Student Personality Characteristics Differ in MOOCs Versus Blended-Learning University Courses

Student Personality Characteristics Differ in MOOCs Versus Blended-Learning University Courses

Ada Le (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Canada), Cho Kin Cheng (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Canada) and Steve Joordens (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Canada)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2018040102

Abstract

This article conveys how online technology in education has become increasingly popular, especially blended-learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Although, research to date on blended-learning and MOOCs have revealed various factors that contribute to student success; however, systematic research on the personality characteristics of the learner, and how this could affect course performance remains sparse. This article is based off of the authors survey of students in a MOOC and a blended-learning course in Introductory Psychology about various personality characteristics that they believed could influence course performance. The results indicate that students in the MOOC versus blended-learning course exhibit different personality traits, and that these traits are associated with MOOC but not blended-learning course performance. These findings have important implications for fine tuning online teaching techniques to the personality types of the learners, which could improve course performance.
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Introduction

Education in universities around the world is evolving (Allen & Seaman, 2013), and the use of online technology is becoming increasingly popular (e.g., Brinkman, Rae, & Dwivedi, 2007; Ellis, Ginns, & Pigott, 2009; Ellis, Goodyear, O’Hara, & Prosser, 2007; Ginns & Ellisa, 2006; Haapala, 2006; Hay, Peltier, & Drago, 2004; Hawkridge, 1998; MacKenzie & Walsh, 2009; McNaught & Lam, 2005; Woo, Gosper, McNeill, Preston, Green, & Phillips, 2008). In 2004, the United States alone had more than 2.35 million students enrolled in some form of online learning (Kim & Bonk, 2006). At that time, instructors at many post-secondary institutions predicted that by 2013 more than 80% of the student learning experience will consist of some blend of traditional and online learning, i.e., ‘blended learning’ (Kim & Bonk, 2006). The real numbers are not far off: In 2011, approximately 77% of all surveyed institutions offered online courses (Anderson, Boyle, & Rainie, 2012), and in another study, Craig and colleagues (2009) found that when students could choose between watching traditional live versus online lectures, almost 80% of students chose the online lectures.

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