Syllabus Design for Teacher Education MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses): A Mixed Methods Approach

  • Liyan Huang
  • Ming Xu
  • Zhixian Chen
  • Feifei LiuEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1048)


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been used increasingly in education. The selection and grading of course content, i.e. the syllabus, constitutes the basis for MOOC development. However, less attention has been paid to the construction of a syllabus from an empirical perspective which this study addresses by designing a syllabus for MOOC, aiming at improving English teachers’ assessment competencies, i.e. assessment literacy. Applying a mixed methods research approach, we firstly administered an open-ended questionnaire to 468 English teachers of Chinese schools to brainstorm initial components of an assessment literacy inventory (ALI). We then surveyed 318 English teachers with a structured questionnaire. With exploratory factor analysis, we extracted six components for the ALI, i.e. basic knowledge, formative assessment, administration and use of results, use of IT, task construction, and doing research, on the basis of which we proposed a syllabus. Lastly, we interviewed five experts to validate the proposed syllabus.


MOOC syllabus design Assessment literacy Teacher education Factor analysis 



This work was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (15BYY080) and the 2017 Teacher Education MOOC Research Funds from the Chinese University MOOCs to the first author. We would like to thank the English Assessment MOOC team of South China Normal University, all participating teachers, postgraduate students and school districts for their contribution.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liyan Huang
    • 1
  • Ming Xu
    • 1
  • Zhixian Chen
    • 1
  • Feifei Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Foreign StudiesSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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