MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses. There has been access to free online courses on the Internet for many years but the quality and quantity of courses has changed. This has changed the face of education as students can now do free courses at prestigious universities.
In The New York Times article Instruction for Masses Knocked Down Campus Walls, author Tamar Lewin stated, “in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree.”
The emphasis is on the individual though and it’s not clear about completion rates as students could drop out of the courses – they are voluntary.
See this article about MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities