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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2020, 3(14); doi: 10.25236/FER.2020.031418.

Exploring the Challenges Concerning Deep Learning in SPOCs: a Case Study in a University in China


Haiyang Dong1, Fanjiao Zeng2

Corresponding Author:
Haiyang Dong

1 Qiongtai Normal University, Haikou 570100, Hainan, China
2 Qiongtai Normal University, Haikou 570100, Hainan, China


With the widespread popularity of E-learning in higher education, a small private online course(short for SPOC)generally becomes an increasingly hot spot of educational reform aiming for boosting the quality of higher education in China. The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges that teachers are faced with when they are conducting small private online courses. The design method used in this study involved a qualitative research methods that included online semi-structured interviews and in-depth interviews, carrying out a case study among a group of teachers in a university in China. The university has implemented the SPOCs for only 3 years to face with educational reform. The results indicate that there are four main challenges that were found: the challenge in scientific design of teaching activities, the challenge in better exploring students indeed need, the challenge in the interaction between teachers and students and the challenge in awareness of continuous innovation in online teaching. As a consequence of the challenges found, the teachers felt a need for professional development support. The results may help teachers determine what to take into account while designing and teaching SPOCs aimed at deep learning.


Challenges, Deep learning, SPOCs, Online teaching

Cite This Paper

Haiyang Dong, Fanjiao Zeng. Exploring the Challenges Concerning Deep Learning in SPOCs: a Case Study in a University in China. Frontiers in Educational Research (2020) Vol. 3 Issue 14: 102-110. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2020.031418.


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