Profile and perceptions of MOOC's potential participants
Keywords:MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses, online distance teaching, lifelong formation, potential participants
The MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) are the latest training model offered. They are online training courses, open and free, and for massive access. But are these features enough to attract potential participants? What are the characteristics of those who are most likely to enroll in a MOOC? To address these and other underlying issues a quantitative methodology was adopted, in the form of an online survey. The study was applied to the adult population of Aveiro district (Portugal) with over nine years of schooling. The sample consists of 424 individuals, and its sociodemographic characteristics equivalent to the population under study. 86.6% of the participants were unaware of the MOOC concept, but there are no significant differences in perceptions about the MOOC among those who knew and those who did not know the concept. The intention to participate in a MOOC is higher among the younger, the ones who have an academic degree, the more autonomous in terms of learning, the ones that have higher Internet and social network skills, the ones who already knew the concept, and who predict change on their employment status. This study provides clues to the identification of target segments and promotion strategies for MOOCs offered in Portugal.