Bandwagon effect: Big university names like Harvard, Stanford, Yale etc. are enough to attract the crowd.
Learning from the best: You get to learn from some of the best in the industry. Example: “A Beginner’s Guide To Irrational Behavior – By Dan Ariely” is one of Coursera’s highest-enrolled courses, with the number of registered students exceeding 140,000. Week One: “A Beginner’s Guide To Irrational Behavior”
Dan Ariely is an author of best seller books like Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves.
Course Contents: Most of the courses are designed for absolute beginners and the length of video lectures are maintained at an optimum level to keep you engaging. There are multiple interactive quizzes embedded in the video which are related to the topic you are learning and are fun to answer.
Recognition: Certification from renowned universities can be a big plus for job seekers.
Community: MOOC’s normally have a huge community of learners from different parts of the world which enhances your learning experience.
*** This was originally posted by me on Quora, here is the link to the original answer: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-people-attracted-to-the-courses-in-Coursera-and-edX/answer/Prashant-Gonga ***