In this study, we introduce a model that captures and visualizes the dynamical process of individual intention forming and the translation of this intention into actual behavior when learning in MOOCs. To validate the model and further our understanding of learning in MOOCs, we constructed a short survey based on this theoretically grounded intention-behavior dynamics model. This survey was sent to MOOC learners who at the time of their respective MOOCs indicated that we could contact them for further research purposes. The combination of open and closed questions referred to the most recent MOOC they took and was answered by 84 learners. The results revealed that most learners start a MOOC with a specific intention in mind, but that nearly one third of these learners reformulates this initial intention, once or more often, at some point due to barriers they encounter which hinder or prevent them from reaching their individual intentions. These barriers are mainly non-MOOC related, which may be valuable input for future research as well as guide the development of interventions for supporting learners to reach their personal learning intentions.