Profile and perceptions of MOOC's potential participants




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.


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Author Biographies

Dora Simões, Aveiro University

PhD in Informatics Engineering from University of Porto, Portugal, since 2008. Actually, she is an Assistant Professor in computer science area, at the Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration – University of Aveiro (ISCA-UA), Portugal. She is member of the Center for Research in Communication, Information and Digital Culture (CIC·Digital). Her current research interests include information and knowledge management, organizational information systems, relationship marketing and collaborative virtual networks, and information and communication technologies in education. She has published in various conferences and journals, nationals and internationals.

Belem Barbosa, University of Aveiro

Belem Barbosa is an Invited Adjunct Professor at the University of Aveiro and a member of GOVCOPP, the research unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy. She has a PhD in Business and Management Studies - Specialization in Marketing and Strategy from the University of Porto, Portugal. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of consumer behavior, including word-of- mouth communication, internet marketing and sustainability marketing.

Carolina Pinto, University of Aveiro

Carolina Pinto her master's degree in marketing at the Universidade de Aveiro in 2015.



How to Cite

Simões, D., Barbosa, B., & Pinto, C. (2017). Profile and perceptions of MOOC’s potential participants. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 32.