Massive open online courses (MOOCS) are increasingly used by higher education providers to promote their fee-paying courses. But while multiple studies have examined the reasons why individuals enrol into MOOCs, little is understood about the effects of course engagement on their later educational goals. The current work addresses this gap by investigating the impact of MOOC engagement on participantsí future study goals and educational brand choices. This research uses a mixed methods approach to examine the goals and selection preferences of students following their engagement with a MOOC. This is accomplished through two separate longitudinal studies of MOOC participants. The first study consists of two sets of individual interviews (pre and post-MOOC). The second involves the use of pre- and post MOOC surveys of participants enroled into courses on project management and cyber security. The findings show that engagement with a MOOC can positively influence the future academic goals of students, as well as their choice of academic provider. These results highlight the marketing potential of Massive Open Online Courses as a pathway into higher education. The goal framework used in this study is also likely to have broader applicability for understanding goal-oriented behaviour in other consumer domains.
consumer behaviour, consumer goals, goal theory, MOOCs, university enrolment