Teachers make up about one-third of participants in the massive open online courses offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, according to a new report by researchers at the two institutions.
The report is based on four years of data from the courses, known as MOOCs, on edX, a nonprofit provider of online classes for lifelong learners worldwide, which was started in 2012 by the two universities. They found 32 percent of MOOC-takers said they work (or worked) as teachers. Nineteen percent of the teacher participants said they took an open online course—mainly in humanities, history, religion, design, and education—to learn more about topics they already teach.
Teacher participation in courses ranged from above 60 percent for classes provided by the school of education or those explicitly targeted to teachers, to a little over 20 percent for computer science and some other science courses.
Overall, 16 percent of teachers earned a certificate for the course they took, twice the rate of average MOOC participants.
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2017 edition of Education Week as Teacher Preparation