May 24, 2024

Moving From 5% to 85% Completion Rates for Online Courses

Author: Ray Schroeder
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By Amy Ahearn, EdSurge

At Acumen, where I design online courses, we’ve also been offering selective cohort-based programs for the past year that achieve completion rates of 85 percent. That’s a far cry from five years ago, when only 5 percent of the students were finishing the MOOCs I was designing. How have instructional designers collectively moved the needle so dramatically on completion rates? Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest drivers of these improved metrics include making people pay for online programs, increasing the selectivity of courses, and adding program managers and teaching assistants to follow up with learners. However, there are other meaningful interventions that help more students stick with online educational experiences. Here are seven practices for moving completion rates for online courses from 5 to 85 percent:


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