EMOOCS 2021: Long-term effects of short-term intervention using MOOCs for developing Cambodian undergraduate research skills

While I drafted the paper and presented it at the conference, the work was mostly based on Cheyvuth Seng's doctoral research. I was privileged enough to be invited as a member of the International Track program committee member for this conference, so I had the opportunity to see various works even before the conference has started.
A slide indicating why this work is important

For a copy of relevant materials (e.g., presentation, paper) or any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to me through the Contact Me gadget on this blog's side bar.


Title: Long-term effects of short-term intervention using MOOCs for developing Cambodian undergraduate research skills
Authors: Cheyvuth Seng, May Kristine Jonson Carlon, John Maurice Gayed, Jeffrey S. Cross
Date: June 22 to 24, 2021
DOI: 10.25932/publishup-51030 (open access)


Developing highly skilled researchers is essential to accelerate the economic progress of developing countries such as Cambodia in South East Asia. While there is continuing research investigating Cambodia's potential to cultivate such a workforce, the circumstances of undergraduate students in public provincial universities do not receive ample attention. This is crucial as numerous multinational corporations are participating via foreign direct investments in special economic zones at the border provinces and need talented human resources in Cambodia as well as in neighboring Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Students' research capability growth starts with one's belief in their capacity to use the necessary information tools and their potential to succeed in research. In this research paper, we look at how such beliefs, specifically research self-efficacy and information literacy, can be developed through a short-term intervention that uses MOOCs and assesses their long-term effects. Our previous research has shown that short-term training intervention has immediate positive effects on undergraduate students' self-efficacies in Cambodian public provincial universities. In this paper, we present the follow-up study results conducted sixteen months after the said short-term training intervention. Results reveal from follow-up evaluations that while students' self-efficacies were significantly higher than before the short-term intervention was completed, they were lower than immediately after the intervention. Thus, while perfunctory interventions such as merely introducing the students to MOOCs and other relevant research tools over as little as three weeks can have significant positive effects, efforts must be made to sustain the benefits gained. This implication is essential to developing countries such as Cambodia that need low-cost solutions with immediate positive results in developing human resources to conduct research, particularly in areas far from more developed capital cities.