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Examining the Impact of social media engagement on students’ motivation in MOOCs

Examining the Impact of social media engagement on students’ motivation in MOOCs

Ripiye, Puna-Rimam (2020) Examining the Impact of social media engagement on students’ motivation in MOOCs. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The rapid development of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) has attracted significant attention. Despite the publicity, one of the major problems is the high dropout of MOOC learners. Many MOOCs attract thousands of learners; thus, it is inevitable that they will have diverse motivations for studying. Therefore, it is important that MOOC instructors design courses that can address varieties of motivations to sustain online learning. The emergence, and widespread use of social media presents MOOC designers with opportunities to use social media to improve interactions. However, there are only few researches on how these engagements on social media affect learners’ motivation and retention in MOOCs. This research aims to close these gaps and answer the question “What is the impact of social media engagement on learners’ motivation in MOOCs?” Mixed methods approaches were used in the study, gathering data via the course platform, questionnaires, social media forum posts and a focus group study on the mobile messenger app, WhatsApp. The research used a MOOC entitled "Entrepreneurship and Innovation" that had been previously offered by the University of Greenwich, London. This was significantly redesigned and bore little relationship to the new version of the same name which ran for five weeks on the Canvas Network platform. The redesigned MOOC used three social media groups. These were advertised on the course platform and students who consented, registered on either Facebook, Google Hangout via webpage links. Those interested in WhatsApp were given a mobile number to join. At the end of the MOOC, the statistical analysis showed that of the 450 students who registered for the MOOC, 289 (64%) participants started the course, and 161 (35.8%) did not start the course; 94 (32.5%) participated in the social media platforms; 195 (67.5%) did not participate in social media and engaged solely via the Canvas platform. The results show that 92.5% of those who engaged in social media started the course while 70.7% who did not engage in social media, started. Completion rate was 24.5% in social media learners and 10.8% in non-social media learners. The qualitative data was subjected to thematic analyses. The qualitative results and the focus group study further revealed that engagement with social media motivated learners to start the course, network, share information, and obtain quick responses. However, others complained of distractions. Thus, this study provides statistical evidence, which shows that using social media to engage MOOC students before the course starts, could enhance course start-up and positively impact on course engagement, retention and completion.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), social media, course design,
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2023 18:10

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