Studying Prospective Participants Of Open Online Cources
Active use of open online courses worldwide makes it necessary to study the practice of open education in the context of Russian universities. Due to that, the questions of who is going to become a participant of online courses and how we can describe this person are extremely relevant. The purpose of this paper is to describe results of a study dedicated to revealing characteristics of potential participants of online courses. The study was conducted by surveying undergraduate, post-graduate
... te, post-graduate and continuing education students that have a need in getting a professional degree. In total, 123 respondents were surveyed. It has been revealed that despite rather high Selection of online course for all the groups of respondents was largely defined by developer reputation, platform, content, topic, as well as course workload. As a whole, respondents prefer blended learning approach that imply a combination of face-to-face interaction with online support in a form of a course. Readiness to completely switch to MOOCs was demonstrated only by 9.5 % of undergraduates, 6.3 % of postgraduates and 7.1 % of students of continuing education programs. As the most important obstacles for learning through online courses, the respondents named insufficient development of skills in independent processing of teaching information and in building online communication without direct contact with instructor. In general, further expansion of MOOCs in educational process in universities requires deeper research into characteristics of potential MOOC participants, as well as purposeful training in skills necessary for independent completion of online courses.