The OER Knowledge Cloud makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.
Exploring demographics and students’ motivation as predictors of completion of a Massive Open Online Course
Zhang, Qing · Bonafini, Fernanda Cesar · Lockee, Barbara B. · Jablokow, Kathryn W. · Hu, Xiaoyong

PublishedApril 2019
JournalThe International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 140-161
CountryUnited States, North America

This paper investigates the degree to which different variables affect the completion of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Data on those variables, such as age, gender, English proficiency, education level, and motivation for course enrollment were first collected through a pre-course survey. Next, course completion records were collected via the Coursera database. Finally, multiple binomial logistic regression models were used to identify factors related to MOOC completion. Although students were grouped according to their preferences, working in groups did not affect students’ likelihood for MOOC completion. Also, other variables such as age, the institution hosting the MOOC, academic program alignment with students’ needs, and students’ intention to complete the course all affected their probability of MOOC completion. This study contributes to the literature by indicating the factors that influence the probability of MOOC completion. Results show that older participants (age > 50 years old) have higher probability of completing the MOOC. Students’ MOOC completion also increases when the MOOC provides experiences that add to students’ current academic backgrounds and when they are hosted by institutions with a strong academic reputation. Based on these factors, this study contributes to research methods in MOOCs by proposing a model that is aligned with the most important factors predicting completion as recommended by the current MOOC literature. For the next phase of assigning learners to work in groups, findings from this study also suggest that MOOC instructors should provide assistance for group work and monitor students’ collaborative processes.

Keywords demographics · groups in MOOCs · intention of completion · MOOC completion · motivation

RightsAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

3730-Article Text-30378-1-10-20190429.pdf · 509.5KB4 downloads

Viewed by 11 distinct readers


The evaluations below represent the judgements of our readers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cloud editors.

Click a star to be the first to rate this document


Exploratory study of MOOC learners’ demographics and motivation: The case of students involved in groups
Bayeck, Rebecca
This paper reports preliminary findings on students enrolled in a massive open online course, who were also assigned to work in groups. Part of a larger study on the effect of groups on retention and completion in ...
Match: demographics; demographics

Socioeconomic status and MOOC enrollment: Enriching demographic information with external datasets
Hansen, John; Reich, Justin
To minimize barriers to entry, massive open online course (MOOC) providers collect minimal demographic information about users. In isolation, this data is insufficient to address important questions about socioeconomic ...
Match: demographics; demographics

Evaluation of the UNED MOOCs implementation: Demographics, learners' opinions and completion rates
Gil-Jaurena, Inés; Callejo-Gallego, Javier; Agudo, Yolanda
The paper is a study about the MOOC experience at the Spanish National University of Distance Education (UNED), where we have collected initial and final information about learners' profiles and opinions, as well as ...
Match: demographics; demographics

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Participant activity, demographics, and satisfaction
Shrader, Sara; Wu, Maryalice; Owens-Nicholson, Dawn; Ana, Kathleen Santa
This paper examines activity patterns, participant demographics, and levels of satisfaction in multiple MOOC offerings at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from August 2012—December 2013. Using the ...
Match: demographics; demographics

MOOCs in Europe: Evidence from pilot surveys with universities and MOOC learners
Muñoz, Jonatan Castaño; Punie, Yves; dos Santos, Andreia Inamorato; JRC-IPTS
Headlines  MOOCs are an important part of non-formal learning for individuals with higher education experience, particularly those who are either unemployed or low earners.  MOOC certificates currently have low ...

Who’s benefiting from MOOCs, and why
Zhenghao, Chen; Alcorn, Brandon; Christensen, Gayle; Eriksson, Nicholas; et al.

The effects of participants’ engagement with videos and forums in a MOOC for teachers’ professional development
Bonafini, Fernanda
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers have emerged as a new wave of MOOCs that provide free professional development for teachers around the globe. These MOOCs for teachers often rely primarily on discussion ...
Match: MOOC completion

Goal setting and MOOC completion
Handoko, Erwin; Gronseth, Susie L.; McNeil, Sara G.; Bonk, Curtis J.; Robin, Bernard R.
Despite providing advanced coursework online to learners around the world, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have had notoriously low completion rates. Self-regulated learning (SRL) frames strategies that students can ...
Match: MOOC completion

Do tutors make a difference in online learning? A comparative study in two Open Online Courses
Heller, Richard Frederick; Chilolo, Edward; Elliott, Jonny; Johnson, Brian; et al.
Two free fully online courses were offered by Peoples-uni on its Open Online Courses site, both as self-paced courses available any time and as courses run over four weeks with tutor-led discussions. We tested the ...
Match: motivation

Understanding learners’ motivation and learning strategies in MOOCs
Alario-Hoyos, Carlos; Estévez-Ayres, Iria; Pérez-Sanagustín, Mar; Kloos, Carlos Delgado; Fernández-Panadero, Carmen
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have changed the way in which OER (Open Educational Resources) are bundled by teachers and consumed by learners. MOOCs represent an evolution towards the production and offering of ...
Match: motivation