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Predictors of Retention and Achievement in Massive Open Online Courses: Student Characteristics and Motivation

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Sheraton, Floor: Fourth Level, Chicago VI&VII


Massive, open, online courses (MOOCs) have been touted as an education revolution, but their low retention rates call into question their viability as a means of promoting democratized education for all. Numerous gaps remain in the research literature, particularly concerning the role of motivation. In this study, we used survival analysis to evaluate the predictive validity of educational experiences, student characteristics, and indicators of motivation, including implicit theory of intelligence, in terms of both student retention and achievement. We found that numerous indicators of motivation predicted retention, but only a few were statistically significantly related to achievement. We argue that developers must redesign MOOCs to promote education among those who otherwise lack the motivation to seek out these resources.