Effective interactive engagement strategies for MOOC forum discussion: A self-efficacy perspective

Wei Wei, Jia Liu, Xiaoshu Xu, Kimberly Kolletar-Zhu, Yunfeng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This mixed methods sequential explanatory study identified and explained the features of engagement strategies for MOOC forum discussion that help low-achieving students make significant progress. Triangulated data were collected from MOOC learners' (n = 335) scores in two reading assessments, their posts to the embedded online discussion forum, and their self-reflection learning journals. Based on learning progress between pre- and post-assessment tasks, MOOC learners are divided into three groups: 1) little, 2) moderate, and 3) significant progress. According to a statistical analysis of the quantified posts, surprisingly, the low-scoring students from the pre-test who demonstrated significant progress later engaged in significantly fewer peer-peer and peer-teacher interactions in the online discussion forum. Guided by self-efficacy literature, the reflective journals of these learners suggested that 1) learner-content interactions may help them advance learning and obtain new information and linguistic knowledge from the peer-made learning materials in the discussion forum; 2) they did not share and exchange ideas and answers with their peers. Instead, they prefer learning from others' discussions and wish to get quick feedback and suggestions on their contributions to the discussion forum; and 3) peer-peer and peerteacher interactions were proposed as two solutions to regulate their online learning experience as they lack self-discipline and time-management skills. Implications include teachers' continuous support to encourage low-achieving students to learn peer-generated content and quick feedback on their contributions to the discussion forum.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0293668
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11 November
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective interactive engagement strategies for MOOC forum discussion: A self-efficacy perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this