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ERIC Number: EJ1070084
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1436-4522
Understanding the Self-Directed Online Learning Preferences, Goals, Achievements, and Challenges of MIT OpenCourseWare Subscribers
Bonk, Curtis J.; Lee, Mimi Miyoung; Kou, Xiaojing; Xu, Shuya; Sheu, Feng-Ru
Educational Technology & Society, v18 n2 p349-365 2015
This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners who subscribed to the monthly OpenCourseWare (OCW) e-newsletter from MIT. Data collection included a 25-item survey of 1,429 newsletter subscribers; 613 of whom also completed an additional 15 open-ended survey items. The 25 close-ended survey findings indicated that respondents used a wide range of devices and places to learn for their self-directed learning needs. Key motivational factors included curiosity, interest, and internal need for self-improvement. Factors leading to success or personal change included freedom to learn, resource abundance, choice, control, and fun. In terms of achievements, respondents were learning both specific skills as well as more general skills that help them advance in their careers. Science, math, and foreign language skills were the most desired by the survey respondents. The key obstacles or challenges faced were time, lack of high quality open resources, and membership or technology fees. Several brief stories of life change across different age ranges are documented. Among the chief implications is that learning something new to enhance one's life or to help others is often more important than course transcript credit or a certificate of completion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A