MOOCsification: Motivations and determents

Billy T M Wong, Kam Cheong Li, Sam Pang and Helen Lam
The Open University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong SAR, China

This paper presents a study of the factors institutions take into account in deciding whether or not to offer MOOCs. It surveys the official publications and webpages of the institutions on this issue, as well as the relevant literature.

The findings show the motivations revolve around the following major aspects: self-marketing; financial, educational and research factors; and the advantages of strengthening relationships with potential partners and stakeholders. Of the determents, the uncertainty of learning effectiveness is the major one stated by the institutions, together with the concerns raised in the literature, e.g. the technological requirements, cost, time and resources, the completion rate and plagiarism.

The motivations echo to a large extent the findings of other similar surveys. In particular, self-marketing is the main driving force for offering MOOCs. Given only a few years of MOOCs development, there are very limited empirical data on the extent to which the goals behind the motivations have been achieved. The findings of this study suggest further investigation on whether the provision of MOOCs has led to the desired outcomes of the institutions.