Goal Setting and Striving in MOOCs: A Peek Inside the Black Box of Learner Behaviour

Maartje Henderikx*, Marco Kalz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


    Reaching goals can be challenging, especially if they are not in the near future like with learning in MOOCs. The aim of this explorative study was to get insight in this goal achievement process, which can help to understand learner behaviour. Two research questions were examined namely: (1) what goals do learners set, and do they succeed in reaching these goals? and (2) how does the course of action of several learners look taking Gollwitzer’s Rubikon model of action phases as a guideline? We found that even though learners did not achieve the goals they set, they were still generally satisfied with the knowledge they gained. In addition, learners went more or less intuitively through the theorised action phases, yet typically did not take the time to deliberately plan (before the start) and evaluate (after finishing) their learning process. This insight can serve as starting point for developing supporting tools for learners and personalised dashboards, which can offer the tools at appropriate times in a learner’s course of action.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDigital Education: At the MOOC Crossroads Where the Interests of Academia and Business Converge
    Subtitle of host publication6th European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, EMOOCs 2019, Naples, Italy, May 20–22, 2019, Proceedings
    EditorsMauro Calise, Carlos Delgado Kloos, Justin Reich, Jose A. Ruiperez-Valiente, Martin Wirsing
    Place of PublicationCham
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030198756
    ISBN (Print)9783030198749
    Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2019
    Event6th European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit - Congress Center of the University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
    Duration: 20 May 201922 May 2019
    Conference number: 6

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    Other6th European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit
    Abbreviated titleEMOOCs 2019
    Internet address


    • MOOCS
    • behaviour
    • goal setting


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