How do gender, learning goals, and forum participation predict persistence in a computer science MOOC?

R. Wes Crues, Genevieve M. Henricks, Michelle Perry, Suma Bhat, Carolyn J. Anderson, Najmuddin Shaik, Lawrence Angrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)-in part, because of their free, flexible, and relatively anonymous nature—may provide a means for helping overcome the large gender gap in Computer Science (CS). This study examines why women and men chose to enroll in a CS MOOC and how this is related to successful behavior in the course by (a) using k-means clustering to explore the reasons why women and men enrolled in this MOOC and then (b) analyzing if these reasons are related to forum participation and, ultimately, persistence in the course. Findings suggest that women and men have different reasons for taking this CS MOOC, and they persist at different rates, an outcome that is moderated by forum participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalACM Transactions on Computing Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2018



  • Android app development
  • Forum participation
  • Gender gap
  • Learning goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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