Motivational Factors that Influence the Course Completion Rate of Massive Open Online Courses in South Africa

Liezel Cilliers, Hossana Twinomurinzi, Obrain Murire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have increased access to higher education by allowing South Africans to access free, online-based, open content created by higher education institutions worldwide. However, most MOOCs report significant student drop-out rates before completing a course. Higher education institutions must understand learner motivation for completing a MOOC. This paper examines the motivational factors influencing the completion rate of MOOCs in South Africa. This study employed a quantitative approach to collect data using an online questionnaire from South African respondents. A total number of 3147 responses were recorded, and the data were analyzed with SPSS V28. Correlation statistics tests were used to denote the association between the four independent variables and the dependent variable. The study's most important findings are that intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors, motivation to continue, and the availability of resources positively impact a MOOC's completion rate. The study concludes that these factors will improve the throughput rate of MOOCs. It is recommended that all higher education institutions that offer MOOCs create a conducive online learning environment that offers independence and freedom of learning with plenty of communication and collaboration between students and facilitators. Creating such an environment will encourage active participation in the course and improve throughput rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • MOOCs
  • South Africa
  • completion rate
  • extrinsic motivational factors'
  • intrinsic motivational factors
  • massive open online courses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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