Who Continues in a Series of Lifelong Learning Courses?

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Conference article in proceedings
Date
2022
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
7
47–53
Series
Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vol. 1
Abstract
Although computing education research quite often targets within-university courses, an important role of universities is educating the public through open online lifelong learning offerings. Compared to within-university courses, in lifelong learning, the student population is often more diverse. For example, participants often have more varied motivations and aspirations as well as more varied educational backgrounds. In this work, we explore what kinds of learners attend open online lifelong learning programming courses and what characteristics of learners lead to completing courses and proceeding to subsequent courses. We examine student-related factors collected through surveys in our online course environment. These factors include motivation, previous experience, and demographics. Our results show that motivations, previous experience, and demographics by themselves only explain a small amount of the variance in completing courses or continuing to a subsequent course. At the same time, we identify individual factors that are more likely to lead to learners dropping out (or continuing) in the courses. Our study provides further evidence that lifelong learning benefits most the already educated part of the population with prior knowledge and high motivation. This calls for further studies that seek to identify means to engage and support participants less likely to continue in such courses.
Description
Keywords
motivation, lifelong learning, retention, open online courses
Other note
Citation
Sarsa , S , Hellas , A & Leinonen , J 2022 , Who Continues in a Series of Lifelong Learning Courses? in Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Vol. 1 . ACM , pp. 47–53 , Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education , Dublin , Ireland , 08/07/2022 . https://doi.org/10.1145/3502718.3524752