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Understanding learners' completion intention of massive open online courses (MOOCs): role of personality traits and personal innovativeness

Kriti Priya Gupta (Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Noida, India)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 9 March 2021

Issue publication date: 6 May 2021




The present study investigates the influence of five personality traits based on the Big Five model, i.e. extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience and personal innovativeness on learners' intention to complete MOOCs.


The proposed model was empirically tested using cross-sectional design. The primary data were gathered through a survey of 515 students at five higher educational institutions in the National Capital Region of Delhi, India. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypothesized relationships in the proposed model.


The study has found significant associations between the personality traits, personal innovativeness and MOOC completion intention. The findings indicate that extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience and personal innovativeness have significant positive effects whereas neuroticism has no significant effect on MOOCs continuance intention. Personal innovativeness has been found to mediate the relationships between all the personality traits and MOOCs completion intention of learners.

Practical implications

Our findings can potentially address the issue of drop-out rates of MOOCs in developing countries such as India. The findings of the study are helpful for MOOCs providers and other stakeholders. The MOOC developers should develop courses with wide scope so as to accommodate learners with different personality profiles. Additionally, during the enrolment process, MOOC providers can identify the students' attributes through personality tests. This will help in customizing the study material and teaching pedagogy as per the needs of the students.


The study contributes to the growing area of research in MOOCs usage by exploring the influence of personality traits on learners' behaviour towards completing MOOCs. Since the learners' intention to complete MOOCs is a major concern for MOOC developers, hence the present study makes a worthwhile contribution as it is a relatively under-researched area.



Gupta, K.P. (2021), "Understanding learners' completion intention of massive open online courses (MOOCs): role of personality traits and personal innovativeness", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 848-865.



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