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Learning outcomes of a MOOC designed for attitudinal change: A case study of an Animal Behavior and Welfare MOOC

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Computers & Education Volume 96, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examines the case of an Animal Behavior and Welfare MOOC that specifically targeted attitudinal change in its learners. Attitudinal learning outcomes were evaluated using an author-developed survey with questions on perceptions in the four areas of attitudinal learning: General Learning, Cognitive Learning, Affective Learning, and Behavioral Learning. The survey also examined learner goals for enrolling in the course and their perceptions of the instructional methods implemented in the course. Results showed that learners perceived positive learning outcomes across all four areas. Statistically significant differences were found in relation to perceptions of attitudinal learning based on their reason for enrolling in the MOOC and its relation to attitude formation. There were also significant differences in learners' reasons for enrollment based on whether they intended to change animal welfare related behaviors due to their MOOC experience. Learners overwhelming indicated that the instructor videos were the most impactful instructional strategy regardless of whether they had a higher perception of learning, or a lower perception. Finally, learners with higher perceptions primarily enrolled in the MOOC in order to form a viewpoint on animal welfare, while lower perception learners enrolled to earn a formal certificate of completion. Implications are discussed for instructional design for attitude change as well as for the use of MOOCs for learning regarding social topics.


Watson, W.R., Kim, W. & Watson, S.L. (2016). Learning outcomes of a MOOC designed for attitudinal change: A case study of an Animal Behavior and Welfare MOOC. Computers & Education, 96(1), 83-93. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 18, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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