The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Why Study on a MOOC? The Motives of Students and Professionals

Milligan, Colin and Littlejohn, Allison (2017). Why Study on a MOOC? The Motives of Students and Professionals. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 18(2), article no. 4117.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (489kB) | Preview
URL: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/vie...
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i2.3033
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses have emerged as a popular mechanism for independent learners to acquire new knowledge and skills; however, the challenge of learning online without dedicated tutor support requires learners to self-motivate. This study explores the primary motivations reported by participants in two MOOCs: Fundamentals of Clinical Trials and Introduction to Data Science (n=970). Each MOOC drew a diverse cohort of participants ranging from professionals working in the field to students preparing to enter it. Across both MOOCs, a similar profile of primary motivations emerged, with respondents identifying the potential benefits to their current role, or future career, alongside more general responses reflecting casual interest in the topic or a simple desire to learn. Professionals were primarily motivated by current needs, describing how the course could fill gaps in their formal knowledge, broaden their skillset to increase their effectiveness at work, or enable them to innovate. Professionals also saw the benefit of MOOC study in preparing them for new roles and career progression. Students, meanwhile, used MOOC study to complement their other learning. It is clear that MOOC study represents a popular mechanism for professionals to address both current and future learning needs.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Author(s)
ISSN: 1492-3831
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Professional Learning in MOOCsNot SetBill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Keywords: professional learning; motivation; MOOCs
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Item ID: 49124
Depositing User: Allison Littlejohn
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 15:09
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 08:35
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/49124
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk