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Understanding English Dictionaries: the Experience from a Massive Open Online Course

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Change log


McGillivray, Barbara  ORCID logo


We report on the experience from the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) dedicated to English dictionaries. The course was created by Coventry University in partnership with The Alan Turing Institute and Macmillan Education, and was provided by the online learning platform FutureLearn. The course ran in late 2019 (with 2477 participants) and again in early 2020 (with 2287 participants). The course relies on a highly interactive approach to knowledge acquisition and consists of articles, videos, interviews, links to further readings, and surveys aimed at stimulating learners’ active participation and interaction with the course content and with other participants. In this paper we reflect on our experience of running the course and interacting with participants, and we discuss the results of our quantitative and qualitative analysis of the MOOC. The analysis of the two editions of the course led to very similar results. We found that the majority of learners are female, with a university-level education, and work in the education and teaching sector. The course’s participation was comparatively high, and the learners showed a good level of engagement, indicating that there is an interest in accessible courses on lexicographic practice.



Journal Title

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Euralex 2021

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Alan Turing Institute (EP/N510129/1)