ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Speculating about learners‘ motivation in the cope14 mooc

Posted on: Mai 18, 2014

As initiator of the cope14 mooc and in my actual role as moderator I’m thinking about the motivations of the learners. Actually we are in week 4 which is the most challenging week with a lot of materials and assignments. In this week there are not so many learners actively posting contributions and it is easier to analyze fewer persons. Nevertheless my feelings about the learners were developing during the former weeks as well.

Self-motivated learners with lust for learning

There are learners who want to learn about the topics of cope14, they are curios about the content and they immerge in their learning processes. I suspect that these leaners are older than 30 or 40 years. Observing them I perceive that some of them have already had experiences with MOOCs but others are newbies. I admire their energy for learning. A part of them comes from abroad and all profit from the openness of cope14.

Semi self-motivated learners who bond with their teachers

There are students in our MOOC who got invited to cope14 by their teachers which are not their business teachers. And in some cases business is not a part of their study degree at all. I love to read their comments, they are funny learners who are open to new and challenging topics and they try to understand what’s going on in a special week. They seem to be satisfied with the insights they gain in their learning processes. (these students are coming from our university as well as from other universities).

In their attitude they are similar to the self-motivated learners with lust for learning. And … in some of their postings I got the impression that their bond with their teachers helped them to enter cope14 with an open mind and to overcome the challenges of learning in our MOOC.

Externally-motivated demotivated leaners

Furthermore there are learners who didn’t succeed or do not want to understand the principles of learning in cope14. (During the preparation phase I discussed the cope14 MOOC with many teachers and asked them to include it as part of a regular class and to allow freedom of learning for their students). Many of these learners are business students and were invited by their business teachers. My first hypothesis is that the open approach of cope14 is very different from the day to day experiences as business students or business teachers.  My second hypotheses is that the dialogue and negotiation between teachers and students about learning in cope14 failed as well as the briefing process between teachers and cope14 initiators.

I expected some of the business students to love the openness of cope14, the materials and questions, the videos and the efforts their teachers invested into preparation of the weeks. In week 4 I cannot detect any of these students which is rather strange.

Of course these are my preliminary findings based on my observations and feelings and my leaners‘ lists. After the end of cope14 we will evaluate all the material we gained during our MOOC experiment in more detail.

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