While the survey revealed that course topic is a major motivator among 35 percent of MOOC participants, students also noted a lack of incentive.
The courses are rarely offered for real college credit and many do not offer certificates of completion – at least not for free, which, for many students, is a MOOC’s main draw.
Three in four participants said the fact that MOOCs do not cost anything was an important factor for enrolling in one. Two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to complete a MOOC if the course offered a certificate or transferable college credit.
The study also suggests that peer engagement is important in a student’s MOOC success. Nearly a quarter of participants who completed a course said they were “highly engaged in course discussions with fellow participants.”
Out of those who failed to complete a course, only 3 percent said they were engaged with their peers.
“This study confirms that for MOOCs to be a relevant part of education’s future, they must offer a more compelling experience than the traditional college course,” Frost said.