An investigation of self-regulated learning in a novel MOOC platform

Journal of Computing in Higher Education(2022)

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Despite the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and the impressive levels of enrolment they attract, many participants do not complete these courses. High drop-out has been identified as one of the major problems with existing MOOC formats. Our work addresses two factors relating to non-completion. Firstly, MOOCs require a high degree of self-regulated learning (SRL) skills but most do not adequately develop such skills, thus making them inaccessible in practice to many. Related to this is the inflexibility and passivity of many current MOOC formats, preventing individuals from setting their own learning objectives and directing their own learning. This paper presents preliminary findings from an investigation into MOOC learners’ SRL skills and the relationship to how participants learn. Following a design science methodology, we have developed a novel MOOC platform to support learner choice and to assist participants in defining learning goals and developing individual study paths. This paper describes the architecture of the system and presents findings from a pilot MOOC developed on the platform. Our results indicate that there is a high demand for more flexible, self-directed learning but that MOOC learners exhibit deficiencies in specific SRL skills including help seeking and task strategies. The contextualised nature of SRL skills means that even learners with a strong background of formal education may not deploy the best strategies for MOOC learning. This work is of significance to MOOC development in general as it highlights the need for targeted strategies to encourage SRL in MOOC platforms and innovation.
Massive open online courses,MOOC,Drop-out rate,Self-regulated learning,Self-directed learning
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