Fondecyt Project

Sello PUCingenieria UC





This is a Fondecyt Project, funded by the Chilean government from 15 November 2015 until 15 November 2018. The overall goal of this project is to investigate the SRL strategies used by learners in MOOCs and propose and evaluate mobile technological solutions that complement MOOC platforms to help learners improve their SRL strategies and maximize success. Find a summary of the main objectives of the project below.


Recent research suggests that there are two reasons why learners find it difficult to complete Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): on the one hand, many of them do not know how to regulate their learning in order to succeed in MOOCs, experiencing difficulties in planning and organizing their learning; on the other hand, current MOOC platforms lack technological support to help learners define their own self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies to make the most out of such courses. Nevertheless, how to technologically support learners with SRL strategies in MOOCs and what the associations between strategies and achievement are, still remain open challenges. This proposal presents a project to address these challenges.

GOALS: The overall goal to investigate the SRL strategies used by learners in MOOCs, and to propose and evaluate mobile technological solutions that complement MOOC platforms to help learners improve their SRL strategies and maximize success. Specifically, this project will examine two types of SRL strategies identified as the most critical for MOOC learners: metacognitive and resource management SRL strategies. The project will analyze these strategies taking into account both learners’ personal variables – attributes and interactions with the course – and MOOC variables, such as course design and support provided to students for advancing in the course.

Three specific goals are defined:

  1. defining a framework to analyze learners’ SRL strategies in the different MOOCs, considering their personal and MOOC variables;
  2. proposing metrics to measure the relationship between SRL strategies and learners’ achievement; and
  3. designing, implementing and evaluating mobile-based technological solutions for supporting learners’ metacognitive and resource management SRL strategies.

METHODOLOGY: This project will follow a designed-based research methodology, combining distinct research methods and techniques, and blending educational research with theoretical background through testbeds and experiments. The experiments in this project will be carried out in two MOOC platforms, Coursera and (Open) edX, featuring MOOCs for the general public (entirely online) and MOOCs for complementing traditional courses through hybrid pedagogies. The analysis framework will be proposed based on a literature review as well as actual data from the two different MOOC platforms. Qualitative and quantitative data from the experiments will provide information about learners’ SRL strategies. Then, we will analyze which of the identified SRL strategies allow learners to achieve higher completion rates. Afterwards, we will study the literature on solutions for fostering SRL in MOOCs, focusing on the metacognitive and resource management strategies. Subsequently, we will design and implement a mobile technological solution for fostering these strategies, and evaluate experimentally in each of the MOOCs whether these solutions improve learners’ SRL strategies and their learning achievement. Finally, the lessons learned would be collected into a set of guidelines for researchers and practitioners that will be reported in scientific publications to contribute to the MOOC community.

EXPECTED RESULTS:  The three main expected results of the project will be:

  1. a new framework for analyzing learners’ SRL strategies in MOOCs;
  2. a set of metrics to measure achievement in relation to learners SRL strategies; and
  3. a mobile-based technological solution to help learners improve their metacognitive and resource management SRL strategies in MOOCs to maximize success.

Both results will provide a novel perspective about how learners are currently addressing learning issues in MOOCs and how to support them in the process. Altogether, this project will help gain knowledge about the underlying processes of SRL in the new complex learning environments derived from the MOOC adoption. Furthermore, these results will help advance on the design of MOOCs and platforms to decrease the number of learners withdrawing from courses without reaching their goals.