Interactive visualization tools bring transparency to Harvard and MIT MOOCs

1 min read

Following the release of a series of working papers based on 17 online courses from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered on the edX platform, researchers have made available a suite of powerful open source interactive visualization tools.

The technologies, dubbed Insights, draw upon near real-time, de-identified data of course registrants, dynamically updating at frequent intervals.

Developed collaboratively by Sergiy Nesterko, a research fellow at HarvardX, and Daniel Seaton, a postdoctoral research fellow at MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, the tools showcase the potential promise of “big data” generated from massively open online courses (MOOCs) to help advance learning science.

Harnessing information on 1,055,562 total registrants, the tools provide an intuitive way to review individual courses across a number of metrics, including global enrollment, certificate attainment, gender and age composition, and education levels, all viewable country-by-country on a world map. The tools also feature HarvardX-wide and MITx-wide statistics.