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Home Journal Index 2021-1

Flipping a Virtual EFL Public Speaking Class Integrated With MOOCs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Zhuo Li
Southern University of Science and Technology, China

Xiaodi Zhou
University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, USA


This case study explored Chinese undergraduate EFL students’ attitudes to and perceptions of an online English public speaking course, which employs a virtual flipped classroom model and MOOCs during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Since all classes were moved online, a previously flipped public speaking course integrated with MOOCs was converted into a virtual flipped classroom. All 25 participants of the study were undergraduate students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. Zoom, Blackboard, and QQ instant messenger were platforms utilized in instruction. There were weekly two-hour Zoom meetings with learning activities using MOOCs on Blackboard. The study collected and corroborated results from multiple data sources, including surveys, focus group discussions, student presentation videos, and the instructor’s reflective teaching journals. Data was analyzed using Charmaz’s (2006) grounded theory. Survey results indicated that the 25 participants generally felt positive about the virtual learning environment. Students strategically adapted to all three digital platforms (Zoom, Blackboard, and QQ instant messenger), the MOOCs, and the flipped classroom model. They were engaged in exploring a variety of digital platforms, online learning resources, remotely collaborating with peers and interacting with the instructor. Incorporating MOOCs in a virtual flipped classroom allowed for application of theory into practice under the instructor’s supervision, which maximized the students’ speaking and learning opportunities. Recommendations for ELT practitioners and further research are also provided.

COVID-19, virtual flipped classroom, MOOCs, EFL, public speaking