MIT OpenCourseware is still Wikipedia
The 2010 statistics on use of MIT OpenCourseware are now out. When I see that the average number of visits per visitor is less than 2, my sense is that MIT OCW is still more about looking up a single factoid (like Wikipedia), or trying it once then giving up, rather than a place to return frequently for studying. The blog piece referenced goes on to say that the stats show that people are less frequently downloading whole courses as zip file, and more often looking around. But a page view count of only 5.63 pages per visit doesn’t sound like a lot of exploration to me.
I’d love to see these stats combined with stats on OpenStudy. Is it the case that OCW students grab a bit of information, then discuss it over in OpenStudy? That would be a viable and interesting learning model. But with just these stats, it still doesn’t look to me like MIT OCW is where students go to learn something deeply. Rather, it’s where you look something up, and not often.
Some high-level numbers from 2010:
17.5 M visits
9.6 M visitors
1.82 visits per visitor
98.3 M page views (actually a little lower than last year, but a sign our site redesign is helping folks to find content faster)
5.63 page views per visit