Students’ and instructors’ use of massive open online courses (MOOCs): Motivations and challenges
Khe Foon Hew, Faculty of Education, Hong Kong ; Wing Sum Cheung, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Educational Research Review Volume 12, Number 1, ISSN 1747-938X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are among the latest e-learning initiative to attain widespread popularity among many universities. In this paper, a review of the current published literature focusing on the use of MOOCs by instructors or students was conducted. Our primary goal in doing this is to summarize the accumulated state of knowledge concerning the main motivations and challenges of using MOOCs, as well as to identify issues that have yet to be fully addressed or resolved. Our findings suggest four reasons why students sign up for MOOCs: the desire to learn about a new topic or to extend current knowledge, they were curious about MOOCs, for personal challenge, and the desire to collect as many completion certificates as possible. Up to 90% drop out due to reasons including a lack of incentive, failure to understand the content material and having no one to turn to for help, and having other priorities to fulfill. Findings suggest three main reasons why instructors wish to teach MOOCs: being motivated by a sense of intrigue, the desire to gain some personal (egoistic) rewards, or a sense of altruism. Four key challenges of teaching MOOCs are also surfaced: difficulty in evaluating students’ work, having a sense of speaking into a vacuum due to the absence of student immediate feedback, being burdened by the heavy demands of time and money, and encountering a lack of student participation in online forums. We conclude by discussing two issues that have yet to be fully resolved – the quality of MOOC education, and the assessment of student work.
Hew, K.F. & Cheung, W.S. (2014). Students’ and instructors’ use of massive open online courses (MOOCs): Motivations and challenges. Educational Research Review, 12(1), 45-58. Elsevier Ltd.
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