Analysis of completion and dropout rates in EduOpen MOOCs


  • Katia Sannicandro Dipartimento di Educazione e Scienze Umane - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Digital Education and Learning Analytics Center (DELAC)
  • Annamaria De Santis Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
  • Claudia Bellini Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
  • Tommaso Minerva Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia


The completion rate of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is generally less than 10% of participants. This is due to several factors, many of which cannot be eliminated: spontaneous enrolment, participants’ extreme heterogeneity, self-regulated processes and differences in motivational and cultural profiles. One of the factors that can affect the rate of completing a MOOC is the modality of delivery. The active presence of the
teacher and of other support figures in MOOCs, even where criticality is linked to the number of students and the management of the dynamics present in the online learning environment, can qualitatively and quantitatively affect both the levels of interaction and participation of the users and the completion percentages of the course itself. The MOOCs published on the EduOpen Portal provide two specific methods of use: selfpaced and tutoring. The choice of modality, which is defined in the design phase, “impacts” the structure and timing of the course itself, its learning objectives and the types of teaching resources. Consequently, the levels of interaction and evaluation processes are also “calibrated” in relation to the “presence or absence” of support figures in the online environment. The contribution, starting from the first data generated by the Learning Analytics system of the Portal, focuses on analysis of the percentage of the completion/ dropout rate recorded for the entire group of MOOCs published in relation to the delivery methods defined in the design phase of the various courses. In July 2019 there were 247 courses in the catalogue with more than 55,000 users. The final objective of the analysis is to include in the guidelines for the design of a MOOC the results of this first study.




How to Cite

Sannicandro, K., De Santis, A. ., Bellini, C., & Minerva, T. (2019). Analysis of completion and dropout rates in EduOpen MOOCs. ITALIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, 27–42. Retrieved from