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


  • goal setting
  • behaviour

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