Ever consider the benefits of a MOOC for your Institution of Higher Education (IHE)? MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, emerged onto the educational scene around 2011. As they continue to gain momentum, let’s take a look at how you can leverage MOOCs to increase enrollment at your school.
Why Are MOOCs So Popular?
MOOCs appeal to a variety of learners on multiple levels. Many students are drawn to MOOCs because they can try new courses that interest them before enrolling in a degree program. Moreover, you can use this popularity to increase enrollment by:
- Identifying MOOC students who may be interested in your degree programs
- Narrowing down which programs might appeal to them
- Directing these students into your programs through a clear value proposition
By offering MOOCs, you can create a reliable funnel of potential students for your degree-granting programs. Equally important is the access afforded to students in furthering their education with you.
As more non-traditional students enter the higher education arena, schools are tasked with finding new ways to attract and retain these students. Flexibility is often a key consideration for adult learners when choosing a program of study. Correspondingly, the flexibility that MOOCs offer will boost your enrollment by:
- Emphasizing the asynchronous format of MOOCs to potential students
- Encouraging non-traditional students to return to or enter a degree program with a MOOC “starter course”
Extend Your Reach
Now more than ever, schools are competing for students. The emergence of online learning has made a college education more accessible to a wider pool of potential students. MOOCs can increase your marketing reach by enhancing and extending your online presence. All things considered, when your school offers MOOCs on larger digital platforms, you’re likely reaching a new audience. This can help you expand enrollment by:
- Increasing traffic to your school’s website
- Providing information about your school’s degree-granting programs to those new visitors
Through online learning, students have many choices when choosing a degree program. Constraints such as location and availability are a thing of the past. Use MOOCs to make sure students think about your IHE when considering which program is right for them—in essence, the MOOC should bring students to you.
Once a MOOC is up and running, there is very little time (and cost) required to continue offering it. This is time and resources that you can use to focus on recruiting new students who enroll in your MOOCs. Additionally, this can help your school’s enrollment numbers by:
- Offering cost-effective courses to learners
- Creating channels of new students to transition into your degree programs
Take time to consider how MOOCs can enhance your enrollment strategy, so that your school can benefit from this ever-growing trend in online learning.
To learn more, check out this A Pass handout on the benefits of MOOCs and micro-masters courses to an institution of higher education.