English Language MOOCs in China: Learners’ Perspective

Yan Ding, Hui-zhong Shen


In the wake of rapid development of Language MOOCs (LMOOCs), numerous studies have proposed principles and guidelines to inform curriculum design. Very few of them have, however, reported on learners’ views. This study aims to contribute to this line of research by bringing in a learners’ perspective. It is based on a content analysis of 3,510 learner reviews on 41 English LMOOCs offered by a national MOOC provider in China. It focuses on Chinese EFL learners’ views of LMOOCs.  The results indicate that their views pertain mainly to seven categories: (1) content design of course videos, (2) presentation design of course videos, (3) MOOC program instructors, (4) assessments and assignments, (5) course settings, (6) forum discussions, and (7) technological environment, of which the first three are of the most importance to the learners. It is argued that Chinese EFL learners’ perception of English LMOOCs might be rooted in their engagement pattern with the courses, their perceptions of the role of teachers, the design of existing English LMOOCs, and a preference for the traditional way of foreign language teaching and learning they are acquainted with before engaging with the LMOOCs. The context-specific evidence could be used as an empirical base to guide future design of LMOOCs for foreign language learning in China.


language MOOCs; learner reviews; learner perceptions; content analysis; design principles

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