There’s been some recent articles about MOOC experiments by french mathematicians, here’s a quick recap, please read the interviews for much more information:
– in the april issue of Gazette des Mathématiciens, an interview of Arnaud Bodin and François Recher, who set up a 6 weeks course (on France Université Numérique) on elementary arithmetics & cryptography (intended level: first-year university students). There were 1400 subscribers, of which 300 actively participated, and 145 mastery certificates were given. Mean age was 30, and most participants had already a degree.
– in the may issue of Statistique et Enseignement, there are three interviews:
— Sylvie Méléard, Jean-René Chazottes and Carl Graham, helped by three graduate students and a programmer, have run a 13 weeks course (on Coursera) on probability (intended level: third year university students). They mention 9600 subscribers, of which 5900 visited at least once, 750 followed everything, 624 posted on blogs/forums, and 250 got an attendance certificate (the course wasn’t offering a certificate of mastery). Quite a lot of american participants even though the course was in french, with a mean age about 30 too, and 60% with at least a masters degree.
— Avner Bar-Hen and Jean-Louis Piednoir have run a 5 week course (on France Université Numérique) on fundamentals of statistics (intended level: about second or third year university students). Both are interviewed separately. 8000 subscribers, no mention of other figures but lots of hands-on remarks.
— finally there’s an interview of Paul Farnet, a recent HEC graduate who cofounded themoocagency.com with recent Polytechnique graduate Aurélien Crocq, that’s a startup offering help to design and run a MOOC.