Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

Learner Autonomy in Beginning Language MOOCs (LMOOCs): The Student Teachers' Perspective

Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

Carolin Fuchs [+-]
Northeastern University
Carolin Fuchs is Teaching Professor in the World Languages Center at Northeastern University, where she also coordinates online teaching and learning for the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She holds a Ph.D. in English Studies from the Justus-Liebig University Giessen and an M.A. in TESOL from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Her research interests include different aspects of online learning and telecollaboration (e.g., learner autonomy, task design). Carolin has published in CALICO, CALL, Language Learning & Technology, ReCALL, and TESOL Quarterly. She currently serves as one of the Editors-in-Chief of the Journal [email protected]


This case study explores the concept of learner autonomy in beginning language massive open online courses (LMOOCs) in response to a call for current MOOC education practices to promote more structured support and systematic scaffolding. The study draws on the experiences and perspectives of 15 English as a Second/Foreign Language student teachers at a private graduate institution on the East Coast of the U.S. Participants enrolled in beginning LMOOCs of their choice and tracked their learning process/progress in regular logs as part of their spring 2015 technology elective. In this study, the focus is primarily on self-reported system interaction and profile data, and data collection instruments include a needs analysis, weekly MOOC logs, and a post-MOOC questionnaire. Results indicate participants’ low overall motivation to complete their LMOOCs, a lack of interaction and negotiation opportunities, and the system’s reliance on learner autonomy due to insufficient guidance, scaffolding, and instructor feedback. Yet, in working around such shortcomings, some participants exercised their agency by taking additional LMOOCs, locating external materials, and asking for native speaker assistance. This suggests foregrounding setting goals and employing metacognitive strategies, and exposing learners to an in-depth discussion of key concepts such as autonomy and agency.

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Fuchs, Carolin. Learner Autonomy in Beginning Language MOOCs (LMOOCs): The Student Teachers' Perspective. Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 168-197 Apr 2017. ISBN 9781781795972. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=32711. Date accessed: 24 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.32711. Apr 2017

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