Learner readiness for MOOCs in Omani higher education institutions: disparities between projections and reality

Aisha Salim Ali Al-Harthi*, Wajeha Thabit Al Ani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the level of readiness for massive open online courses (MOOCs) of students in Oman. It compares the readiness of ordinary students in the Omani higher education institutions (HEIs) and those outside HEIs who took a MOOC from the larger Omani society and tests for the differences between their levels of readiness. Additionally, it tests for the best predictor for future participation in MOOCs. In this study, readiness is defined as the possession of three sets of skills: technological, metacognitive, and motivational. A sequential two-phase research approach was used by first collecting data from 428 students in different HEIs and then collecting the same data from 253 non-HEI students from the general public who were offered and took a MOOC specifically designed for this study. While high levels of the three sets of skills were found in both study samples, the MOOC students were found to have significantly higher motivational and metacognitive skills than the higher education students. In this study, binary regression results indicate that comfort with eLearning is the best predictor for future participation in MOOCs. Given the high student readiness for MOOCs in Oman in this study, some recommendations are provided for higher education institutions to benefit from the fast-moving MOOC phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Comfort with eLearning
  • Learner readiness
  • MOOCs
  • Self-directed learning
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences

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