In their paper "The Changing Patterns of MOOC Discourse", Dowell et al. (2017) discuss a new topic of how MOOC participants have changed over time. The authors applied analysis on five studied MOOCs that were run several times with over 59k participants enrolled. The primary analyses focused on identifying the characteristics of MOOC participants discourse features over time. The authors' interest was mainly related to messages in the discussion with the course video transcripts.
The temporal changes in on-topic discussion in the study are shown in the below figure:
While the study does not introduce a clear evidence of how MOOC learners change, there still promises that could show which MOOC topics are attractive than the other despite where and when these MOOCs are hosted.
Dowell, N. M., Brooks, C., Kovanović, V., Joksimović, S., & Gašević, D. (2017, April). The changing patterns of MOOC discourse. In Proceedings of the Fourth (2017) ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale (pp. 283-286). ACM.