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Title: An investigation of the motivational factors influencing learners' intentions to continue using Arabic MOOCs
Author: Hakami, Nada Ali M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 4368
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have evolved rapidly in recent years. They provide open educational resources to people around the world. Understanding the factors affecting the retention of existing learners in MOOC platforms and prompting their continued engagement is crucial to the success of such platforms. However, the factors that affect the technology acceptance by users may vary across cultures in terms of their significance and predictive power. Numerous studies have examined MOOCs acceptance and continuance, suggesting a particular need for further research to investigate determinants of learners’ continued participation. This study aims to fill this gap by examining the factors affecting learners’ intentions to continue using MOOCs. Factors were examined through the lens of Arabic MOOCs and the technology acceptance model (TAM), integrating the model with a range of additional factors: technological, organisational, individual-related, social, and cultural. Exploratory and explanatory mixed methods approaches were adopted using qualitative and quantitative methods. A systematic review determined the current gaps within the literature pertaining to MOOCs continuance, and was the basis of the research questions. Semi-structured interviews, with twenty-two experts familiar with the popular Arabic platform named Rwaq were carried out. The interviews explored perceptions based on the set of factors and generated measurement items of the questionnaire to be tested in subsequent phase. In general, participants showed positive attitudes towards the proposed factors. In a later stage, a self-administered online questionnaire was used to validate the proposed model and test the research hypotheses. In total, 884 responses were usable for testing the measurement and structural model using, a partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) tool, Warp-PLS 5.0. The results provided evidence of the successful extension of the TAM. Fourteen out of nineteen hypotheses were supported by the observations. The results confirmed the direct, significant, and positive relationships between continuance intention and intrinsic motivations, perceived usefulness, Arabic language support, perceived ease of use, and perceived reputation. In addition, perceived ease of use, Arabic language support, perceived reputation, intrinsic motivations, and willingness to earn a certificate all have a direct impact on the perceived usefulness. Furthermore, perceived ease of use was directly affected by intrinsic motivations, Arabic language support, and free courses’ advantages. Perceived reputation was found to have a direct impact on the willingness to earn a certificate. Finally, in order to interpret the quantitative results, particularly the unexpected results, semi-structured interviews with eight learners using the Rwaq platform were carried out. In light of the findings of this study, recommendations were put forward to MOOC developers and instructors to adopt design strategies which could increase learner loyalty for Arabic MOOCs’ use. In addition, academic researchers in the field of MOOCs continuance can test the developed model in this study in different cultural contexts.
Supervisor: White, Susan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available