with a distribution skewed slightly younger than the Italian Opera course: 35% were ages 25 and under, 35% were ages 26-40, and 29% were ages 41 and over. A total of 63% of learners in the American Renaissance course were female, and 72% held a college degree or higher.
Engineering of Structures Around Us was offered in Summer 2016 by Thayer School of Engineering Instructional Associate Professor Vicki May. The course enrolled 17,300 learners from 177 countries, including 21% of learners from the United States, 12% from India, and 4% from Brazil. The median age of learners was 26.