Problems and Challenges faced by MOOC

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) made an appearance in the last decade. They started out as free offerings on online portals. They caught the imagination of learners and trainers worldwide and now they are here to stay. However, it is not as if they do not have their share of challenges and problems. They do. Resources are one of the main concerns. Nothing can be kept free for long. 

In the year 2011-2012, MOOCs platforms like Udacity, Coursera, and edX began to attract large investors, hoping to generate cash and publicity on the ever-expanding student population. Many of these MOOC companies started to seek connections with higher educational institutions. 

The issues faced by majority MOOCs:

  • Low Completion Rates: The typical student enrollment size can range anywhere from 10 to 180k per course. 180k being the extreme high-end while 50k students are registered on average. One of the biggest problems of MOOCs is their completion rates. Only about 10% of the students enrolled in MOOCs are likely to finish a course! The low completion rate signals that most of the MOOC institutions are having a problem with continued student engagement and less clarity in course content.
  • Lack of one on one teaching and interaction: In a class of 50 thousand students, there aren’t too many chances to get a face-to-face interaction with your professor, as you might in a regular college or university. Hence the student is left unguided at times. These leave numerous students frustrated, searching for the answers. 
  • Integrity (Cheating): The lack of one interaction and less clarity in course content can lead to an absence of personal attention via teachers hence leading to a situation where core values such as honesty do not get communicated to students. 
  • No Accreditation: MOOC courses often lack credibility due to lack of accreditation. 
  • Intellectual Property Issues: Many MOOC companies have also raised concerns over intellectual ownership of the content uploaded to their sites.


Even though MOOCs have plenty of issues, this technology helps deliver education to deserving learners in the parts of the world who could not otherwise afford to gain access to the top universities in their respective regions.