Digital accreditations in MOOC-based training on sustainability: Factors that influence terminal efficiency


  • Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya Tecnologico de Monterrey
  • Sandra Martínez-Pérez Universidad de Sevilla
  • Guillermo Rodriguez-Abitia College of William and Mary
  • Edgar Lopez-Caudana Tecnologico de Monterrey



MOOC, educational innovation, higher education, digital accreditations, sustainability, terminal efficiency


Digital certificates in massive open online course (MOOC) learning experiences provide alternative credentials linked to lifelong learning. The Bi-National Laboratory on Smart Sustainable Energy Management and Technology Training provided the context for this research. This project was undertaken by Mexican and United States universities, businesses and governmental organisations, having granted 17,776 certifications in sustainability and 10,705 labour competence certificates. The research focused on analysing the factors that promote digital credentials, from the point of view of participant and platform characteristics, in the framework of MOOCs in energy sustainability, through the MexicoX and edX platforms. Using the ex post facto method, two validated instruments were applied to analyse motivation and self-regulation processes. A total of 4,002 useful responses were gathered from participants in 35 MOOC courses. The results account for six determinant factors for digital accreditation: perceived usefulness, self-efficacy, knowledge domain and expertise, group work disposition, achievement drive, and performance strategic thinking. We highlight implications for research on educational innovation and for educational practice in MOOCs. These data may be of interest to academics, researchers and decision-makers interested in training through distance environments.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Digital certifications in MOOCs are motivation for participants to successfully finish their courses, and this can be leveraged for education and research.
  • Course leaders need to consider that effective design and implementation of new models for MOOCs may help improve terminal efficiency.
  • The potential perceived benefits from training on professional performance have the greatest influence on the terminal efficiency of MOOC participants.


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How to Cite

Ramirez Montoya, M. S., Martínez-Pérez, S., Rodriguez-Abitia, G., & Lopez-Caudana, E. (2022). Digital accreditations in MOOC-based training on sustainability: Factors that influence terminal efficiency. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2), 162–180.