The OER Knowledge Cloud makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.
An Analysis of Course Characteristics, Learner Characteristics, and Certification Rates in MITx MOOCs
Cagiltay, Nergiz Ercil · Cagiltay, Kursat · Celik, Berkan

PublishedSeptember 2020
JournalInternational Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Volume 21, Issue 3, Pages 121-139
CountryTurkey, Europe

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), capable of providing free (or low cost) courses for millions of learners anytime and anywhere, have gained the attention of researchers, educational institutions, and learners worldwide. Even though they provide several benefits, there are still some criticisms of MOOCs. For instance, MOOCs’ high dropout rates or predominantly elite participation are considered to be important problems. In order to develop solutions for these problems, a deeper understanding of MOOCs is required. Today, despite the availability of several research studies about MOOCs, there is a shortage of in-depth research on course characteristics, learner characteristics, and predictors of certification rates. This study examined MOOC and learner characteristics in detail and explored the predictors of course certification rates based on data from 122 Massachusetts Institute of Technology MOOCs (MITx) on edX platform as well as data about the 2.8 million participants registered in these MOOCs. The results indicated that as the number of courses offered and the number of learners enrolled increased in years, there was a decrease in the certification rates among enrolled learners. According to our results, the number of average chapters completed, total forum messages, and mean age predicted course certification rates positively. On the other hand, the total number of chapters in a course predicted the course certification rates negatively. Based on these results, shorter and more interactive MOOCs are recommended by considering the needs of the learners, course content design, and strategies encouraging the enrolled students to enter the courses.

Keywords online learning · massive open online courses · MOOCs · MITx

RightsCC BY
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

4698-Article Text-33594-1-10-20200911.pdf · 428.5KB1 download

Viewed by 10 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


Developing self-efficacy through a massive open online course on study skills
Rodriguez, Brenda Padilla; Armellini, Alejandro
Self-efficacy is a strong predictor of academic performance, and an area of interest for higher education institutions. This paper reports on a massive open online course (MOOC) on study skills, aimed at increasing ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs

A study of user participation across different delivery modes of a massive open online course
Sinclair, Jane; Boyatt, Russell; Foss, Jonathan; Rocks, Claire
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are offered by many universities, with hundreds of thousands of people worldwide having registered for one or more of the many available courses. Despite the potential that has been ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs; Europe

An empirical study on users' adoption of MOOCs from the perspective of the institutional theory
Gao, Shang; Yang, Yuhao
MOOC, which stands for massive open online course, has attracted millions of users around the world and it has a promise to be a very important element of future education. However, there is a little research on users' ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs

Teaching Massive, Open, Online, Courses (MOOCs): Tales from the front line
Lowenthal, Patrick; Snelson, Chareen; Perkins, Ross
Very little research has been conducted about what it is like to teach a MOOC. Given this, a mixed methods study, involving a survey of 186 MOOC instructors and 15 follow-up interviews, was conducted to explore the ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs

Student engagement in massive open online courses
Sinclair, Jane; Kalvala, Sara
Completion rates in massive open online courses (MOOCs) are disturbingly low. Existing analysis has focused on patterns of resource access and prediction of drop-out using learning analytics. In contrast, the ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs

How MOOC-takers estimate learning success: Retrospective reflection of perceived benefits
Sablina, Svetlana; Kapliy, Natalia; Trusevich, Alexandr; Kostikova, Sofia
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years as a new learning technology. Since MOOCs inception, only limited research has been carried out to address how learners ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs

Massive open online courses: A review of usage and evaluation
Sinclair, Jane; Boyatt, Russell; Rocks, Claire; Joy, Mike
The massive open online course (MOOC) has seen a dramatic rise in prominence over the last five years and is heralded by some as disrupting existing pedagogy and practices within the education sector, while others are ...
Match: online learning; massive open online courses; MOOCs; Europe

Use of Open Educational Resources: How, why and why not?
Islim, Omer Faruk; Koybasi, Nergis A. Gurel; Cagiltay, Kursat
Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW) target barriers of education and learning by sharing knowledge for free to benefit self-learners, educators, and students. This study aims to investigate the use ...
Match: Cagiltay, Kursat; Turkey; Europe

An examination of xMOOCs: An embedded single case study based on Conole’s 12 dimensions
Kocdar, Serpil; Okur, Recep M.; Bozkurt, Aras
This study intends to examine the xMOOCs offered by one of the mainstream MOOC platforms in Conole’s 12 dimensions. For this purpose, the research employed an embedded single case study using heuristic inquiry to ...
Match: massive open online courses; MOOCs; Turkey

An investigation of faculty perspectives on barriers, incentives, and benefits of the OER movement in Turkey
Can, Gulfidan; Kursun, Engin; Cagiltay, Kursat; Conrad, Dianne; McGreal, Rory
The purpose of this survey study is to investigate faculty’s perceptions of the main incentives, barriers, and benefits to publishing their course materials for free within the open educational resources (OER) ...
Match: Cagiltay, Kursat; Turkey; Europe