Examining learners’ perspective of taking a MOOC: reasons, excitement, and perception of usefulness

M. Liu, J. Kang, E. McKelroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, massive open online Courses (MOOCs) as an online instruction format have attracted educators’ attention in higher education. While there are many news reports and blog entries about MOOCs, evidence-based research is still emerging. Research examining the learners’ perspective on taking a MOOC is scarce but very much needed. This study, using both quantitative and qualitative data, investigated participants’ reasons and excitement levels to take a MOOC and their perception of the usefulness of the course. The findings indicated that the majority of the participants were working professionals who sought to get opportunities and resources for their career development without the constraints of their geographical locations and time. Flexibility of the course schedule, credibility of the instructor, and quality of the materials are important factors for these individuals. The findings highlighted the importance of good pedagogies regardless if the platform is a MOOC, face-to-face, or other online formats; the hands-on nature was the most helpful aspect of this MOOC. The findings also showed that course design is important as difficult navigations and not-so-intuitive interface affected participants’ learning experience and perception of the course negatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-146
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Media International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • excitement
  • learners’ perspective
  • MOOCs
  • perception of usefulness
  • reasons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication


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