Addressing the retention gap in MOOCs : towards a motivational framework for MOOCs instructional design

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Herodotou, Christothea
Mystakidis, Stylianos
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EARLI
Abstract
Existing design schemes of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) usually focus on pedagogy, assessment and technology and rarely take into account learners’ experience and motivation. Drawing from the success of quest-based initiatives, gamified web platforms, and multi-user digital games, this paper introduces an innovative motivational framework for MOOCs instructional design coined as Open Quest Framework (OpenQuest). The framework is grounded on established motivational theories such as the Self-Determination Theory and Situated Motivational Affordance. It features specific motivational mechanisms including, quests and narration, reputation systems, progression mechanisms, multiple learning pathways, well-designed feedback and social elements, that can be used to enhance learners' engagement and reduce attrition rates in MOOCs.
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Keywords
E-learning, Massive Open Online Courses, Distance learning, Distance education, Gamification, Motivation, Instructional design
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