Learners’ experiences of interactivity in a massive open online course Case: Principles of Service Management

Henrik Virtanen, Anu Norrgrann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research on MOOCs suggests interaction as a key characteristic to reduce course dropout rates, and improve engagement, learning experience and skills development. This study investigates student experiences of MOOC participation to gain a more detailed understanding of interaction behaviors and factors affecting them, and to provide practical development suggestions for enhancing interaction. The conceptual background of the study draws on Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of motivation, which guides educators on how to understand learners’ intention to engage in interaction. Based on in-depth interviews with MOOC participants, our study sheds light on the contextual factors in the MOOC environment and their alignment with SDT. The results suggest that personality, expectations, fellow learners, platform design and time affect interaction. Furthermore, rewards, educator activity, community, social learning and learning from practice affect the learners’ sense of autonomy, relatedness and competence, which in STD are seen as the determinants of learner engagement to interact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Nordic Academy of Management Conference
Number of pages16
Publication date24.08.2019
Publication statusPublished - 24.08.2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event25th Nordic Academy of Management Conference - University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland
Duration: 22.08.201924.08.2019
Conference number: 25


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Higher education
  • MOOC
  • Learner interaction
  • Learning experience
  • Learning engagement
  • Marketing skills


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