What Chinese MOOCers were saying in 2012


I love data and I love analysis so I was doing something very nerdy. Guokr is a Chinese social networking website among lifelong learners. In 2012, the site launched a MOOC initiative academy with the mission to help spread the benefits of MOOC movement to Chinese society.  I went through its forum posts in order to gain some insights. Some data as below

Dates of Posts – Year 2012 (or to be more precise, from December 28th, 2011 to January 27th, 2013.)

Number of Posts – 126 posts. 71% of these posts relate to the general questions about MOOCs; 29% of these posts are course specific. We shall bear in mind that during 2012, MOOC was still emerging and learners were asking many questions just to understand how it works generally.  

MOOC academy year 2012 posts analysis - type of posts

Among the general posts 

  • 26 questions are basic Q&As how does it work
  • 15 posts share learners’ MOOC experience/stories
  • 13 posts introduce MOOC concept and different platforms
  • 9 posts are seeking for study buddy/peer
  • 9 posts ask for others’ recommendation on courses
  • 8 posts discuss a specific technical questions – how to climb the Great Fire Wall 
  • 7 posts show people’s concern about language (most people are not comfortable in an English learning environment. )

Among the 29% of course specific posts, I categorised type of course specific posts based on Benjamin Bloom’s Learning theory. Let us see what happens

Bloom taxonomy

  • Remembering – 12 posts are lecture notes.
  • Applying – 3 posts are discussion of assignments.
  • Analyzing – 2 posts show a certain level of analysis however very few posts manage a deep level of such process.
  • Evaluating – 8 posts provide recommendation for a course. Such recommendation, nevertheless, do not achieve a full-scale evaluation of what have learnt
  • Creating – 5 posts are about MOOC courses learners created by themselves (AWESOME)!  But they are more a creative action inspired by MOOC than that inspired by a course itself.

After reviewing 100+posts, I had the impression that language and internet connection are two major blocks for Chinese MOOC learners. The lack of in-depth analysis and evaluation is a result of these reasons rather than a result of people’s lack of critical thinking. 


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