MOOCs in Chinese Education

MOOCs in Chinese Education

Jing Liu (University of Science and Technology Beijing, China) and Han Zhang (University of Science and Technology Beijing, China)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2924-8.ch003
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MOOCs refer to Massive Online Open Courses. Based on online distance education and open education, MOOCs are a gradual integration product of the Internet and education, which receives great support and guidance from China's national policies. In 2013, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Peking University, and other prestigious universities began to introduce MOOCs into China, arousing general concern in the government and among educational and Internet communities. Nowadays, MOOCs are a hot topic in China. What is the research and application status of MOOCs in China? What are the influences of MOOCs on China's education? What are the development prospects of MOOCs in China? This chapter introduces the development background and process of MOOCs in China. Then, it attempts to explore the characteristics and the status of Chinese MOOCs, and the challenges that Chinese MOOC faces. At the end of this chapter, the future prospects of MOOCs in China are discussed.
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Background Of The Emergence Of Moocs In China

At present, the research on MOOC and its application in Chinese education mainly focuses on higher education. The Open Educational Resource Movement provides a basis for the concept of MOOCs, while the development of Internet technology ensures the technical competence for the implementation of MOOCs. In addition, Modern Distance Education in China has laid a solid foundation for the practices of MOOCs.

Modern Distance Education in China

Modern Distance Education in China is the third generation of distance education (Online Education) after the first generation (Correspondence Education) and the second (Broadcasting Television Education). Unlike the development of foreign online education, development and innovation in China's online education is dominated by the government.

In December 1998, the Ministry of Education, in The Revitalization Action Plan of Education Facing the 21st Century, explicitly put forward its plan to implement the Modern Distance Education Project. By effectively making use of the advantages of existing education resources, China aimed to build upon the open educational network to establish a system of lifelong learning. In March 1999, the Ministry of Education approved the plan for four universities, including Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Hunan University, and Peking University, to construct an online education college as the pilot project of Modern Distance Education. Since then, online education has appeared on the stage of education in China. At present, the Ministry of Education has approved the project for the China Central Radio and TV University (CRTVU) and 67 other regular universities to carry out the “Modern Distance Education” pilot project. Online education has already become an important component of higher education in China.

The main goals for those colleges carrying out the pilot work of online education are:

  • Launching Academic Education: Colleges will enroll students from the whole society, who will finish academic work and degree education through online teaching. Meanwhile, the colleges will also provide online courses for full-time students. Students in one college can choose courses from other colleges, and each school will mutually recognize credits.

  • Launching Nonacademic Education: Colleges will provide courses for continuing education, open to the whole society. The program includes curriculum training, job training, certificate examination, and learning support for self-taught examination.

  • Explore Modes of Online Teaching: These consist of several parts including the course system, teaching content, courseware, teaching method, self-teaching, tutorship, homework, experiment, online testing, guarantee of teaching quality, and teaching supervision.

  • Explore the Regulatory Mechanism of Online Teaching: This mechanism mainly includes student enrollment, registration, charges, student-status management, organizing tests, credit certification, and graduation.

  • The Construction of Online Teaching Resources: Colleges should construct various shared online resources, including online teaching resources, item pools, an online testing system, and the operating mechanism.

To implement The Revitalization Plan of 21st Century Education, the department of higher education of the Ministry of Education launched the “Construction Project of Online Courses in New Century” in 2000. This project aims to support several colleges in constructing online education, launching the Modern Distance Education pilot project, and promoting shared teaching resources of good quality nationwide. This plan has been applied in several pilot colleges, with its goal of constructing primarily online courses, and a case and item pool for almost 200 subjects, to provide necessary online learning resources for Modern Distance Education (The Department of Higher Education, 2000). As of 2004, 299 projects had passed the quality threshold for acceptance. Among them, they have widely implemented several kinds of online courses in the online education institutes of pilot colleges in Modern Distance Education.

With almost 20 years of circuitous development, China’s online education has made great contributions toward the promotion of popularized domestic higher education. Nevertheless, possibilities of the society recognizing the launching of academic education in college online education institutes are not optimistic (Bi, 2015).

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