Understanding the Decision to Enroll in Massive Open Online Courses
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The prevalence of high-paying, stable jobs for low skilled workers has declined over the past few decades. As a result, individuals lacking marketable job skills may be less likely to succeed in the workplace. Given this circumstance, massive open online courses (MOOCs) could offer a viable means of developing in-demand job skills. However, MOOCs do not appear to attract the individuals who stand to benefit the most from enrolling in them. Therefore, the purpose of the current research is to understand the factors leading individuals to enroll in a MOOC. To date, research has focused primarily on participant demographics, with little attention given to the psychological process behind enrolling in a MOOC. Thus, we conducted an empirical study to determine the psychological process underlying an individual’s decision to sign up for a MOOC. The results indicate that participants were more likely to sign up for a MOOC if they had the intention to do so. We found that the intention to sign up for a MOOC was impacted by competing demands, perceived skills gap, value perceptions, and expectancy perceptions. That is, participants were more likely to intend to sign up if they perceived a gap in their job skills, perceived value in taking a MOOC, and had high expectancy in their ability to successfully complete a MOOC. Additionally, there was a negative relationship between competing demands and expectancy. Overall, this research has both practical and theoretical implications, including informing interventions to encourage under-skilled workers to pursue career advancement via MOOCs.
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Sarah Towers (2021). Understanding the Decision to Enroll in Massive Open Online Courses. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17551