Identifying Learning Activity Sequences that Are Associated with High Intention-Fulfillment in MOOCs

Eyal Rabin*, Vered Silber-Varod, Yoram Kalman, M. Kalz

*Corresponding author for this work

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


Learners join MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with a variety of intentions. The fulfillment of these initial intentions is an important success criterion in self-paced and open courses. Using post course self-reported data enabled us to divide the participants to those who fulfilled the initial intentions (high-IF) and those who did not fulfill their initial intentions (low-IF). We used methods adapted from natural language processing (NLP) to analyze the learning paths of 462 MOOC participants and to identify activities and activity sequences of participants in the two groups. Specifically, we used n-gram analysis to identify learning activity sequences and keyness analysis to identify prominent learning activities. These measures enable us to identify the differences between the two groups. Differences can be seen at the level of single activities, but major differences were found when longer n-grams were used. The high-IF group showed more consistency and less divergent learning behavior. High-IF was associated, among other things, with study patterns of sequentially watching video lectures. Theoretical and practical suggestions are introduced in order to help MOOC developers and participants to fulfill the participants’ learning intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Learning with Meaningful Technologies - 14th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2019, Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication14th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2019, Delft, The Netherlands, September 16–19, 2019, Proceedings
EditorsMaren Scheffel, Julien Broisin, Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, Andri Ioannou, Jan Schneider
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030297367
ISBN (Print)9783030297350
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2019
Event14th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning: Transforming Learning With Meaningful Technologies - The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Center for Education and Learning , Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 16 Sept 201919 Sept 2019
Conference number: 2019

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


Conference14th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning
Abbreviated titleEC-TEL 2019
Internet address


  • Intention-fulfilment
  • Keyness
  • Learning activity sequences
  • MOOCs
  • N-gram
  • massive open online courses


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