Computerand internet based technologies have had huge impacts on the moderneducation systems. Massive Open Online Courses is one of the recenttechnologies that have transformed the modern education system(Guthrie, 2012, Mangan, 2012). The most important contribution ofMassive Open Online Courses have been the expansion of access tohigher education by eliminating entry requirements, educationbackgrounds, fees and income as important prerequisites to access tohigher education (Yousef, 2014a). However, there are several types ofMOOCs, which includes classified MOOCs and connectivist MOOCs(Daniel, 2012, Siemens, 2013). By expanding the accessibility toeducation, MOOCs have increased the accessibility to second languagelearning. Today, an individual does not need to attend thetraditional classroom in order to learn a second language. Despitethe huge impacts of MOOCs on second language learning and highereducation, there are some concerns that have been raised. Accordingto Yousef (2014), the absence of human interactions is the majorcriticism that has been raised against MOOCs in major literatures.Other concerns that have been raised include pedagogical challengesand the impacts of feedbacks in the learning process, learner-videocontent interactions and high rates of dropouts (Daniel, 2012,Grunewald, 2013, Luo et al, 2014).
Themain contribution of blended MOOCs is addressing or eliminating theseconcerns and limitations. The strengths of blended MOOCs are theability to bring together the advantages of face to face classroomand online classroom to create a more effective learning platform(Bruff et al, 2013). The development of blended MOOCs was based onthe hurdles and challenges that faced the standalone online learningplatform (Ostashewski & Reid, 2012,). According to Yousef et al(2015), blended MOOCs “hasthe potential to bring human interactions into the MOOC environment,foster student-entered learning, and support the interactive designof the video lectures, provide effective assessment and feedback, aswell as contemplate the diverse perspectives of the MOOCparticipants”.
Accordingto Bowen et al (2012), the integration of offline or face to facelearning environment and the online supported MOOCs learning hascreated a flexible and more effective model of learning. Hill (2012)also noted that blended MOOCs enhances learner to instructorinteractions and feedbacks. According to a meta analysis by Means etal (2010), a blended MOOCs is more effective when compared to apurely face to face traditional learning environment or a fullyonline learning platform. This is because the blended system combinesthe learning advantages of an online and offline classroom. Accordingto Rodriguez and Anicete (2010), the advantages of blended MOOCs areaccrued the fact that the traditional on campus instructor isintroduced in the online learning environment. For example, thelearners are able to get exposure to the learning material throughonline materials such as video lectures and engage in a deeperlearning process with the instructor in the traditional face to faceclassrooms (Bruff et al, 2013). While the role of face to faceinteraction between the learner and the instructor as well as leanerinstructor may not be critical in other subjects, it is verynecessary in second language learning. The blended MOOCs have beensignificantly successful. However, there are several challenges thatare associated with the program. As a result, there are a wide rangeof views and comments from educationists and theorists (LaMartina,2013).
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