Context counts: How learners' contexts influence learning in a MOOC
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Computers & Education (December 2015)

A learner's current context and role influences overall self-regulation in a MOOC. The contextualisation of learning activities promotes self-regulated learning. Connecting learning in MOOCs to 'real-world' contexts makes learning more accessible. 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.
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