(The extremely low pass rate for free online courses provides some evidence for this.)
The extremely low pass rate doesn't mean a shit. This guy is an idiot. The motivation to pass a course that doesn't cost you anything and is most of the time not required and even recognized is not the same as passing a grade. Many people are just sneaking around at MOOC, and it is perfectly acceptable. They start some course just to see. There is not requirements, verification you are having the prerequisite before enrolling into a course. You just cannot compare MOOC and traditional education on this basis. That is plain stupid and full of bullshit to do so.
Many people are dropping a course in the middle because they have other obligations and there is no consequences to do so. Some others are overbooking courses and then drop those they are less interested in, etc. This behavior is responsible for the low pass rate. And the low pass rate doesn't mean anything in the context of MOOC. Beside that, some MOOC courses are just badly designed. Some teachers are just taking the material they have for the on-campus course and put that on the MOOC and expect miracles without further involvement. They forget the on-campus course give students access to other resources which are key to success. Since they do not provide the same kind of support for the MOOC, no wonder many people are dropping before the end or end up investing more time than they should to complete the course. Those who haven't planned for such level of investment are just dropping or failing the course.