ACADEMIC WRITING MOOCS: WRAP AROUND OR WRAP THEM UP
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) were intended as stand-alone learning platforms, however, lately they've become increasingly popular as a part of blended learning course designs. The rationale behind this approach is pursuing an opportunity to create additional educational dimension, boost motivation, enhance active learning techniques as well as increase personal engagement of learners. Since producing a MOOC is an expensive and demanding undertaking, a few institutions have attempted to utilize and repurpose the freely available MOOCs integrating them in the existing curriculum. There have been a few positive reviews of blended learning courses designed according to traditional teacher-centric model, which allows for an on-site component to be completely replaced by a corresponding online module. However, there has been little research of incorporating foreign MOOCs into language classes, which are meant to be practical and interactive. The paper reports a case study of creating a blended academic English course incorporating a MOOC on academic writing "How to write and publish a scientific paper" by Ecole Polytechnique. It reports students' perceptions of the course and attempts to analyze the grounds of these perceptions. Based on the findings of the research the paper discusses potentials and shortcomings of L2 blended courses and provides some considerations for language instructors who wish to follow the blended learning path.