Peer-to-peer interaction and linguistic feedback in foreign language MOOCs


  • Elena Martín-Monje Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (U.N.E.D.)
  • Elena Bárcena Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (U.N.E.D.)
  • Timothy Read Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (U.N.E.D.)

Palabras clave:

Massive Open Online Courses, second language learning, social interaction, social feedback


This work presents a study of the interactions between course mates, i.e., peer-to-peer interactions, in the first Professional English MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for Spanish native speakers, which was started in parallel on Open UNED’s MOOC platform and also on Miriada X. One
of the objectives of this course was to foster open interaction in the area of language higher education. Given the differences between both platforms, the present work is centred on the course in Miriada X, which was structured around a series of intercultural activities that required student interaction and mutual feedback in order to foster online communication in the target language, thereby addressing the issue of the communicative imbalance between the students (around 30,000) and the teaching team (5: 2 curators and 3 facilitators) and the large dropout rate which
characterises this type of courses. The information about the level of interaction and the type of feedback provided by the students was registered through teacher observation and also by means of
a final questionnaire that students were required to undertake. The analysis undertaken revealed the need to adjust some of the quality criteria currently applied to these courses and also the need to substantially improve the perception that Spanish speaking students have of the advantages of
peer interaction.