Columns 4 through 6 of Table 6 begin to describe the geographical distribution of registrants and certificate earners. The country was located by IP address or, if the IP address is missing, the country was located by the parsed mailing address submitted at initial edX registration, if possible. Column 4 lists percentages of registrants who access course content primarily from the United States, and Column 6 lists corresponding percentages of certificate earners. Column 5 lists percentages from India, the #2 country by enrollment in almost all courses. Figure 10 ranks the top 25 countries by the numbers of registrants in HarvardX and MITx and shows the numbers and percentages of registrants accounted for by these countries. More recent registration data by country and course are available online (Nesterko, 2014).
Table 6. Percentage of registrants with modal IP addresses or mailing addresses from the USA and India (10% unidentifiable), activity statistics for forum posts, and median total numbers of active days, disaggregated by viewed vs. explored or certified registrants.
Figure 10. The top 25 countries, by numbers of registrants, for all HarvardX and MITx registrants. The country was located by modal IP address or, if the IP address is missing, the country was located by the parsed mailing address submitted at initial edX registration. This process estimates countries for 90% of registrations.
Table 7 lists the top 30 countries by the percentage of registrants certified, among the 77 countries with greater than 1000 registrations. The United States is not shown and ranks 55th. Again, certification rates must be interpreted with caution. The relatively low US certification rate indicates more browsing and less certification among US registrants on average. However, registrants are clearly non-representative of countries, and certification rates, as we have argued, are distinct from achievement under conventional conditions. As the Colbert Report example demonstrates in Section I, cross-country differences are due at least in part to the background and interests of the registrants who happen to find their way to the registration page. Nonetheless, these data establish a baseline from which instructors and administrators may set future recruitment and certification goals.
Table 7. The top 30 countries, by certification rate, for countries with registrations > 1000.* Numbers of registrations by country and percentages of total HarvardX- and MITx-wide registrations also shown.