How do you achieve a MOOC completion rate of 100%?

In my previous post, I explained how we ran a MOOC for our new learning program, ‘Software Engineer of the Future’, with the aim of upskilling our software engineers in new digital technologies, delivered in a new digital way. At 26%, completion rates for the MOOC were in line with industry standards. However, one part of the organisation succeeded in achieving an impressive 100% completion rate.

How did they do this?

MOOC learning

Marion Kremer, an expert in software engineering and architecture, was in charge of the MOOC for her geographical area. She worked with her local L&D to take our global training initiative and build a local community support mechanism around it. These were the three things they put in place:

  1. Involve the managers of the learners

Marion ensured the managers of those taking the MOOC understood the importance of the program and therefore the importance of allocating chunks of time for them to take the various modules.

  1. Build a local community

Marion and L&D organised a weekly conference call where those taking the MOOC could discuss both the content and the challenges they were facing – and receive help when it was needed. They knew that, even though it was an online course, participants still needed guidance. A subject matter expert and an HR person were on the call each week to support the learners and to help build a local community.

  1. Provide a reward

Learners were given an incentive to complete the MOOC: those who successfully finished it were invited to a Master Class delivered by people who were known locally to be inspirational and fun. Attending the Master Class was regarded as a real reward!

The lesson learned here was that if you want a global training program to be successful, it’s important to work with local teams to ensure they will integrate the initiative in their region.

What actions have you put in place to boost the completion rates of your MOOCs?

One thought on “How do you achieve a MOOC completion rate of 100%?

  1. Marieluise Maiwald

    Hi Steven,
    thank you for these tips and tricks. I am working for Duke CE and with our client Deutsche Telekom we are running a ‘half Mooc – half blended learning’ program called ‘LevelUp’.

    Ways in which we are trying to boost engagement include:
    1. Senior Level sponsorship (in public appearances and videos)
    2. Eliminating ‘free riders’ after each term (and passing these names up to senior management)
    3. A ‘buddy system’, where only the buddy can sign off on progress after the completion of a term
    4. Mentors to enrich and enliven the discussion (virtually and through ‘pod-calls’)
    5. Gamification / Lead Tables and ‘goodie rewards’
    6. Face-to-face offers (after the ‘base requirements’ have been completed virtually)
    7. Interesting conceits, like a ‘Hero’s Journey’ with a week-by-week quest format of discovery
    8. Dramatised future crisis scenarios

    The program is currently getting a lot of media cover both in Germany and abroad. Here are two internal press releases from DT and Duke CE:


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