English Teaching Massive Open Online Course Breaks Coursera Records

Posted by Kerri S. Hannan
December 30, 2014
A Regional English Language Officer Teaches Participants in a MOOC Workshop

From Peru to Pakistan, and from Ethiopia to Estonia, the worldwide demand for English language learning programs is insatiable.  The Office of English Language Programs at the U.S. Department of State helps address this need through U.S. embassies around the world in collaboration with ministries of education, teacher education institutions, professional teacher associations, and other partners.  In addition to reaching out to English language learners, we also train teachers to strengthen the teaching of English worldwide.  While traditional exchanges and in-person training programs often limit participant numbers, we have successfully added a relatively new tool to our list that is scalable to global demand: the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC.

In spring 2014, we launched the Shaping the Way We Teach English MOOC in collaboration with the University of Oregon and Coursera, an educational technology company.  The MOOC immediately broke two Coursera records: the largest number of non-U.S.-based participants and the highest completion rate.  During the call for participants, embassies around the world understood the power of this tool to respond to the hunger among teachers for new ideas and techniques.  They reached out to alumni of other State Department exchange programs and networks of teaching professionals via email, Facebook, and Twitter to eventually attract about 40,000 participants from 179 countries. 

In order to build a more interactive aspect to the course offering and support first-time MOOC participants, many embassies, through their Regional English Language Officers (RELOs), established an opportunity for participants to come together for a series of in-person workshops that addressed the MOOC topics.  This unique combination of online content delivery with follow-up face-to-face interaction -- labelled “MOOC Camps” -- proved to be the right recipe to attain an unprecedented 10 percent completion rate (the MOOC average is 4 percent).

"Shaping 1" and "Shaping 2" have given me so many powerful tools to improve my teaching and understanding of the ongoing process of learning that a mere "thank you" does not suffice to describe how I perceive the benefits gained by my participation in them.  A sincere "Thank You" from the heart!  (MOOC Participant)

Based on the successful outcomes, we are offering the course again in 2015.  The Shaping the Way We Teach English MOOC will be offered twice, beginning on January 5th and April 6th.  Designed for professionals already working in the area of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or studying to become EFL teachers, these ten-week courses offer readings, videos, and discussion boards in order to help participants fully absorb the modern learning-centered methodology.  Uploaded lesson plans that are reviewed by peers serve as a final project and allow participants to receive a certificate of successful completion.  For more information or to sign-up, please visit: www.coursera.org/course/shaping1landscape.

It was an excellent course!  I adored my tutors.  I enjoyed participating with other professors since they share their own experiences of what works in their classrooms and for their students.  (MOOC Participant)

The multimedia-rich learning environment of the Shaping the Way We Teach MOOCs gives EFL educators the chance to join others from around the world in a unique learning experience, and the MOOC camps allow the participants to contextualize the ideas and share their knowledge locally.  Definitely a win-win for all involved.

About the Author: Kerri Hannan serves as Director of the Office of English Language Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  For more information about ECA programs, follow @ECAatState on Twitter.

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Comments

Karim b.
|
Tunisia
December 30, 2014
Keep up the hard work
Julio B.
|
Honduras
December 30, 2014
I would like to know more techniques and methodology in English teaching for in all the levels
Abdul k.
|
California, USA
December 30, 2014
I need some one help me to teach me English
Nawshadul I.
|
Bangladesh
December 31, 2014
Very useful contribution.I am interested to learn English.
Pasteur D.
|
Mozambique
December 31, 2014
May I ask office of Engish Language to elabolate the programm to teach also english language to the childs, young refugees in East of Democratic Republic of Congo as humanitarian action ? Wait for your favourable and prompt response. Best Regards.
Agha A.
|
Pakistan
December 31, 2014
If we provide space to this program in Quetta Balochistan, can possible to start it. Regards, Agha Mohsin Ali Executive Director Youth in Action Balochistan
Margarita T.
|
Florida, USA
December 31, 2014
I would like TO learn !!
elhadj d.
|
Morocco
December 31, 2014
I really like this MOOC courses. because i paricipated the first one that was offered by Darmerica casablanca .so i will enrolled for this one two.to gain many experiences.
Ramón L.
|
United States
January 1, 2015
Thanks
Fabiola R.
|
Mexico
January 1, 2015

Hello!

I would like to receive any information about future English courses. Thank you very much in advance and have a nice day :)

Jose M.
|
Mexico
January 1, 2015
I like learn english. Tank you united states embasy
Cristian .
|
California, USA
January 1, 2015
I want to study english
Florentino G.
|
Mexico
January 1, 2015
I want to take it, what should I do?
María L.
|
Mexico
January 1, 2015
I would like english
FROILAN R.
|
Mexico
January 1, 2015
Thank you for all. It´s very important to me learn this lenguage and practice whith people than talk and have all skills is so cool.
MIGUEL M.
|
Mexico
January 2, 2015
i like to lear more english
JULIO G.
|
Mexico
January 2, 2015
SPEAK ENGLISH, LIKE!
su n.
|
Burma
January 2, 2015
I like this programme.I want to be a good English teacher.But I need the language skill.
Luis V.
|
Mexico
January 2, 2015
Hello, i need to speak and understand english
julieta v.
|
Mexico
January 2, 2015
I need talk enlish please
veronica r.
|
California, USA
January 3, 2015
good morning I am interested in the course of English do not know if I could send more information about requirements thanks
Elias C.
|
California, USA
January 4, 2015
Yes
Lilian r.
|
California, USA
January 4, 2015
I want to learn english, because I need to get a Good Job, and I know that apeakin english I have more opportunities to get a Job.
Juana L.
|
Mexico
January 4, 2015
How can I take this course?
leticia g.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 4, 2015
Hi
CLAUDIA Z.
|
Mexico
January 4, 2015
IM VERY INTERESIN FOR THIS CURS PLEASE CAN YOU GAVE ME INFORMATION
HIPOLITO O.
|
Mexico
January 5, 2015
Good estimates nights friends shared my site to introduce deeper into English I am very interested to be part of the American community, I am a computer science degree, I work as a teacher teacher for the government of my country in technological education area and would like to refine my English to study a specialty and my PhD and improve my knowledge and technical skills, I like technological research, I hope to have the opportunity to acquire in full English.
samei f.
|
Afghanistan
January 5, 2015
I love these topics
Komi A.
|
Togo
January 5, 2015
Wow! What a privilege for us to take part in a great event and learning time?
ABAYRGA H.
|
Ethiopia
January 5, 2015
I am on the way of preparing for TOEFL exam then I need your help to score high grade ....thank you ! YOUR SINCERELY

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