Presentation for FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN)
Exploring Learners’ Motivations on
Assessment in Massive Open Online
Supervisors: Canan Blake, Doug Clow, Eileen Scanlon
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK
In the context of Massive Open Online
Courses (MOOCs), this study aims at exploring
learners’ motivations in relation to
assessment and their experiences of Self-
Regulated Learning (SRL)
Massive Open Online Courses: Courses
aiming at large scale interactive
participation & open access via the web
regardless of pre-requisite knowledge or
qualification (Littlejohn 2013; Vale &
Assessment seeks to measure outcomes of
learners’ performance on different activities &
is part of the learning process. Though, there
is discussion whether assessment drives
learning or not (Hughes 2014; Rowntree
Common assessment methods include
multiple choice questions, quizzes, peer
marked assignments, self-assessment.
Self-Regulated Learning: the degree to which
students are meta-cognitively, motivationally
and behaviourally active participants in their
Phases of Self-Regulation
RQ1: In what ways do common
assessment practices influence learners’
goals in MOOCs?
RQ2: What are learners’ experiences of
Self-Regulated learning in MOOCs?
METHODOLOGY & METHODS of
Online ethnography: indicates qualitative
techniques but sometimes includes the use of
quantitative data and analysis (Hammersley 2006).
Data will be collected through:
a) online interviews so as to understand
b) a questionnaire instrument that will be
used to measure how learners regulate their
learning in MOOCs (Millingan &Littlejohn 2014)
6 Interviews of a Mental Health Course of
the Future Learn Platform
6 questionnaires completed after the
The Interviews & Questionnaires will be
More courses in different contexts will be
investigated in the main study
Findings will give insight into learners’
perspective on assessment as well as
methods to be used in our future work on
The end goal is to throw light on the
potential for influencing future MOOCs in
terms of adaptive assessment designs
based on learners’ goals and needs.
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EdTech Notes, 1-2.
2. Vale, K., & Littlejohn, A. (2013). Massive Open Online Courses: A traditional or
transformative approach to learning?, 212–227.
3. Hughes, G. (2014). Ipsative Assessment - Motivation through Marking Process
(Palgrave M). London.
4. Rowntree, D. (1987). Assessing Students: How Shall We Know Them?
(Cogan Page). London.
5. Zimmerman, B. J. (2008). Investigating Self-Regulation and Motivation_
Historical Background, Methodological Developments, and Future Prospects.
American Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 166–183.
6. Hammersley, M., 2006. Ethnography: Problems and prospects. Ethnography
and Education, 1(1), pp.37–41.
7. Milligan, C., & Littlejohn, A. (2014). Supporting Professional Learning in a
Massive Open Online Course. The International Review of Research in Open
and Distance Learning, 15(5), 197–213.