Escape from infinite freedom: Effects of constraining user freedom on the prevention of dropout in an online learning context

Tae dong Kim, Min young Yang, Jinhwa Bae, Byoung a. Min, Inseong Lee, Jinwoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online learning involving Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) is often used to avoid the physical limitations of offline learning. In addition, educational equality can be achieved by redistributing sunk costs in the online context. However, the dropout rate represents a serious and avoidable waste of economic resources. Numerous researchers have conducted studies on the subject, the large majority of whom outlined possible causes of the dropout phenomenon rather than offering solutions to reduce the dropout problem in e-learning. To remedy this, we propose practical system features to counteract the dropout rate in online learning. Through original use of psychological reactance theory (Brehm, 1966) as our main theoretical framework, we make two suggestions: restricting accessibility and limiting repeatability of online courses. These two measures create a sense of scarcity and lack of control, which may help to reduce dropout rates. In an experiment using our e-learning prototype, we analyzed data collected through a survey/questionnaire and interviews with subjects after the experiment. The results indicate that the perception of scarcity and lack of control in the online learning context may enhance e-learners’ concentration and increase their intention to continue and engage more deeply in online learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Escape from infinite freedom: Effects of constraining user freedom on the prevention of dropout in an online learning context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this