By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – MOOCs are massive online open courses, usually offered free of charge, created by faculty of higher education institutions. Participants receive a “statement of achievement” that can lead to college credits. MOOCs are the most exciting, fastest growing innovation in higher education.

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Recently, I described a MOOC on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), delivered by Dr. Anthony Rostain, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and hosted by Coursera. To understand how a MOOC works, let’s check out the data.

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Initially, 26,000 people from around the world looked into the course; 61% remained active in it over 12 weeks. Participants were relatives of ADHD individuals as well as affected adults; non-medical professionals, e.g. teachers, librarians; and people interested in psychology, all in equal numbers.

Through listening to lectures and joining conversations on discussion boards, 2,700 participants received ‘Statements of Achievement’ by completing all the reading assignments and quizzes.

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To learn more on this MOOC, visit