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ERIC Number: EJ1138907
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1492-3831
Why Study on a MOOC? The Motives of Students and Professionals
Milligan, Colin; Littlejohn, Allison
International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, v18 n2 p92-102 Apr 2017
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.
Athabasca University. 1200, 10011 - 109 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8, Canada. Tel: 780-421-2536; Fax: 780-497-3416; e-mail: irrodl@athabascau.ca; Web site: http://www.irrodl.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A