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Study Effort and Student Success: A MOOC Case Study

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 916)


Learning was once defined as the function of efforts spent in relation to efforts needed [3]. Provided that effort is closely linked to time, previous research has found a positive relationship between student effort over time and student success, both in university education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). With the complex environment of tracing and identifying relevant data of student learning processes in MOOCs, this study employs learning analytics to examine this relationship for MITx 6.00x, an introductory programming and computer science MOOC hosted on the edX MOOC platform. A population sample from the MOOC (N = 32,621) was examined using logistic regression, controlling for variables that may also influence the outcome. Conversely, the outcome of this research study suggests that there is a curvilinear relationship between effort over time and student success, meaning those who exert effort for the longest amount of time in the MOOC actually have a lower probability of obtaining a certificate than others who exert effort over somewhat less time. Finally, research implications are discussed.


  • Massive open online course (MOOC)
  • Efforts
  • Learning analytics
  • Logistic regression
  • Total time
  • Study success

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Correspondence to Jeanette Samuelsen .

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Samuelsen, J., Khalil, M. (2020). Study Effort and Student Success: A MOOC Case Study. In: Auer, M., Tsiatsos, T. (eds) The Challenges of the Digital Transformation in Education. ICL 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 916. Springer, Cham.

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