The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Comparative Study SPOC vs. MOOC for Socio-Technical Contents from Usability and User Satisfaction

Giovani Lemos de CARVALHO JUNIOR
Daniel Cebrian ROBLES
Manuel Cebrian de la SERNA
Manuela Raposo RIVAS

According to literature, usability and user satisfaction directly influence learning achievement. However, few studies address those elements in MOOCs (massive open online courses). Relevant questions such as “Are drop-out rates similar between SPOCs (small private open courses) and MOOCs?” and “Are there significant usability and satisfaction differences between both formats?” may help improve initiatives and dissemination policies regarding open knowledge. This study aims to upgrade guidelines for the conversion of SPOCs into MOOCs, by exploring usability and satisfaction in both formats. A quantitative research based on a questionnaire was designed, and the validated SUSE (Satisfaction and Usability of Software in Education) instrument was applied to 7 courses of each type, with the same contents, and 5,192 students. The results revealed validity and reliability, with higher satisfaction scores on the open platform. Genders, regions of residence, and age groups also provided interesting findings: students are predominantly male, young, and from diverse geographic locations. Women, the younger, and residents of economically disadvantaged regions evaluated their experiences more positively. Both formats present significantly lower dropout rates (47.50% in MOOCs and 36.94% in SPOCs) and higher completion rates (52.50% in MOOCs and 63.06% in SPOCs) compared to those generally observed in free enrollment courses.

KEYWORDS: MOOC, SPOC, usability, satisfaction, use studies, comparative studies

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.557726