More than 64% of people around the world claim to have taken part in a MOOC, according to a study carried out by the European Commission.
The ‘Report on Web Skills’ survey aimed to identify the web skills which are most in demand and evaluate whether or not these are being covered by the current supply of MOOCs. It was completed by over 2,800 respondents from 121 different countries.
The majority of the respondents were already aware of what a MOOC is. Three out of four knew what a MOOC was, with the majority of respondents looking to advance web skills as a main priority.
Most of the students taking the survey were interested in acquiring or improving specific skills, including HTML5, Android, Java Script, and CSS. The preferred platforms were iversity (65%), Coursera (43%), and edX (22%).
A third (34%) of industry professionals regard MOOCs as the most suitable learning opportunity for web skills, outranking all other forms of vocational training, on-site higher education and on-the-job training.
The survey revealed however, that online learners reported having difficulties finding the courses that suit their needs, despite 77 web design courses currently available throughout Europe.
This could, in part, be down to providers struggling with the amount of resources required to develop and deliver MOOCs. MOOC providers also expressed concerns about high cost, quality assurance and institutional culture.
"Europe needs to catch up on building web talent that suits market needs,” said Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. “Our study shows that due to their reach and their wide acceptance, MOOCs are likely to become the first choice in delivering web skills to European learners.”
The European Commission aims to create an active community of universities and business schools to encourage the use of MOOCs for fostering web talent in Europe.