Higher education in China has experienced a significant transformation from an elite educational system to a stage of massification since the first decade of the 21st century. In 2007, the Department of Higher Education launched the College English Curriculum Requirements, promoting “a computer-assisted and classroom-based teaching model” (p. 8). A Small Private Online Course (SPOC) embedded flipped classroom is called for to accelerate the innovation of teaching and learning approaches particularly for English-major courses such as Intercultural Communication. Compared to the traditional knowledge-transmission teaching, flipped classroom approaches engage a variety of pre- and post-class work and in-class activities. This raises questions about the real status of SPOC embedded flipped classroom model in Chinese higher education and whether it is perceived as important and effective. This study aims to explore the feedback of a four-month experiment using a flipped classroom approach which involved 153 undergraduate students at Wuhan University of Technology. Adopting an online-based questionnaire, the present study investigated the attitudes of students toward the learning of English language and culture through the SPOC embedded flipped classroom model. Major findings show the positive attitudes of students toward the use of the proposed model in English-major courses; it contributes to the development of students’ autonomous, active, and collaborative learning skills. However, some issues are addressed in relation to time allocation of online learning and in-class activities and students’ engagement in the online community. Several pedagogical suggestions are proposed such as the provision of an induction program.
Xiaofei Tang, Wuhan University of Technology, China
Stream: Blended learning
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