Improving learners' inclination to complete online courses: motivation and engagement factors

Chaw, Lee, and Tang, Chun Meng (2018) Improving learners' inclination to complete online courses: motivation and engagement factors. In: Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on e-Learning. pp. 90-98. From: ECEL 2018: 17th European Conference on e-Learning, 1-2 November 2018, Athens, Greece.

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Many learners born in and after the 1990s would be familiar with some form of digital technology. Labelled as digital natives, they are competent in searching the Web for information, communicating on social media, streaming videos and songs, and using application software. Considering that these digital natives have a high level of digital literacy, does it mean that they are more receptive to learning in digital environments over learning in physical classroom environments? Digital technology has enabled learning in ways that are beyond physical classrooms. Today, learners have access to courses on such massive open online course (MOOC) platforms as Coursera, edX, Udacity, Udemy, etc. These online courses, accessible for free or at a nominal charge, allow learners high course access flexibility at a time and place convenient to them. This study supposes that having high digital literacy is not sufficient to drive learners to undertake, and ultimately, to successfully complete such online courses. Instead, learners must be motivated to engage in learning activities to successfully complete these courses. Adopting the Motivation and Engagement Scale (MES) by Martin (2007, 2009), this study collected responses from university students to examine whether positive motivational thoughts (i.e. self-belief, valuing, and learning focus) alter positive engagement behaviours (i.e. planning, task management, and persistence); whether negative motivational thoughts (i.e. anxiety, failure avoidance, and uncertain control) alter negative engagement behaviours (i.e. self-sabotage and disengagement); and how positive or negative engagement behaviours affect learners' inclination to complete online courses. Findings show that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between positive motivation and positive engagement, between negative motivation and negative engagement, and between positive engagement and inclination to complete. However, the relationship between negative engagement and inclination to complete was statistically not significant. Findings of this study can be useful to MOOC providers and learners in their effort to develop strategies to improve completion rates of MOOCs.

Item ID: 56098
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-912764-07-5
Keywords: digital technology, engagement, inclination to complete, massive open online course, motivation
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Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 03:53
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390399 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 40%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 20%
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390405 Educational technology and computing @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930502 Management of Education and Training Systems @ 50%
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