How to design for persistence and retention in MOOCs?

Brasher, Andrew; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick (2016). How to design for persistence and retention in MOOCs? In: MOOCs in Europe (Jansen, Darco and Konings, Lizzie eds.), EADTU, pp. 179–187.



Design of educational interventions is typically carried out following a design cycle involving phases of investigation, conceptualization, prototyping, implementation, execution and evaluation. This cycle can be applied at different levels of granularity e.g. learning activity, module, course or programme.

In this paper we consider an aspect of learner behavior that can be critical to the success of many MOOCs i.e. their persistence to study, and the related theme of learner retention. We reflect on the impact that consideration of these can have on design decisions at different stages in the design cycle with the aim of en-hancing MOOC design in relation to learner persistence and retention, with particular attention to the European context.

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