Learner Behavior and Career Benefits in Massive Open Online Courses

Anne M Trumbore, University of Pennsylvania


A crisis narrative has emerged about the disruption of jobs by automation and artificial intelligence. Education to address the skills mismatch between business needs and existing workforce capabilities is seen as a critical component to ameliorating the more corrosive effects of this disruption. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)—which have been shown to provide career benefits for the employed, college educated worker—are seen as a possible solution to providing workforce education at scale. Although some research has shown career benefits from MOOC content and digital credentials, existing studies that link learning behaviors in MOOCs to career benefits have only been performed on single courses. This dissertation takes the form of a research study that uncovers correlations between learners’ interactions with course material and the career benefits that they earned across multiple MOOCs. The benefits of this research include understanding which learning behaviors can be encouraged to promote completion and career benefits from MOOCs, establishing new pathways for more inclusive course design, helping define the value of MOOC credentials to learners and employers, providing motivation to complete courses for learners, and uncovering new areas for further research.

Subject Area

Adult education|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Trumbore, Anne M, "Learner Behavior and Career Benefits in Massive Open Online Courses" (2020). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI27962747.