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June 07, 2018

“Yeah, I know this”: Student Experiences in a Blended MicroMasters Program

Joshua Littenberg-Tobias, Justin Reich


As providers of massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to experiment with new mechanisms for providing transferable course credit and alternative credentials (Caudill, 2017; Hollands, 2017; Wulf, Blohm, & Brenner, 2014), there has been a growing interest in the experiences of students in these programs. This mixed-methods studies uses student interviews, survey responses, and MOOC log data to examine the experience of students participating in an edX MicroMasters in a private university in the Northeastern United States. We found that the program attracted a cohort of mid-career professionals, largely in developed countries, who were seeking to enhance their skills in order to advance their careers. Successful students were more likely to be more motivated by “mastery” goals, focusing on gaining new skills and knowledge, than “performance” goals such as grades or credentials and many students who earned a credential said they did not think the credential by itself would help them advance their careers. For residential instructors, the findings of this study suggest that MOOC-based blended program can be an effective way of recruiting highly-qualified non-traditional applicants to residential programs


Littenberg-Tobias, J. & Reich, J. (2018, June) “Yeah, I know this”: Student experiences with a blended MicroMasters program. Presented at the HybridEd Workshop 2018: Successful and Promising Experiences in Blended Learning with MOOCs

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