With the rapid development of technology, online writing instruction (OWI) has become an integral part of all writing instruction. However, one of the challenges encountered by OWI instructors has been to select an appropriate online learning platform or learning management system (LMS) aligning with writing pedagogies. This study developed a small-scale fully online writing course – a college-level English composition MOOC using Google Classroom, a free and easy-to-use online learning platform, to (a) explore the potential of using Google Classroom in teaching composition MOOCs and (b) examine students’ learning effectiveness in the composition MOOC. Participants were 33 EFL students who learnt knowledge and skills needed to write a literature review assignment in this 6-week, theme-based composition MOOC. Results demonstrated that the composition MOOC was well received by the participants and was effective in teaching writing given that students made improvement on both knowledge of citation practices and final written product. Specifically, features of Google Classroom allowed teachers to create different types of learning materials, assignments, and assessment that make online writing courses engaging and interactive. Most importantly, its collaborative features, such as file sharing and the real-time communication technology, empowered teachers to give timely feedback and create communicative activities that writing pedagogies value, making Google Classroom a good platform for OWI.
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