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  • Special Section: Moocs: Game Changer or Passing Fad?
  • Open Access

A Cluster Analysis of MOOC Stakeholder Perspectives

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 1
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12010074

  • Received: 15 June 2014
  • Accepted: 15 September 2014
  • Published:


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are providing opportunities for thousands of learners to participate in free higher education courses online. MOOCs have unique features that make them an effective Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) approach. Institutions are offering a growing variety of MOOCs. Nevertheless, there are several crucial challenges that should be considered in the development of MOOCs, e.g., the drop-out rate of over 95% of course participants. One of the potential reasons for that is the complexity and diversity of MOOC participants. This diversity is not only related to the cultural and demographic profile, but also considers the diverse motives and perspectives when enrolled in MOOCs. This paper aims to cluster and analyze the different objectives of MOOC stakeholders to build a deeper and better understanding of their behaviors. Our main finding was a set of eight clusters, i.e., blended learning, flexibility, high quality content, instructional design and learning methodologies, lifelong learning, network learning, openness, and student-centered learning. This cluster schema creates a meaningful picture for the MOOC community.


  • Massive Open Online Courses
  • MOOCs
  • stakeholder analysis
  • clustering
  • lifelong learning