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Engagement and retention in VET MOOCs and online courses: A systematic review of literature from 2013 to 2017

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:02 authored by Paton, RM, Fluck, AE, Joel ScanlanJoel Scanlan
Building stronger structures that encourage deeper levels of learner engagement and retention in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is of significant interest to teachers of Vocational Education and Training (VET). Previous literature on MOOCs is predominately occupied with university sector developments and alternative educational contexts such as VET are neglected. This systematic review of literature from 2013 to 2017 evaluated learner engagement and retention in university MOOCs and VET online courses to identify functional approaches that could be implemented into VET MOOCs. Ten databases were searched, eliciting 1950 papers, which were then screened. Data from 30 university MOOCs and 8 VET online delivery articles that met the inclusion and quality assurance criteria were analysed. Four key themes and eleven component categories emerged repeatedly across the literature. Analysis revealed six functional approaches relevant to VET MOOCs. The findings suggested that coupling these functional approaches into VET MOOCs can improve learner retention and promote engagement. The implications for practice and further research are presented.


Publication title

Computers and Education








Faculty of Education


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Learner and learning not elsewhere classified

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