Investigating MOOC Arabic Learners' Motivation in Language Online Courses (MOOCs)

Investigating MOOC Arabic Learners' Motivation in Language Online Courses (MOOCs)

Amel Frag Lusta
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5011-2.ch007
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When designing MOOCs, learner motivation cannot be treated as a minor issue but as a major issue to guarantee the success and encouragement for completing these online courses. The question under study is to explore the motivation of Arabic learners in language online courses in light of the self-determination theory. The research sample consisted of 106 students from different Arabic countries. This chapter employed the quantitative research approach and administered academic motivation scale (AMS) among MOOC learners to assess their academic motivation. Findings showed that majority of participants were extrinsically motivated while others were intrinsically motivated.
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In today's world, there is an exponential growth of Technology use in education across the world (Hamidi, F., Ghorbandordinejad, F., Rezaee, M., & Jafari, M., 2011) under the effects of globalization. As a result of the technological revolution and globalization, the society changes from industrialization to an information-based society. It brings new ideas, knowledge, values, roles of learners and teachers in the educational system (Dzvimbo, 2013; Hamidi, F., Ghorbandordinejad, F., Rezaee, M., & Jafari, M., 2011; Chinnammai, 2005). A massive Open Online Course (MOOC /muːk/) is a model of new electronic learning environment (e-learning). Exploring the motivation of learners to register and participate in MOOCs is significant to teachers, researchers and MOOCs providers (Davis, H. C., Dickens, K., Leon Urrutia, M., Vera, S., del Mar, M., & White, S., 2014). A lot of MOOC research discusses learners’ motivations for taking MOOCs (e.g; Zhong, Zhang, & Liu, 2016; Bayeck, 2016; Despujol, Turro, Busqueis & Canero, 2014). This paper also investigates the learners’ motivation in MOOCs but with Eastern insights. The term “with Eastern insights” is used by Zhong, Zhang, & Liu (2016). By their study, they raise the issue of the need:

for a thematic and a practical analysis of related studies to bring a better understanding of MOOCs under eastern culture (p. 955).

Some studies (Leal, Miranda & Carmo, 2013; Trumbull & Rothstein-Fisch, 2011; Kaplan, Karabenick, & De Groot, 2009; Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull, 2008) revealed that motivation of students varies in relation to culture.



The term MOOC was coined by Cormier in 2008 in response to a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) at the University of Manitoba in Canada. Over 2000 online students enrolled in the course (El-Hmoudova, 2014). El-Hmoudova (2014) defines a MOOC as an online course with the option of free and open registration, a publicly shared curriculum, and open-ended outcomes. He considers MOOC as “the democratization of learning” because MOOCs offer the chance to both cut costs as well as offer universal education for all. (p. 133). Downes (2008) states that the published MOOC literature began to appear in 2008.

xMOOCs and cMOOCs are the common types of MOOCs. The first are based on traditional university courses. Lectures are a combination of pre-recorded videos with tests or other assessments. Any course is delivered by an individual instructor. The courses of xMOOC are centered around the teacher. In cMOOCs, lectures delivered by one or several teachers can be videos, tasks, and discussions that take place online by means of proprietary software. cMOOCs create learning communities where teachers and students engage in discussions and share information.

Khan Academy, ALISON, edX and futurelearn are examples of open-source online learning platforms. They introduce open and free courses to the public. Wu, Fitzgerald & Witten (2014) indicate that MOOCs provide a compelling opportunity for domain-specific language learning.

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