Ioannis Zafras, Apostolos Kostas, Alivizos Sofos


The extent to which Multiple Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide an alternative educational model to less privileged social groups is still under investigation. Purpose of this study is to examine how various social, demographic, and educational factors influence learners’ participation in MOOCs. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was deployed focusing on empirical research published between 2009-2019. Analysis and synthesis of the literature revealed that both the geographical location and the professional status of learners have a positive impact on self-regulated learning. Learners from North America and Europe have significantly higher levels of ICT and self-regulated learning skills than learners from other regions. Moreover, inequalities persist as most MOOCs users have a better educational and professional background in relation to the general population. This study helps to further understand the profile of the “average MOOC user” and contribute to the related scientific discussion about MOOCs initiative.


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MOOCs, participation inequalities, distance education, PRISMA

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