The HarvardX research team launched a “beta” interactive visualization of worldwide enrollment data for HarvardX courses offered via edX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT.

While the data is still being refined, the map gives viewers a sense of the kinds of insights researchers hope to glean with “massive” amounts of student enrollment data. Here are a few examples:

  • American HarvardX students account for less than a half of all HarvardX students.
  • In Africa, Nigeria is the most enrolled country with 11,695 students.
  • Spain has the most students in Europe with 8,820; the second largest enrolled European country is Great Britain with 7,334 students.
  • India is the highest-enrolled country in Asia with over 50,000 students.
  • In South America, Brazil has 10,821 students who registered for HarvardX courses.

HarvardX student enrollment data suggests that the courses are indeed of global interest. A quick look at the tool also points to opportunities to further that reach.

  • The majority of global HarvardX learners come from English-speaking countries. (This is not surprising, as most HarvardX and edX courses are taught primarily in English, with select foreign language subtitles.)
  • Only 4,580, or 0.89% of enrolled students (estimated), hail from China—in spite of its large population of 1.3 billion (over 19% of the Earth.)

These findings, says HarvardX research fellow Sergiy Nesterko, suggest that HarvardX educational content has the potential to be further adapted to different cultures, languages, and student learning goals.

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