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In this paper we analyze what influences the permanence of 1606 students in a MOOC on General Chemistry, using navigation records (log files). Permanence – quantified as the amount of course items viewed and tests completed – was compared regarding the following parameters: (1) showing the correct answers after completing evaluative questionnaires; (2) offering certificates of completion; (3) allowing non-linear navigation (free browsing). Results from the Mann Whitney tests revealed that offering a certificate and showing the correct answer to test questions influence the permanence. However, when considering a smaller cut of students - those who completed at least 30% of the activities - none of the parameters influenced permanence. From these results, it can be argued that these two configuration parameters are relevant in relation to permanence, since they are an incentive for students who perform fewer activities, and therefore are those who are at greater risk of evading.
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