Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have affected the pattern of learning in the last few years. Many studies have been conducted to investigate MOOCs' impact on the educational field. In this study, the researcher will compare international and US graduate students' attitudes and experiences when they use MOOCs as a resource for learning. The study used a mixed-method design to collect the data. Quantitative data was compiled by using 79 responses for an online survey, and qualitative data was gathered by 10 semi-structured interviews. Participants in the study were graduate students at Rochester Institute of Technology. They were divided into two groups, international graduate students and US graduate students, who represented the study population. The study finds some similarities and differences between International and US graduate students. One of the obvious similarities is that students in both groups use MOOCs to supplement their learning. Moreover, MOOCs helped students to increase their knowledge in other fields and become more confident to learn new things. There are differences in ways of using MOOCs between international and US graduate students. One of these differences is that international students may use MOOCs to enhance their English proficiency and familiarize themselves to the US educational system before coming to the US. To interpret the high ratio of the drop outs in MOOCs, the researcher believes that students are not aware of the reality of the expression "drop out" in MOOCs or they just ignore participating.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

MOOCs (Web-based instruction)--Public opinion; Graduate students, Foreign--Attitudes; Graduate students--New York (State)--Rochester--Attitudes

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Human-Computer Interaction (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Michael Yacci

Advisor/Committee Member

Vicki Hanson

Advisor/Committee Member

Sean Boyle


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at LB1044.87 .A74 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes