MOOCs: A Qualitative Study of Online Education and Student Motivation

Nancy Gov

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) phenomenon is trending towards greater openness in terms of access and scalability in higher education. MOOCs are operating in a wider context of open access, online learning and economies of scale, which has many possible implications for higher education institutions especially with the changes that are currently occurring within higher education during a time of constrained budgets and globalization of education. How innovative are MOOCs? Are MOOCs here to stay? Over the years, there has been a significant change in societal adoption of Internet technologies. Technology has always been an ally for students wanting to pursue education, allowing students to pursue certificates and even degrees without formally going to a physical classroom. This thesis will make use of motivational theories and experience economy theories in order to examine the MOOCs phenomenon from the perspective of actual students of Coursera (the largest MOOC platform) to study student motivation. Additionally, the current operating landscape of MOOCs will be described including major MOOC providers as well as controversy surrounding MOOCs. In conclusion, this qualitative study will discuss the relevance of MOOCs and possible directions for future research. Keywords: MOOCs, online education, motivation, experience value.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages153