First Advisor

Kendrick, David S.

Date Created



Massive open online courses (MOOC) have become one of the recent innovations in the field of higher education. These courses are distributed via the Internet and free, attracting thousands of students in a course from all over the world. However, there is a serious issue concerning MOOC students’ completion rates. Previous research studies have explored a variety of factors that might lead to low completion rates for MOOCs. However, students involvement from various culture and language backgrounds was a factor not investigated in the literature a factor that could have affected students’ completion rates. This study redesigned an activity theory model to reflect cultural factors and examined several cultural indictors related to communication, self-efficacy, technology, and Anglo-American context to determine whether these factors predicted MOOC student completion rates. The sample of this current study consisted of 133 MOOC students from 52 different countries who were enrolled at a Midwest American university. Logistic regression was applied to identify if any of the selected cultural indictors predicted MOOC students completion. The findings suggested other cultural factors than the ones selected in this study need to be explored. Moreover, the findings of this study might enhance the research area in the MOOC field to improve students’ attrition. The potential of the redesigned activity model for investigating cultural influences in other domains was presented as a way to increase understanding of these factors.

Abstract Format



Distance education; MOOCs (Web-based instruction)


149 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by author.