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User Feedback Survey

Please note the following:

The name of our organization was changed from OCW Consortium (OCWC) to Open Education Consortium (OEC) in April 2014 during our Global Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a result of this change we updated our website. Any references to OCWC were changed to OEC. However, results from our Feedback Survey were already quoted in numerous published articles under OCWC. For this reason, we decided not to amend our results to reflect the organizational name change. You are welcome to reference our results in research reports or publications. The results should be referenced as: OCWC Feedback Survey (2013), with the following link: http://www.oeconsortium.org/projects/surveyresults/Any subsequent survey results will be published under our new name (OEC).  If you have any questions please contact us at feedback@oeconsortium.org.

We launched a survey on our website in March 2011 to collect user feedback. Data was gathered from 1773 respondents from nearly 90 countries.

In addition, we have collected and consolidated user surveys from the OCW Consortium, Tufts University, Education-Portal.com, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-Online) and Delft University of Technology into a user feedback report. The report, which incorporates results from the OCWC Feedback Survey, can be downloaded here.

If you have user survey results that you would like to share, we would like to add them to our open access document repository.

Please contact us at feedback@oeconsortium.org, and we would be happy to add your results to the repository.


OCW Consortium Feedback Survey Data (March 2011 – May 2013)

survey1Source: OCWC Feedback Survey March 2011 – May 2013

Of those seeking OCW materials, nearly half (45%) reflects students currently undergoing secondary or university-level education. The second highest category reflects working professionals (22%), followed by a group of self-learners (19%). Teachers or faculty members form 8% of all the respondents.

survey2Source: OCWC Feedback Survey March 2011 – May 2013

53% of all the respondents are 29 years old or younger, followed by 32% of respondents who fall into the 30 to 49-age category. 15% of the responses represent the 50-year and older category.


Source: OCWC Feedback Survey March 2011 – May 2013

Note: Respondents were allowed to select more than one option so percentages add up to more than 100%

44% of respondents indicate that OCW materials help them with the concepts they are studying. 51% also use these materials for specific projects, or to supplement or even create teaching materials. Of particular interest is the fact that 51% of respondents find OCW materials useful in order to update their skills or knowledge for and at work. In addition, 54% reported having found OCW materials useful for their own interests.

In their responses to “In what ways could OCW be improved” user feedback highlighted mainly the need for better categorization of courses according to subject areas, disciplines and content type in order to improve search-ability of appropriate content, the need for more content in specific subject areas, the inclusion of various types of content such as audio, video, assessment grids or lecture notes not available in some courses, the need for setting up of online communities organized around courses in order to discuss ideas and clarify course concepts, the need for availability of courses and of OCWC site content in multiple languages, the need to consider possibilities for validating learning via OCW courses, and the need for increased awareness about OCW.

Selected user commentary and reflection states:

– Some sort of categorization, based on keywords or whatever (user from New Zealand)

– List courses by subject (user from Canada)

– I would like to be able to find courses in a particular subject that have videos of the class instruction (user from the United States)

– More videos of important courses, especially the diverse topics in Electrical Engineering (user from India)

– It’s better for now but would love to see video lectures in the future (user from Liberia)

– In adding more and more video courses to its archive (user from Algeria)

– Translating the OCW Consortium pages to other languages will be the best improvement (user from Spain)

– The site is only available in English, for a non-native speaker (reader here) is a little more difficult to navigate (user from France)

– The OCW could be improved by translating all the documents in other languages so many other persons could understand easier the documents. The publicity should be greater because not everyone knows about this (user from Mexico)

– I’d like to have a chance to test my learning progress…even if the testing results are only beneficial to what I need to study further, or even re-study.  BTW…I LOVE OCWC.  Thanks so much for being here (user from the United States)

– Providing some sort of online certifications, exams and other qualification credentials (user from Pakistan)

– Option to take a test and some kind of accreditation (user from the United Kingdom)

– Very simple, provide proper certification with the courses for nearly free. HR in a business environment doesn’t take anything less than a certificate… OCW is a beautiful way to develop yourself but needs a sign to relay that part to others (user from the Netherlands)

– Easy access to become certified with you through your members (user from Pakistan)

– Certification program, wiki materials, community spaces of interaction (user from Colombia)

– I would like to have more interaction with other students and even teachers (user from Brazil)

– You may already have this and I just haven’t found it yet, but I would love to be able to connect/chat with other self-learners (user from the United States

– It is outstanding the way it is! I think you are aware of the need to provide forums, so that self-learners can interact with one another. It would be great, if even more of that was available online (user from the United States)

– By creating OCW forum for OCW users (user from Iran) 

-This is an amazing initiative or project. It could be more visible and known. It’s a global school. Would you plan to give certificate to those who successfully finish a project? I know this is a supplemental project but this would mean a lot to people from disadvantaged background (user from Turkey)

– Certifications of some sort (user from France)

Thanks to OCW for democratizing education, just as a suggestion OCW can be improved by making courses available to more people by translating those courses in more languages and by awarding certificates of completion and diplomas at an affordable cost (user from Burkina Faso)

– By giving more courses and materials with certificate (user from Bangladesh)

– OCW is not well known to some people who are in really need, so advocacy of OCW to be promoted (user from Tanzania)

– Make people more aware of this site. Most of us are unaware of this site despite being Internet savvy (user from the United Kingdom)

Thank you to all who responded to our survey. We will be conducting follow-up interviews with respondents to our survey within the next few months in order to explore emerging themes from the survey results in more depth.

If you have any questions about the results above please send an email to feedback@oeconsortium.org