Who Gravitates Toward Free Online Courses The Most?

(WTNH) — Despite the wide variety of subjects and fields online courses offer, not everyone is actually taking advantage of them.  Researchers take a look at who gravitates toward the classes the most.

The New York Times reports a new study found the people most likely to take the online courses were from affluent areas.

The study run by John D. Hansen and his colleagues at Harvard University’s School of Education looked at registration and completion patterns in 68 massive open online classes offered by Harvard and M.I.T.

The results, which were recently published in the journal Science, suggested people who lived in more affluent areas were more likely to register and complete those courses. As the neighborhood median income increased, the likelihood of participation in an online course bumped up by 25 percent.

However, Hansen found the majority of the massive open online class participants are not the very affluent. Hansen even suggests tweaking class design so lower-income people are more interested in the course material.

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