OpenLearning Analytics: MOOCs in the New Academic Year 2018/2019

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Welcome to the first OpenLearning Analytics report focused on the depth and breadth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) adoption in Malaysia.

The report covers the statistics, trends and demographics for a two month period aligned with the started of the 2018/2019 academic year (September/October 2018)  at higher education institutions (HEIs), full-time students and lifelong learners in Malaysia.

Between 1st September and 20th October, over 137,067 Malaysians from public universities, private universities, polytechnics and working professionals, enrolled into MOOC and blended courses offered on the OpenLearning platform.

This shows that there is increasing awareness and acceptance of online education in Malaysia. I’m pleased to share a breakdown of the data:

Malaysian Enrolments Breakdown by Institution Type

01 Sep. 2018 – 20 Oct. 2018

Note: Enrolment numbers in “Others” includes courses created by independent course creators and international universities. Source: OpenLearning – Amplitude Analytics and Back-End Database

Malaysian Enrolments Breakdown by Public Universities

01 Sep. 2018 – 20 Oct. 2018

1Universiti Teknologi MARA26,58430.92%
2Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia17,56420.43%
3Universiti Putra Malaysia15,77818.35%
4Universiti Tun Hussein Onn5,3626.24%
5Universiti Utara Malaysia4,2924.99%
6Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka3,6824.28%
7Universiti Malaya2,5022.91%
8Universiti Malaysia Sarawak2,2862.66%
9Universiti Malaysia Kelantan1,5761.83%
10Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia1,4651.70%
11Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris1,2331.43%
12Universiti Sains Malaysia9971.16%
13Universiti Malaysia Terengganu8030.93%
14Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin6370.74%
15Universiti Malaysia Pahang6190.72%
16Universiti Teknologi Malaysia3000.35%
17Universiti Islam Malaysia2110.25%
18Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia340.04%
19Universiti Malaysia Sabah260.03%
20Universiti Malaysia Perlis170.02%

Source: OpenLearning – Amplitude Analytics and OpenLearning Database

International Enrolments Breakdown by Public Universities

01 Sep. 2018 – 20 Oct. 2018

1Universiti Teknologi MARA1,20629.81%
2Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia85822.21%
3Universiti Putra Malaysia72217.84%
4Universiti Malaysia Sarawak1884.65%
5Universiti Malaysia Kelantan1563.86%
6Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka1503.71%
7Universiti Tun Hussein Onn1453.58%
8Universiti Utara Malaysia952.35%
9Universiti Sains Malaysia771.90%
10Universiti Malaysia Terengganu731.80%
11Universiti Teknologi Malaysia711.75%
12Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia611.51%
13Universiti Malaysia Pahang601.48%
14Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris431.06%
15Universiti Malaysia Perlis360.89%
16Universiti Malaya360.89%
17Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin300.75%
18Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia220.54%
19Universiti Malaysia Sabah110.27%
20Universiti Islam Malaysia60.15%

Source: OpenLearning – Amplitude Analytics and OpenLearning Database

Malaysian Enrolments in Malaysian Public Universities Courses by States

01 Sep. 2018 – 20 Oct. 2018

Source: OpenLearning – Amplitude Analytics

Malaysian Enrolments by Top 10 Courses

01 Sep. 2018 – 20 Oct. 2018

1Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia (TITAS)Universiti Putra Malaysia14,502
2Integrated Language Skill IUniversiti Teknologi MARA8,648
3Kesepaduan & Hubungan Etnik di MalaysiaUniversiti Kebangsaan Malaysia8,125
4Asas KeusahawananUniversiti Utara Malaysia3,129
5Refrigeration and Air Conditioning SystemsUniversiti Teknologi MARA2,519
6Essential Academic EnglishUniversiti Tun Hussein Onn2,119
7Introduction to Fluid MechanicsUniversiti Teknologi MARA2,051
8Information LiteracyUniversiti Malaya1,984
9Introduction to EntrepreneurshipUniversiti Teknologi MARA1,657
10Technology Entrepreneurship (V2)Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka1,320

Source: OpenLearning – Amplitude Analytics

Analysis and Commentary

The data can be looked at in various ways. Including:

  • The new enrolment numbers represent an 72.4% year-on-year increase in  usage of OL’s platform, showing promising growth of demand for online learning among today’s digitally savvy learners.
  • The gap between universities with the highest and lowest enrolment numbers indicates room for growth and more effort to enculture online social learning across the board.
  • Accessing MOOCs via desktop/ laptop (51.2%) slightly edges out mobile (47.2%) as preferred device (with tablets at 1.6%). We foresee mobile usage to grow as education slowly shifts towards ‘mobile first’ learners, as has been highlighted by a number of recent education reports including HolonIQ’s ‘Education in 2030: Five scenarios for the future of learning and talent’. What this means from a teaching and learning perspective is that being able to craft and design content for mobile learners will be key to accessing new student markets and providing quality education experiences in the near future.
  • The geographical distribution of the platform users is nationwide, with most users coming from the states of Kuala Lumpur, followed by Selangor and Kedah. This suggests that:
    • The course providers and subscribers are from different universities
    • There are online learners who are not affiliated to any public university (lifelong learners)
    • Online learners are favourable to courses with high content quality regardless of their geographical location
    • Access remains a challenge to learners from places with fewer HEIs (such as Putrajaya) and internet infrastructure. This will improve as technology becomes more affordable and awareness increases
  • Based on the top 10 courses list, it would appear that blended learning is the preferred approach for educators and learners. Introductory courses also appear quite popular as they enable educators to move more routine and repetitive learning content online and use face-to-face time for deeper learning activities such as problem solving, challenge-based activities and more in-depth discussion. From a teaching and learning perspective, this should allow universities to maximise and better allocate resources in addition to offering revenue generating opportunities.

While an increase in numbers is great, more importantly we believe what matters is the opportunity that our social learning platform is able to provide to our stakeholders. We would like to share the inspiring experience of Dr Tengku Fadilah Tengku Kamalden, former national swimmer and currently a lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), who has built and runs a course on water safety. Launched 1 September 2017, she has been using her course to share practical water safety knowledge with others, both online and at various events.

This year, Dr Tengku Fadilah’s course was featured during an awareness event for school children in Pantai Cahaya as well as at a gathering by the international lifesaving community at NIOSH. She is quoted as saying, “There are just too many deaths. This course is aimed at everyone, especially parents and caregivers who do not have access to water safety training.”

Dr. Tengku has also worked with our team to share a little bit about her course and her reasons for creating it:

We hope this update has shed some light on the progress of Malaysia MOOCs. September and October are usually a busy period for our team to ensure that the new and returning learners are able to have the best experience possible as we continually improve the OpenLearning platform.

More exciting things are to come this year and early next year. We are heartened to see continued growth and support from educators around the country.

Thank you for your support of OpenLearning and MOOCs!

Have a question about any of these statistics? Drop us a line in the comments section below or e-mail us at

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