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Running head: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS ATTENTION AND


COMPLETION RATE IN MOOCS

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNERS ATTENTION AND COMPLETION RATE IN


MOOCs

Farraj Alshehri & Ali Saghir


ETR 522 Spring 2017

Northern Illinois University


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Table of Contents
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNERS ATTENTION AND COMPLETION
RATE IN MOOCS 1
INTRODUCTION 3
PROBLEM STATEMENT 4
PURPOSE OF RESEARCH 7
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 7
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY 7
LIMITATIONS 8
DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS 8
COMPLETION RATE IN MOOCS 8
ARCS MOTIVATIONAL MODEL AND MOOCS COMPLETION RATE 10
KELLERS MOTIVATION THEORY 12
METHOD 14
DESIGN OF THE STUDY 14
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES/ HUMAN SUBJECT COMPLIANCE 14
SETTING 15
PARTICIPANTS AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE 15
RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES 15
VARIABLES 15
INSTRUMENTATION 15
VALIDITY 16
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS PROCEDURES 16
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 17
REFERENCES 18
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Introduction

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are attractive to many researchers due to their

modernity and proliferation (St. Clair, Winer, Finkelstein, Fuentes-Steeves & Wald, 2015).

MOOCs are online courses that are free for everyone to enroll in and usually have a large

number of registered students (Li, 2015, p. 28; Masters, 2011). Comparing MOOCs to the

traditional learning environments, massive indicates the huge number of students who can

enroll in the online courses. Open refers to online courses that are not confined to certain

students or organizations. Online involves all web courses that are provided through the

Internet, and courses consist of content and activities that are provided by institutions and

shared between the instructors and students (Li, 2015). In addition, MOOCs are divided into

cMOOCs and xMOOCs. The c in cMOOCs refers to the connectivism theory. Specifically, the

cMOOCs concept is known as a huge network of connected people and resources, within which

each learner can plot their own course where learning is concerned (Clar & Barber, 2014, p.

189). Alternatively, the x in xMOOCs refers to the term extended. xMOOCs are more

traditional, content based, and more closely resemble traditional educational models (El-

Hmoudova, 2014, p. 30). Because xMOOCs can accommodate more learning experiences and

are more organized than cMOOCs (OToole, 2013), with components like auto-graded

assignments with deadlines and programming exams, xMOOCs are growing quickly and are

provided by many institutions such as Coursera, Edx, and Udacity (Li, 2015). Recent research

that has focused on xMOOCs includes contributions from: (Adamopoulos, 2013; Brahimi &

Sarirete, 2015; Jordan, 2014; Mackness, Waite, Roberts, & Lovegrove, 2013; Najafi, Evans, &

Federico, 2014; Perna, Ruby, Boruch, Wang, Scull, Ahmad, & Evans, 2014; Zutshi, OHare, &

Rodafinos, 2013). This proposed study seeks to add to the discourse of these scholars.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Problem Statement

Regardless of the reasons that make learners enroll in MOOCS, such as being interesting

or entertaining, MOOCs have been hampered by very high dropout rates (Adamopoulos, 2013),

especially when compared to traditional classes (Li, 2015). Thus, although there are a huge

number of registrants in MOOCs, their course completion rates are very low. Moreover, these

completion rates range between 5% and 12% of registrants, regardless of when the students were

considered as having completed a course, such as if they attended 50% or 100% of a MOOC

(Haber, 2014; Ho, Reich, Nesterko, Seaton, Mullaney, Waldo, &Chuang, 2014; Koller, Ng,

Chuong, & Chen, 2013; Perna, Ruby, Boruch, Wang, Scull, Ahmad, & Evans, 2014).

In the scholarly literature, because motivation certainly impacts students learning

(Cheng & Yeh, 2009; Keller, 1984, 2000; Malik, 2014), lack of motivation is one of the major

factors that cause the decreasing completion rates of MOOCs (Huang & Hew, 2010; Perna et al.,

2014). Also, Adamopoulos (2013), Jordan (2014), and Perna et al. (2014) asserted that the lack of

motivation eventually led students to drop out of their MOOCs. Thus, further research that

embarks on an assessment of learners motivation in MOOCs and the relationship between

motivation and completion rate may aid the development of future MOOC designs, and

hopefully reduce their high dropout rate.

Due to the aforementioned problems, this proposed research study wishes to assess the

relationship between learners attention and completion of MOOCs, thus, address the dilemma of

low MOOC completion rates, as well as help strengthen MOOC design to engage students and

enhance their motivation to complete MOOCs. The ARCS motivation model will be used as a

framework in this study. Additionally, it is hoped that the study enriches the scholarly literature

of the educational technology field, particularly pertaining to MOOCs.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

In this paper, the ARCS motivation model will be used to assess the relationship between

learner attention and completion of MOOCs, and thus provide guidance for future MOOC

designs. Kellers ARCS model is a motivational approach, which emphasizes taking learner

motivation into account when creating instructional design (Keller, 2000). The ARCS acronym

refers to four characteristics: (A) attention, (R) relevance, (C) confidence, and (S) satisfaction.

Integration of all four can lead to full motivation for a person or group (Cheng & Yeh, 2009;

Keller, 1984, 2000; Malik, 2014). The proposed studys findings will hopefully contribute

towards ameliorating MOOC design to aid MOOC learners persistence and reduce the high

dropout rates. Also there is presently a lack of literature about this subject in Saudi Arabia, and

this proposed study wishes to make a contribution to remedying this knowledge gap

Purpose of Research

The proposed research attempts to assess the relationship between the learners attention

and completion of MOOCs by using the ARCS motivation model as a framework. It an attempt

forward developing MOOCs design in order to improve the learners motivation, thus increasing

the completion rate in MOOCs. In addition, it aims to provide recommendations for MOOCs

providers such as Coursera, Edx, and Udacity.

Research Questions

Based on an examination of the literature, this researcher has come up with the following

questions:

1) What is the extent of the relationship between learners motivation and completion of MOOCs?

A) What is the extent of the relationship between learners attention and completion of MOOCs?
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Significance of Study

The proposed study will assess the relationship between learners attention and

completion of MOOCs. Although studies exist about the possible correlation between

learners attention and completion rates in MOOCs, still there is potential dearth of literature

about MOOCs.

As previously mentioned, learner motivation has been shown to positively impact

completion of MOOCs. The more motivated learners are, the more they complete MOOCs

(Huang & Hew, 2010; Malik, 2014). This indicates that motivation plays an important role in

MOOCs completion. The proposed study seeks to apply a survey instrument to Saudi MOOCs

learners. The research hopes to assess the dilemma of low completion rates in MOOCs and to the

design of MOOCs to further engage students and enhance their motivation to complete

MOOCs. Additionally, this proposed study will use a motivation survey (IMMS) to measure the

learners motivation, and assess its relationship to the completion of MOOCs based on the four

categories of Kellers ARCS motivation model. The following section will introduce the

theoretical framework for the proposed study and its factors in detail

Completion Rate in MOOCs

A number of researchers (Adamopoulos, 2013; Jordan, 2014; Mackness, Waite, Roberts,

& Lovegrove, 2013; Najafi, Evans, & Federico, 2014; Perna, Ruby, Boruch, Wang, Scull,

Ahmad, & Evans, 2014; Zutshi, OHare, & Rodafinos, 2013) have investigated completion rates

in MOOCs. Findings show that despite the large number of registrants in MOOCs, these courses

are influenced by a high dropout rate, especially when considering that this rate represents

between 5% and 12% of enrolled learners (Koller, Ng, Chuong, & Chen, 2013; Ho, Reich,
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Nesterko, Seaton, Mullaney, Waldo, &Chuang, 2014; Perna, Ruby, Boruch, Wang, Scull, Ahmad,

& Evans, 2014).

Scholars (Mackness et al., 2013; Jordan, 2014; Perna et al., 2014) have examined a real

problem with MOOCs completion. Although they have attributed the decline in the rate of

MOOCs completion to various causes, all found that there is a high dropout rate in MOOCs.

Perna et al. (2014) used descriptive analysis in their quantitative study to investigate MOOCs

completion. The researchers collected data from 16 Coursera courses provided by the University

of Pennsylvania. They found that the number of students who completed courses was low. Jordan

(2014) concurred. In a quantitative research study, Jordan attempted to illustrate some factors

that may have affected the completion rate in MOOCs by collecting data from the Internet,

including MOOC student blogs, university reports, news stories, and conference presentations.

Linear regression was used along with Minitab statistical software to analyze the data because

the goal of this study was to explore and identify potential trends in MOOCs. The findings

showed the completion rate in a MOOC is low when comparing the enrolled students percentage

with the percentage of students who actually completed the course. The resulting averages

illustrated that only 6.5% of students completed MOOCs from the 34,000 enrolled. The

researchers defined completion rate as the percentage of students who satisfactorily completed

MOOCs. As research recommendations for further investigation, Jordan (2014) proposed

examining reasons for completing MOOCs while also taking into consideration more students

voice. Moreover, Mackness et al. (2013) recognized there is a low completion rate in MOOCs

while focusing on one MOOC Oxford Brookes Universitys First Steps in Learning and

Teaching in Higher Education MOOC (FSLT12). Additional challenges were looked at such as

the acceptance of open academic practice and academic identity in a virtual context.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

The above findings confirmed the existence of a high dropout rate in MOOCs, and

asserted that MOOCs clearly are negatively affected. Mackness et al. (2013), Jordan (2014), and

Perna et al. (2014) have further explored and sought out factors that cause the low completion

rate in MOOCs. Mackness et al. (2013) stated that lack of autonomy and learner involvement are

reasons that made learners stop completing their MOOCs. In addition, Perna et al. (2014)

suggested that course length as well as assessment type negatively affected student MOOCs

completion. However, these findings also indicate a sharp decline in motivation and interest to

complete MOOCs. Thus, any potential relationship between learners motivation and completion

of MOOCs should be assessed.

ARCS Motivational Model and MOOCs Completion Rate

The relationship between learners motivation and completion rate in MOOCs is

discussed in the results of studies such as Cheng and Yeh (2009), Huang and Hew (2016),

and Malik (2014). Malik (2014) reported that the ARCS model of motivational design can be

used by online learning providers to improve learner motivation to complete courses

successfully, thus decreasing the dropout rate in MOOCs. In a quantitative study, Huang

and Hews (2010) sample target was 27 learners in a MOOC over a four-week period. They used

a motivation survey (IMMS) to measure learners motivation based on the four categories of

Kellers theory, which are attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction (ARCS). The results

illustrated that the group who completed the course was more motivated than the group who did

not. Through the instrument, the group who did not complete the course indicated that they

lacked attention during it, which confirms that learners need to refresh their attention by

frequently encountering varying learning strategies (Cheng & Yeh, 2009; Keller, 1984,

2000; Malik, 2014). Thus, the researchers suggested that future studies should investigate the
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

motivational needs of the group who did not complete the course to improve their attention

(Huang & Hew, 2010).

The previous findings show an agreement with Xiong, Li, Kornhaber, Suen, Pursel, and

Goins (2015) whose study set two hypotheses: (a) motivation predicts MOOC students course

engagement; and (b) students engagement predicts their retention in the course (p. 24). Their

intent was to examine the relationship among MOOC learners motivation, engagement, and

retention and the high dropout rate. The impetus for the study was the researchers conviction

that the high dropout rate in MOOCs correlates to learners need for motivation. Data were

collected from a Penn State University MOOC and analyzed by using structural equation

modeling (SEM). Xiong et al. (2015) focused on three types of learner motivation; intrinsic,

extrinsic, and social. The researchers concluded that motivation plays an important role in keep

learners engaged in MOOCs and preventing attrition. They found that intrinsic and extrinsic

motivation lead to student engagement, and this in turn causes more retention in MOOCs. With

regard to social motivation, they found this did not strongly engage MOOCs learners.

These findings hopefully will promote other scholarly examinations of the possible

relationship between learners motivation and MOOCs completion rates. The Xiong et al. (2015)

study asserts that extrinsic motivation is a determinant of MOOCs completion and uses ARCS

motivation model as its framework. Thus, since attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction

are the cornerstones, they will be explored in the following section.

Kellers Motivation Theory

Kellers motivation model began its emergence in 1979 through 1983. John Keller

created this model, whose significance lies in the important role it plays in learner motivation. As
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

mentioned previously, Kellers Motivation Theory, or ARCS model, emanated from Tolman and

Lewins expectancy-value theory.

Motivation certainly impacts student learning. Kellers ARCs theory is a motivational

approach which emphasizes integrating learner motivation into instructional design (Keller,

2000). The ARCS acronym denotes four characteristics: (A) attention, (R) relevance, (C)

confidence, and (S) satisfaction. Integration of all four components can lead to full motivation

for a person or group (Cheng & Yeh, 2009; Keller, 1984, 2000; Malik, 2014).

ARCS, for example, aims to engage learners attentiveness by using strategies such as

increasing their natural curiosity to explore unexpected things. Also, learners need to refresh

their attention by encountering varying learning strategies frequently (Cheng & Yeh,

2009; Keller, 1984, 2000; Malik, 2014). The attention component is divided into three main

categories: perceptual arousal, inquiry arousal, and variability. Perceptual arousal exists through

providing a specific subject and example, showing the interests and the opposite views, and

integrating facetiousness. Inquiry arousal is created by raising questions that lead to critical

thinking. Variability means using more than one method to teach learners (Poulsen, Lam,

Cisneros, & Trust, 2008).

Method

Design of the Study

A quantitative research methodology will be employed; the (IMMS) survey will be

adapted as an instrument to measure motivation from the attention dimension.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Setting

The study will be focus on Saudi students who have taken MOOCs. The survey will be

electronically sent to all MOOCs learners.

Participants and Sampling Procedure

The sample study is all Saudi MOOCs learners. They are about 33 students. They vary in

terms of their gender, educational background, and type of class. They all will receive the survey

via their emails.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

Based on an examination of the literature, this researcher has come up with the following

questions:

1) What is the extent of the relationship between learners motivation and completion of MOOCs?
B) What is the extent of the relationship between learners attention and completion of MOOCs?

Variables

In this quantitative research methodology design study, attention is the independent

variables. The dependent variable is the completion in MOOCs.

Instrumentation

The IMMS survey was designed to evaluate whether the instructional material is in line

with the aforementioned principles and examine what students motivation levels are. The IMMS

instrument has been applied and proved to have good internal consistency and validity in

measuring learners motivational features in e-learning setting (Huang & Hew, 2010, p. 760).

The IMMS survey measures the learners motivation level by using a 5-point symmetrical

Likert scale, which contains items and subscales. The four subscales are attention (12 items),
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

relevance (9 items), confidence (9 items), and satisfaction (6 items). This study focus on the

attention factor and ignore the rest factors on ARCS. In addition, some questions will be added to

the questionnaire. Some general demographic questions will be located in the front of the survey.

Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

This study aims to employee logistic regression method to analyze the data. The results

will show whether there is a significant relationship in terms of learners attention and

completion of MOOCs. In addition, the SPSS application will be used to conduct the statistical

processes.

Hopefully, the findings will develop MOOCs design in order to improve the learners

motivation, thus increasing the completion rate in MOOCs. In addition, it aims to provide

recommendations for MOOCs providers such as Coursera, Edx, Udacity, and King Khalid

University MOOCs.

Result

The researchers have done Hot Deck imputation after missing values founded. The

missing values was 27.3% which is more than 5% (see table 1 &2). In SPSS, logistic regression

predicts the odds of the DV=1 (See table 3). Because 1 = No this means were predicting

learners to choose no. They did not complete their MOOCs. In the data, 26 learners did complete

their MOOCs and 7 learners did not complete theirs (see table 4).

The result from this study showed that the model with the predictor fit significantly as

well as the intercept-only model which means they both have p < 0.05 (see table 4 &7). In

addition, Hosmer and Lemeshow test shows that the model fits the data because p = .600 which

is bigger than .05, thus H0: model fits the data (see table 8). These findings demonstrate that
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Attention (p = 0.03) significantly does predict whether learners will not complete their MOOCs

(see table 9). In addition as shown in figure 2, most Y on the left side whilst most N on the right

side. The predicted probability for student #1 to not complete MOOCs is 0.807. which means the

probability is 80% for this learner. In addition, there is no standardized residuals greater than or

less than -3. Thus regression residuals are not extreme (see figure 1).

Those learners who did complete their MOOCs were classified more accurately (96.2%)

than those who did not (28.6%). Therefore, 81.8% of cases were classified correctly (see table

10). Each unit increases in attention decreases the odds of not completion MOOCs by 0.231

times (OR = 0.231) which is 23.1%. Also, the odds are significantly different from 1 for the

predictor. In another word, each unit increases in attention increases the odds of completion

MOOCs by 23.1%.

Table 1: Case processing Summary before Hot Deck Imputation.


Case Processing Summary
Unweighted Casesa N Percent
Selected Cases Included in Analysis 24 72.7
Missing Cases 9 27.3
Total 33 100.0
Unselected Cases 0 .0
Total 33 100.0
a. If weight is in effect, see classification table for the total number
of cases.

Table 2: Case processing Summary after Hot Deck Imputation.

CaseProcessingSummary

UnweightedCasesa N Percent
SelectedCases IncludedinAnalysis 33 100.0
MissingCases 0 .0
Total 33 100.0
UnselectedCases 0 .0
Total 33 100.0
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Table3
DependentVariableEncoding

OriginalValue InternalValue
Yes 0
No 1

Table4

Block 0: Beginning Block


ClassificationTablea,b

Observed Predicted
Basedonthemostcurrent Percentage
massiveopenonlinecourse Correct
(MOOC)youhavetaken,did
youcompleteit?
Yes No
Step0 Basedonthemostcurrent Yes 26 0 100.0
massiveopenonline
No 7 0 .0
course(MOOC)youhave
taken,didyoucomplete
it?
OverallPercentage 78.8

VariablesintheEquation

B S.E. Wald df Sig. Exp(B)


Step0 Constant 1.312 .426 9.496 1 .002 .269

VariablesnotintheEquation
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Score df Sig.
Step0 Variables attention 6.342 1 .012
OverallStatistics 6.342 1 .012

Table 7

Block 1: Method = Enter


Omnibus Tests of Model Coefficients
Chi-square df Sig.
Step 1 Step 5.999 1 .014
Block 5.999 1 .014
Model 5.999 1 .014

Model Summary
Step -2 Log Cox & Snell R Nagelkerke R
likelihood Square Square
1 28.107a .166 .258

a. Estimation terminated at iteration number 5 because parameter estimates changed


by less than .001.
Table 8
HosmerandLemeshowTest

Step Chisquare df Sig.


1 3.653 5 .600

Table 9
VariablesintheEquation
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

B S.E. Wald df Sig. Exp(B) 95%C.I.for


EXP(B)
Lower Upper
Step attentio 1.467 .677 4.695 1 .030 .231 .061 .869
1a n
Consta 3.783 2.338 2.618 1 .106 43.959
nt

a. Variable(s) entered on step 1: attention.

figure 1
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

figure 2

Table 10
Classification Tablea
Observed Predicted
Based on the most current Percentage
massive open online Correct
course (MOOC) you have
taken, did you complete
it?
Yes No

Step Based on the most Yes 25 1 96.2


1 current massive open
online course (MOOC)
you have taken, did
you complete it?
No 5 2 28.6

Overall Percentage 81.8


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

Table 11
VariablesintheEquation

B S.E. Wald df Sig. Exp(B) 95%C.I.for


EXP(B)
Lower Upper
Step attentio 1.467 .677 4.695 1 .030 .231 .061 .869
1a n
Consta 3.783 2.338 2.618 1 .106 43.959
nt

a. Variable(s) entered on step 1: attention.

Discussion

In regard to the results of this study, the researcher found that there is

a statistically significant relationship between learners attention and

completion in MOOCs. Also, the researchers found that increasing learners

attention in MOOCs helps to eliminate their high dropout rate. The findings

show that as attention increases one unit, the completion in MOOCs

increases by 23.1%. Attention is an important factor of motivation. ARCS

motivational theory consists of four factors, and the first one is Attention.

The current findings reflect what the researchers have found in the literature

review such as Cheng and Yeh (2009), Huang and Hew (2016), and Malik

(2014). Huang and Hews (2010) found that learners who are motivated are
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNS MOTIVATION AND COMPLETION RATE IN
MOOCS

able to complete their courses more than the others. Thus, learners need to

refresh their attention by frequently encountering varying learning strategies

(Cheng & Yeh, 2009; Keller, 1984, 2000; Malik, 2014). Using ARCS motivation

model in MOOCs designing may help to keep learners more motivated and

thus complete their MOOCs. MOOCs providers and designers should build

MOOCs with taking into account the importance of engaging learners,

increasing their attention, and thus pushing them to complete their MOOCs.

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