Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Participant Activity, Demographics, and Satisfaction

Sara Shrader, Maryalice Wu, Dawn Owens-Nicholson, Kathleen Santa Ana


This paper examines activity patterns, participant demographics, and levels of satisfaction in multiple MOOC offerings at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from August 2012—December 2013. Using the following guiding questions: “Who are MOOC participants, how do they participate, and were they able to get what they wanted out of the course?” we have uncovered unique patterns of engagement that correlate with certain demographic characteristics. Our analysis employed both qualitative and quantitative methods, and serves as a model for further studies seeking to uncover the significance of participant activity within MOOCs.


MOOCs, learning analytics, demographic and participation patterns

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