First steps towards self-regulated learning: Setting goals in MOOCs

Conde Gafaro, Barbara (2022). First steps towards self-regulated learning: Setting goals in MOOCs. In: Rienties, Bart; Hampel, Regine; Eileen, Scanlon and Denise, Whitelock eds. Open World Learning: Research, Innovation and the Challenges of High-Quality Education. Routledge Research in Digital Education and Educational Technology. New York, USA: Routledge, pp. 63–75.



The unprecedented times that we have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led most teachers worldwide to use technologies that emphasise open world learning to deliver their online lessons, which comply with the existing physical distance measures. The use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), for instance, has been considered to support language learning at a distance. These courses not only represent opportunities for language learners to practise their target language, but also provide challenges for learners seeking to regulate their online learning. The MOOCs’ complex nature calls for more research that examines the self-regulatory processes that prepare and motivate learners to initiate their language learning efforts in MOOCs. Accordingly, Chapter 5 aims to provide a deeper understanding of the forethought processes of goal setting and goal orientation that a group of 19 adult language learners employed during four weeks of engagement with MOOCs as part of their classroom-based language courses. The findings of this chapter, which emphasise the type of goals and difficulties learners have when setting clear targets, may contribute to scaffolding self-regulated learning at a distance and subsequently encourage learners to assume a responsible role towards their language education in which active learning is the new normal.

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