Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Building and Evaluating Logistic Regression Models for Explaining the Choice to Adopt MOOCs in India

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Building and Evaluating Logistic Regression Models for Explaining the Choice to Adopt MOOCs in India

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been growing every year since 2012 globally (Shah 2016). Trehan et al. (2017) report that the concept of the MOOC is perceived as valuable for a developing country like India in several ways. But for MOOCs to become a part and parcel of the future of higher education in India, the learner choice to adopt the MOOC is critical. Also, it is imperative to discover and promote the drivers of MOOC adoption and fulfill the potentially new demands of a MOOC community. This motivated the current authors to consider the learner-level characteristics and traits facilitating MOOC adoption and to build and evaluate logistic regression models for the binary choice of MOOC adoption (i.e., the learner choice to enroll in a MOOC).

India mainly remains a consumer of the branded MOOC without substantially jumping on the MOOC bandwagon itself (Trehan et al. 2017) - learners from India have subscribed to international MOOCs in a massive way. India has figured among the top three nations with respect to overall enrolments since the inception of the popular x-MOOC form in 2012 (Bhattacharyya 2013; Ho et al. 2014). In 2016 the population of India's MOOC learners was the third largest internationally after the U.S.A and Brazil and ahead of China at the fourth place (Shi & Yu 2016). Similar MOOC activity statistics and statistics about certificate earners found in other international reports and papers (Ho et al. 2014; Jordan 2014; Ho et al. 2015 and Chuang & Ho 2016) evidence the fact that MOOCs have been a popular choice amongst learners from India.

Despite this, apart from some broad generalizations such as that an Indian MOOC-participant, by and large, is from metropolitan and urban areas, is well-educated, having a college degree and, in most cases, employed too (Christenson & Alcorn 2013), not enough is known regarding what factors characterize and drive a potential MOOC-user to make the behavioural choice of 'taking the plunge' into MOOCs.

The authors conducted a survey to study the profiles of MOOC users and non-users from India as well as the characteristics facilitating MOOC adoption. In the current paper we report about our attempt to build and evaluate a useful logistic regression model for the binary choice of MOOC adoption. The paper is organized as follows. In the next section we discuss the study background and design. The third section introduces the logistic regression model. In the next two sections we report and discuss the results from the model construction and evaluation phases. Next results for the 'best' model are presented and discussed. The final section unpicks the wider discourse and lacunae around MOOCs and discusses the implications of our study and related research for practice and policy. The limitations of our study and some suggestions for future research are also noted in this last section.

BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY

Literature study of the international and India-centric MOOC literature was conducted for background study on MOOC. The corpus of 60 journal articles on MOOCs published from January 2008 to May 2014 used by Raffaghelli et al. (2015) was the starting point. To this were added a set of 30 more papers, books and reports, besides blogs and other online resources for background study on MOOC. Scholarly literature arising out of user-focused, educational theory-grounded research on MOOC, it was noted, was limited and emergent (Lewis 2014). On the other hand, MOOCs are acknowledged to be a web-based information system and a specific e-learning artifact for distance learning. Hence, in order to gain perspective on learners' choice to adopt MOOCs, we also sifted through the extant literature on factors facilitating distance and e-learning. We do not have the opportunity to report about our comprehensive review of this literature here. But this allowed identification of literature gaps and helped select parameters for our study. …

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