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Continuous Learning in MOOCs: Insights from Chinese MOOC Learners

Dai, Hai Min (Rita) (2020) Continuous Learning in MOOCs: Insights from Chinese MOOC Learners. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Embargoed until November 2021.


Despite their great potential in democratising education, the effectiveness of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in promoting learning has been constantly questioned due to the well-reported high dropout rates. The current research, structured into three manuscripts, aims to gain more insight into this issue and promote learners’ retention in MOOCs. Multiple data sources from Chinese learners are used to explore the psychological processes underlying learners’ behaviours and validate the proposed hypotheses derived from relevant literature. By modifying and extending the Expectation Confirmation Model (ECM), the first manuscript proposes a research model that includes cognitive and affective variables, captures reflections of the past and expectations for the future, and takes into account both intrinsic and extrinsic motives in the model construction to explain learners’ intention to continue learning a MOOC. Based on the findings of the first manuscript, the second manuscript further explores the role of two rarely examined variables, namely perceived MOOC performance and habit in the development of continuance intention to learn in the MOOC setting. The third manuscript investigates the influence of MOOC learners’ employment status and gender on their learning experiences. Specifically, it focuses on how these two demographic factors might associate with learners’ enrolment motivation and the development of the continuance intention to learn in a MOOC. Each manuscript makes a unique contribution to the theory. The insights derived from these studies can help guide MOOC instructors to improve the learner experience in this virtual environment, MOOC providers to maintain the sustainability of MOOCs, and universities to prepare MOOCs for inclusion in blended classes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Supervisor(s): Teo, Timothy and Rappa, Natasha
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