There are an endless array of open educational resources (OER), open courseware (OCW), and massive open online courses (MOOCs) available for self-directed learning pursuits. This study explores the learning experiences, including the barriers, obstacles, motivations, and successes of directed online learners. Data collection included a 43-item survey of 2 large online learning communities: (1) 1,429 newsletter subscribers of the MIT OCW initiative, and (2) 159 participants enrolled in a MOOC hosted by Blackboard using CourseSites. This is a mixed methods design. The researchers qualitatively analyzed emerging themes from open-ended survey items as well as the descriptive statistics from the closed-ended items. The findings help capture informal and self-directed learning experiences through informal education channels
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