Student Engagement in Aviation Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Main Article Content

Jennifer Edwards
Mark Friend
Haydee Cuevas
MaryJo O. Smith
Felix Brito


As online training in the aviation industry continues to expand, understanding how learners engage in open, aviation-focused, online course material may help inform course design in the industry. This study addressed two known problems: a lack of information on student engagement in aviation-related Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and more broadly, a growing imperative to examine learners who utilize MOOCs but do not complete them. Learning analytics datasets from two iterations of the same, small, unmanned aerial systems MOOC were cluster-analyzed to categorize participants into common subpopulations based on activity in discussion boards, video webinars, and quizzes. Subgroup differences were examined in terms of days of activity and record of completion. Survey data provided additional variables for analysis of subgroup differences in the categories of demographics and learning goals. Three significantly different engagement subgroups were found for each MOOC. Engagement patterns were similar between MOOCs for the most and least engaged groups, but differences were noted in the middle groups. MOOC 1’s middle group had a broader interest in optional content (discussions and videos); whereas, MOOC 2’s middle group had a narrower interest in optional content (discussions). Significant associations were found between subgroups and education, days of activity, and total quiz scores.

Article Details

Peer-Reviewed Articles