Massive open online courses (MOOCs), contribute significantly to individual empowerment because they can help people learn about a wide range of topics. To realize the full potential of MOOCs, we need to understand their factors of success, here defined as the use, user satisfaction, along the individual and organizational performance resulting from the user involvement. We propose a theoretical framework to identify the determinants of successful MOOCs, and empirically measure these factors in a real MOOC context. We put forward the role of gamification and suggest that, together with information system (IS) theory, gamification proved to play a crucial role in the success of MOOCs.

Manuela Aparicio (corresponding author; is an invited assistant in the Department of Science of Information and Technology in ISCTE-IUL, University Institute of Lisbon, and also and invited assistant in Information Management at Nova IMS, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She holds a Ph.D. from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Information Management. She received her MSc degree form ISCTE-IUL. Her research interests include the evaluation of information systems effectiveness. Specially the implementation and use of information technology in education. She is also interested in e-learning systems success research. She conducted a bibliometric study on e-learning evolution concepts, and proposed two different business models for massive online open courses (MOOCs). Her work appeared in the Journal of Educational Technology & Society, Internet and Higher Education, Computers in Human Behavior and others.

Fernando Bacao is Associate Professor and vice-Dean of NOVA Information Management School (Nova IMS), Univerisdade Nova de Lisboa. He received his Ph.D. in Information Management from Nova IMS, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He directs the Pedagogical Board and is the Director of the Nova IMS Doctoral Program. His research interests are in the field of knowledge discovery in databases (KDD). In this context, I’m interested in understanding how can Self-Organizing Maps and Visual Analytics improve decision-making processes and knowledge extraction from large databases. Most of his work has been in the application of these tools in the context of spatial/temporal data. He has also worked in assessing the role of IT in the development process, both for countries and organizations. The aim has been to understand and measure the drivers of the digital divide. Currently, he is interested in the role of big data in the development of smarter cities and communities. As part of his research work he have developed or helped develop some software pieces, such as the GeoSOM Suite. His work appeared in Information & Management Journal, Computers, Journal of Educational Technology & Society, Internet and Higher Education, Environment and Urban Systems, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Landscape Ecology, and others.

Marco Painho is currently Full Professor of NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS). Coordinates the Master of Science Program in Geospatial Technologies (Erasmus Mundus), the Master in Geographic Information Systems and Science, and the MOOC of Science and Geographic Information Systems (MOOC TecGEO). His research interests include Geographic Information Systems, Natural resource Information Systems, Information Integration, Crowed Sourced Geospatial Information, Spatial Analysis, GIS Education and Information Infrastructures. He holds a Bachelor degree in environmental Engineering by the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a Master of Regional Planning (MRP) by the University of Massachussetts, a Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (Ph.D.) by the University of California and Habilitation Geographic Information Systems by the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He was NOVA IMS’ Director between 2000 and 2010. He is the author and editor of over 160 publications including books, books chapters, papers and articles in national and international conference proceedings. Has coordinated over 80 research and development, consulting and international cooperation projects. Has had the following duties: Member of the scientific Committee of the European Environmental Agency Portuguese representative of the Thematic cooperation group: Earth Monitoring and Observation (IV Framework Program – environment and climate) Member of the Management Board and Steering Committee of the European Topic Centre for Nature Conservation, Paris. His works appeared in Journal of Spatial Information Science, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Geospatial Health, Habitat International, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, European Planning Studies, Procedia Technology, Journal of Cleaner Production, Historical Methods, Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, Trends in Applied Science Research, International Journal of Sustainable Development, Cities, International Journal of Digital Earth, Principles of deterministic spatial interpolators, and others.