About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 308-317
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1059

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain


S. Poelmans, Y. Wautelet

University of Leuven (KU Leuven) (BELGIUM)
In a few years time, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have known a remarkable success with millions of participants worldwide. The number of courses is still growing, and so is the number of institutions offering MOOCs. By March 2016, more than 500 universities around the world proposed more than 4200 MOOCs. In 2015, 35 million learners signed up for at least one course, which are about the double of 2014.

Most courses offered are in the field of Business & Management, i.e. 16,8% of all MOOCs. Science (11,3%) and Social Sciences (10,8%) are ranked two and three. Computer Science (9,74%) and Programming (7,44%) are split up, but together they have the biggest share. Coursera was the biggest course provider of all platforms in 2015 with 1497 courses, a market share of 35,6%. The platform with the second most courses is EdX, providing 18,1% of all MOOCs.

Unfortunately, MOOCs can hardly be considered a success story when it comes to the completion rate, i.e. the percentage of people who actually get to finish a MOOC. The completion rate is in most cases less than 10% when taking into account only active students. This low rate is an important argument for faculty members to claim that MOOCs do not withstand the comparison with traditional university programs. However, learners who enroll in a MOOC do not necessarily want certification but might have other reasons for subscribing. Some may just want to explore a topic out of interest or find references to other sources. Others want to increase or refresh their knowledge, or satisfy a personal objective, etc.

Regardless of the motives, studying via a Mooc can be very challenging. Learners need to manage their workload, possess the required background knowledge, and study without the sense of a real community or personal encouragement. Not surprisingly, not all Mooc related studies are positive and some report on learners’ annoyances, negative reviews and complaints.

In this study we use the Self-regulation Learning (SRL) theory as an initial framework to examine the role of students’ motivation and perceived self-efficacy in their perception of the success of Moocs. In order to define success and come to a set of relevant success factors, the motivational concepts from SDT and SRL are mapped into an adaptation of the widespread Delone and McLean Information Success model. The paper examines the results of the validated explanatory model, using an international sample of current active Mooc learners. The findings give an insight into the importance of not only motivational factors but also aso other course-related determinants. Besides the proposition of a re-usable success model, ramifications for future learners and Mooc designers are reported.
author = {Poelmans, S. and Wautelet, Y.},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1059},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1059},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {308-317}}
AU - S. Poelmans AU - Y. Wautelet
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1059
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 308
EP - 317
ER -
S. Poelmans, Y. Wautelet (2016) LEARNERS’ MOTIVATION AND THE SUCCESS OF MOOCS, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 308-317.