Role of Instructors’ Forum Interactions With Students in Promoting MOOC Continuance

Chenghong Zhang, Hong Chen, Chee Wei Phang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes how MOOCs, being a new global education and technology phenomenon, present both opportunities and challenges to educators and learners. The lack of face-to-face engagement introduces a sense of isolation in students, resulting in a high dropout rate. To this end, online forums are deemed to help overcome the problem by enabling interactions among the learners and facilitating their learning. Recent research further suggests that with an online forum provided in a MOOC, the presence of instructors may not be important. However, in this article, the authors provide two important insights: First, online forum indeed plays an important role in motivating learner continuance. Second, among the different types of forum activities, they find that interaction with instructors emerge as an important factor contributing to more assignment completions in addition to forum posting. The authors’ post-hoc analysis also indicates that the importance of instructor presence may be particularly salient in the Eastern vis-à-vis Western culture, which points to future research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Global Information Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Continuance
  • Course Completion
  • Forum Activities
  • Instructor-Student Interaction
  • MOOCs
  • Online Forums

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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