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Perceptions and Experiences of Chinese University Undergraduate Students in an International Program Studying English Online

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Clayton Lehman
Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China


The COVID-19 pandemic brought sweeping and unplanned changes in education worldwide. This time of fully online instruction has revealed that there is much to understand and learn about the various stakeholders involved in the online learning experience. The purpose of this mixed-methods case study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of Chinese university students taking an English language development course entirely online using synchronous and asynchronous learning platforms. Quantitative data was collected using a pre-course survey (N=103) and a postcourse survey (N=66). Quantitative data compared student pre-course and post-course perceptions and experiences of online learning. Qualitative data were collected in each survey via an openended question and further explored perceptions and experiences. Following the post-course survey, additional qualitative data were collected by an open-ended questionnaire completed by a small group of survey participants (N=5). Qualitative data showed that students found studying online convenient and helpful for developing English language skills but were concerned about self-regulation, communication, and wi-fi or Internet connectivity. Analyses of the quantitative data revealed statistically significant differences between the pre-course and post-course survey responses concerning language skill development. Additional survey findings were differences between before and after survey responses relating to instructor feedback and devices used to access online classes. Overall, the study found that 64.2% of participants would take another English language development course online.

Synchronous learning, asynchronous learning, China university, online English language development, COVID-19