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A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021

A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021

Ed Surge

Dhawal Shah
December 28, 2021
In 2021, two of the biggest MOOC providers had an “exit” event. Coursera went public, while edX was acquired by the public company 2U for $800 million and lost its non-profit status.
Ten years ago, more than 300,000 learners were taking the three free Stanford courses that kicked off the modern MOOC movement. I was one of those learners and launched Class Central as a side-project to keep track of these MOOCs.
Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.
In March, Coursera went public on the NYSE, raising $519 million. Since then, its stock price has been steadily falling even though revenue has been increasing. The company is expected to bring in more than $400 million in revenue in 2021. But it has yet to turn a profit, and it is on track to lose well over $100 million.
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