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Global Concept, Local Practices: State of the Research on OCW in Chinese


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IMPORTANT: The audio to this presentation is available at I'm having some problems turning it into a slidecast, but I will try again.

Presentation given at OCWC/Connexions conference at Rice University, February 2009.

Since the MIT OCW program was started in 2002, the OCW movement and idea have spread to many different countries and linguistic contexts. Wonderful innovation, production and research is happening in different countries, and often published in different languages. For the OCW and OER movements to progress, it is imperative that we be able to learn from each other, and bridge these linguistic barriers.

China has been one of the most aggressive adopters of the OCW idea. Not only is China Open Resources for Education (CORE) coordinating efforts to translate MIT OCW into Chinese, but the Chinese Ministry of Education has since 2003 been operating a national OCW program called China Quality OpenCourseWare (精品课程). Chinese universities submit proposals, and can receive between $7,300 and $14,600 per course that is made freely available online. By 2007, there were already over 1,100 courses available online, many of these with extensive resources, and video recordings.

In addition to this large-scale production OCW, the Chinese scholarly community has also been prolific in researching and publishing about the program. The China Academic Journals database, which provides the full text of over 7,000 Chinese scholarly articles, lists 2,137 articles with the term 精品课程 (China Quality OCW), of which 421 were published in 2008. In numbers, this is roughly equivalent to all the scholarly publication that mention OCW in English and other Latin languages in total - however, the story becomes even more impressive when initial sampling shows that most of the Chinese articles listed mention OCW in their title, and have OCW as their main topic, whereas many of the English language publications are writing about broader issues, and only refer to OCW in passing.

I am currently conducting a research project on this wealth of literature. Initially I will try to provide a broad grouping of the Chinese articles on OCW, provide statistics on number of articles in each group (for example: articles that describe the process of producing individual OCW courses, articles that present surveys on student usage, etc), and in what kind of journals these articles appear. My ultimate objective is not only to gain a good understanding of the state of research around the Chinese Quality OCW program, but also identify specific journal articles that provide theoretical models, methodological approaches or accounts of experiences that are very relevant and useful to the North-American research on OER and OCW.

In my presentation, I will give a brief overview of the history and current state of China Quality OpenCourseWare, how it is funded, produced, and used, and also how it interacts with the Chinese translations of for example MIT OCW. I will give an overview over the “state of research”, both in terms of poignant research questions, methodologies and also relevant findings, from the Chinese context. I will also argue for a more integrated research roadmap for OCWs in North America, that actively engages with researchers and the literature from around the world.

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Global Concept, Local Practices: State of the Research on OCW in Chinese

  1. 1. Global Concept, Local Practices: State of the Research on OpenCourseWare in Chinese Stian Håklev, University of Toronto OCWC Regional Meeting, Rice University, February 6, 2009 Creative Commons BY 3.0
  2. 2. Outline MIT OCW in China China Quality OpenCourseWare The Research
  3. 3. Acknowledgment Wang Wenjun (王文君) Educational researcher at Northwest Normal University
  4. 4. Chinese context Massification of higher education (number of students in higher education from 850,000 in 1978 to 13 million in 2002) Increased diversification of higher education Good internet infrastructure Strong position of Chinese language Strong background in distance education
  5. 5. Bringing the idea to China MIT and IETF organized OCW conference with Jiaotong University in Beijing. As a result, 12 universities wrote the government to petition for a program of OpenCourseWare in China. As a result: CORE and CQOCW
  6. 6. MIT OCW into Chinese China Open Resources for Education (CORE) translating MIT materials to Chinese. 245 courses by the end of 2007. (OOPS also does this in Taiwan)
  7. 7. CORE main
  8. 8. Ex of Chin OCW
  9. 9. Motivation Internationalization Modernization Increase quality of teaching Borrow foreign teaching theories, methods and content Foreign classes have more progressive teaching, more stimulating, research based, questioning - we want to adopt that Increase collaboration between our institutions and foreign institutions
  10. 10. Issues and questions Hundreds of MIT courses used in Chinese universities? Examples?What material is used, how is it used, why is it used, what are the outcomes? More than 150 comparative book-length studies published comparing MIT curriculum with Chinese curriculum. Availability? Findings? “Before, we received foreign learning material, and we could only find out what they were teaching. Now, with OCW, we can also see how they are teaching, and get an understanding of the entire process of teaching, and this is very valuable to our educational research.”
  11. 11. Chinese Quality OpenCourseWare (精品课程) Centrally funded and promoted by Chinese Ministry of Education Three levels - national, provincial/ city, university First round from 2003-2007, second round just started More than thousand national level courses, as many as 10,000 courses in total. A large amount of research published.
  12. 12. MOE JPKC
  13. 13. Quality Project (质量工程) CQOCW is a key part of the Quality Project, but it’s not the only part: The program targets 1000 universities with 10 million FT students, and will cost approximately USD $365 million. Targets: Help 3000 professors and administrators to develop peer training exchanges Select 1000 national-level teaching teams Give awards to 500 top national teachers Develop 500 experimental teaching centers 500 individual talent development and creativity areas 500 high quality bilingual classes
  14. 14. zhiliang gongcheng
  15. 15. Purpose of CQOCW Expanding access to higher education never mentioned in the literature. The purpose is to increase the quality of undergraduate courses, with new pedagogics, new technology and updated, cutting-edge content. Course teams - senior subject experts, junior faculty and web designers University-level awards for good courses Effects on local team trickle down effect on local university on peers
  16. 16. Lanzhou City University case study Have already been evaluating best courses internally since 2003. Developed system of indicators of course quality Issue announcement, meeting of heads of departments Teaching committee to identify basic and advanced courses they could apply for Brought teachers together with computer department School gave certain amount of funding Clear philosophy: Construction of CQOCW will improve quality of all courses Not just about putting old courses online, but rethink content, teaching methodology, etc. Internal committee to evaluate courses, then invited 20 external experts - used online material, also sat in on classes In the end, 11 courses were selected for provincial CQOCW (浅议精品课程在教学工作中的作用, 王雪引)
  17. 17. meeting jpkc
  18. 18. JPKC diplomaHonor
  19. 19. so what does that look like So what does it look like?
  20. 20. CORE JPKC Chinese
  21. 21. Jingpinke main
  22. 22. Jingpinke course
  23. 23. course 3 from p
  24. 24. course 1 p1
  25. 25. course 1 p2
  26. 26. course 1 p3
  27. 27. course 1 p4
  28. 28. course 1 p5
  29. 29. course 4 intro
  30. 30. course 2 p2
  31. 31. course 5 extensive
  32. 32. course 5 p2
  33. 33. JPKC textbook
  34. 34. course 5 discforum
  35. 35. course 5 discforum2
  36. 36. CORE translating CQOCW to English Application form to translate JPKC to English You need to do it yourself or supervise someone who can. It is peer reviewed by a different institution. CORE subsidizes about $1,250 for the work..
  37. 37. CORE english
  38. 38. CORE law
  39. 39. Research
  40. 40. Journals Large number of educational journals, especially within distance education and online learning - even one specialized on open education.
  41. 41. CAJ 1
  42. 42. CAJ 2
  43. 43. CAJ numbers big
  44. 44. Approaches Classification of different ways of collaborating with MIT. Comparison 14 CQOCWs and 22 MIT OCWs in biology. Results: more classroom activity in MIT. MIT materials tied better together. Analysis of all CQOCW courses as representatives of university courses in China to see how many embed practical components. Results: in 2007 new criteria around practical components were introduced, which increased practical components a lot Beijing City CQOCW evaluation with external evaluators, through questionnaires, site visits and case studies. Results: educators use it to prepare for class, students: 40% related to current studies, but also high school prepare for/choose university, and interest.
  45. 45. Evaluation of new courses A study of the evaluation criteria over the five years. 5 primary and 15 secondary indicators. Weighted, totalling 100 points: responsible person and main lecturer the composition and quality of teaching team educational reform and educational research the course content the organization and planning of the course content the practical components teaching material and other resources conditions for practical components online education environment instructional design instructional approach instructional practice instructional outcomes - evaluation by peers, by university supervisor, by students, evaluation of recorded materials Added more focus on instructional design, pedagogy, use of technology, impact and sharing. and building local guidance teams
  46. 46. student eval
  47. 47. jpkc meeting
  48. 48. Criticisms Name doesn’t reflect content Top professors won’t share content Courses chosen based on professors, not quality Too much spent on design - “going through the motions” Needs to be long-term and sustainable
  49. 49. Issues and questions No common technical platform Doesn’t use Creative Commons or other open license Not much known about reuse and adaptation Many servers unavailable (as many as half, according to one report) How is it used by students? What are the plans going forward? Does it really have an impact of teaching? On who? On the initial creator? On the creator’s campus? On peers?
  50. 50. Thank you Please contact me for information/questions. This is an ongoing project.
  51. 51. Image credits • Flickr: Brian Jeffery Beggerly (Great Wall),Arthur Tsao (picture; outline), MK Media Productions (Lord of the Rings Tower in Shanghai), shonk (Studying...), アラン (Growing China), Andreanna (Question Mark- Day 35/365), aussiegal (Exclamation Mark), kevindooley (Reflections), alexandralee (back when i studied chinese), tomt6788 (Abstract Colorful Universe Wallpaper - TTdesign), woodleywonderworks (cosmic soap bubbles (God takes a bath)),Wonderlane (The Road to Perdition), jlcwalker (Binoculars - a working collection) and katinalynn (nuclear slide)!