Context counts: how learners' contexts influence learning in a MOOC

Nina Hood*, Allison Littlejohn, Colin Milligan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    150 Citations (Scopus)
    304 Downloads (Pure)


    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) require individual learners to self-regulate their own learning, determining when, how and with what content and activities they engage. However, MOOCs attract a diverse range of learners, from a variety of learning and professional contexts. This study examines how a learner's current role and context influences their ability to self-regulate their learning in a MOOC: Introduction to Data Science offered by Coursera. The study compared the self-reported self-regulated learning behaviour between learners from different contexts and with different roles. Significant differences were identified between learners who were working as data professionals or studying towards a higher education degree and other learners in the MOOC. The study provides an insight into how an individual's context and role may impact their learning behaviour in MOOCs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-91
    Number of pages9
    JournalComputers and Education
    Early online date28 Oct 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


    • MOOCs
    • adult learning
    • self-regulated learning
    • online learning


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