Understanding learner engagement on a blended course including a MOOC

Sarah Cornelius* (Corresponding Author), Colin Calder, Peter Mtika

*Corresponding author for this work

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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The use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in blended learning contexts is becoming increasingly common, but relatively little is known about the experiences of on-campus learners taking MOOCs. This paper reports research that explored the experiences of on-campus learners taking a blended course which included a MOOC. Use of the UK Engagement Survey provided a focus on engagement and permitted comparisons with a wider cohort of on-campus learners. Findings show that there were no differences between learners on the blended course and the wider cohort of on-campus learners for some aspects of engagement. However, learners on the blended course were more engaged than on-campus learners on specific aspects measured by the UKES survey including those which appear related to social learning. Evidence from a small number of interviews is used to explore issues raised and, informed by the community of enquiry framework, factors which influence blended learners’ engagement with the MOOC are discussed. Some of the findings support the call for amendments to the community of inquiry framework for MOOC contexts, and provide evidence of issues related to social and teaching presence that may need additional consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2097
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Learning Technology
Early online date13 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to acknowledge the work of the large team behind the MOOC ‘Africa: Sustainable Development for All?’ which was led by Professor Hilary Homans. Thanks are also due to the students who participated in the UKES, and particularly those who contributed to the focus groups.


  • community of inquiry
  • learners’ experiences
  • engagement surveys
  • MOOC
  • blended learning


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