If 1% of sign ups complete the course .. that's still 5800 people. Which is pretty good reach. And then add in all the people who didn't complete, or look at the materials afterwards, or who are otherwise affected by the project... These people don't have enough drive to get the full benefit, but they do get some benefit for sure.
And if 0.1% complete the course, that's 58 people. Despite what you may have heard, there are numbers less than 1%. Many people who buy advertisements in publications with, say, 100000 readers have learned this lesson the hard way.
"there are numbers less than 1%"
WTF!?! Hmmm, all the online marketers I know are going to be very disappointed about this news. LOL.
btw, just worked my way through your ROR tutorial - thanks for YOUR contribution to online learning. A big reason I am signing up for the Stanford courses is because of the great fun I had working my way through your Rail Tutorial. Online learning is awesome!