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Age and motivations to enroll a MOOC in management: A lifespan perspective

Abstract : Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) have emerged as an innovative practice in tertiary education globally over the last few years. Yet still little is known about the motivations and characteristics of those who choose to enrol. Accordingly, in this study we draw on socioemotional selectivity and lifespan theories to address the question: How do motivations to enrol in MOOCs vary across individuals’ lifestages? We focus on how different motivational drivers (i.e., need for social conformity, professional advancement, social contact, escape, capability) vary across age groups of MOOC participants. We further examine the contingency role of goal achievement. We test our hypotheses on data from 5,742 respondents enrolled in a MOOC on leadership. Our findings suggest that older participants are less driven by social conformity and younger ones are highly driven by professional advancement -consistent with our expectations. However, the features of those motivated by social contact, monotony escape, and capability are more nuanced than age-related alone. Goal achievement also plays a more complex moderating role than predicted by incumbent theories. We discuss implications.
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Contributor : Cécile Dejoux <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 19, 2019 - 10:03:00 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 1:24:46 AM




Heidi Wechtler, Valérie Charrière-Grillon, Cécile Dejoux. Age and motivations to enroll a MOOC in management: A lifespan perspective. 2016 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Aug 2016, Anaheim, United States. ⟨10.5465/ambpp.2016.16638abstract⟩. ⟨halshs-02103978⟩



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