The Chinese Top Level Courses: Improving the quality of online courses in a new educational climate

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Since 2003, the Chinese Ministry of Education has supported the creation of more than 12,000 open courses with the purpose of improving the quality of undergraduate teaching in the rapidly expanding Chinese university sector. This project, called the Top Level Courses Project, includes both traditional undergraduate courses, vocational courses, and online courses.

Based on interviews with Chinese professors, administrators and bureaucrats, this study situates the project within the history of higher education in China, and examines how the curriculum design process and course evaluations have developed very differently from what is common in North American universities. Drawing examples from the role of the online courses offered, the presentation will also discuss a number of current and future trends in Chinese distance education policy.

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  • The Chinese Top Level Courses: Improving the quality of online courses in a new educational climate

    1. 1. The Chinese Top Level Courses: Improving the quality of online courses in a new educational climate Stian Håklev, PhD Student, OISE/University of Toronto Presentation to Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research April 7, 2011 - Creative Commons BY
    2. 2. Outline
    3. 3. Outlinewhat
is
the
Chinese
Top
Level
Courses
Project,
how
does
it
work?
    4. 4. Outlinewhat
is
the
Chinese
Top
Level
Courses
Project,
how
does
it
work?how
did
it
come
to
be,
Chinese
historical
and
higher‐ed
context
    5. 5. Outlinewhat
is
the
Chinese
Top
Level
Courses
Project,
how
does
it
work?how
did
it
come
to
be,
Chinese
historical
and
higher‐ed
contextsome
thoughts
on
the
future
of
this
project,
and
distance
ed
in
China
    6. 6. My
research
approach
    7. 7. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008
    8. 8. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etc
    9. 9. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etcanalysis
of
Chinese
academic
papers,
and
government
policies
    10. 10. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etcanalysis
of
Chinese
academic
papers,
and
government
policiestwo
visits
‐
summer
2009
and
winter
2009‐10
    11. 11. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etcanalysis
of
Chinese
academic
papers,
and
government
policiestwo
visits
‐
summer
2009
and
winter
2009‐10formal
interviews
with
professors
and
academic
staff
at
two
universities

    12. 12. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etcanalysis
of
Chinese
academic
papers,
and
government
policiestwo
visits
‐
summer
2009
and
winter
2009‐10formal
interviews
with
professors
and
academic
staff
at
two
universities
visits
two
a
number
of
Chinese
departments
of
education,
interaction
with
graduate
students
and
professors
researching
relevant
topics
    13. 13. My
research
approachparticipating
in
an
international
conference
in
Dalian
in
2008participation
in
many
international
conferences,
and
communication
with
people
in
MIT
OCW,
Hewlett
etcanalysis
of
Chinese
academic
papers,
and
government
policiestwo
visits
‐
summer
2009
and
winter
2009‐10formal
interviews
with
professors
and
academic
staff
at
two
universities
visits
two
a
number
of
Chinese
departments
of
education,
interaction
with
graduate
students
and
professors
researching
relevant
topicsa
number
of
presentations
in
China,
including
one
for
the
Top
Level
National
Courses
resource
center,
testing
my
tentative
findings
    14. 14. 4
    15. 15. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
project
    16. 16. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitive
    17. 17. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitivethree
levels
(campus,
province,
national)
    18. 18. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitivethree
levels
(campus,
province,
national)teaching
teams
    19. 19. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitivethree
levels
(campus,
province,
national)teaching
teamsboth
content
and
method
    20. 20. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitivethree
levels
(campus,
province,
national)teaching
teamsboth
content
and
methodfinancial
support,
requirement
to
make
course
available
online
for
five
years
    21. 21. Features
of
the
Chinese
OER
projectselective
and
competitivethree
levels
(campus,
province,
national)teaching
teamsboth
content
and
methodfinancial
support,
requirement
to
make
course
available
online
for
five
yearsthree
kinds:
undergraduate,
vocational,
and
online
courses
    22. 22. Purposes
    23. 23. Purposesinduce
full
professors
to
teach
undergraduate
courses
    24. 24. Purposesinduce
full
professors
to
teach
undergraduate
coursesencourage
professors
to
use
more
technology
in
their
teaching

    25. 25. Purposesinduce
full
professors
to
teach
undergraduate
coursesencourage
professors
to
use
more
technology
in
their
teaching
encourage
formation
of
teaching
teams,
rethinking
of
course
material
and
teaching
methods
    26. 26. Purposesinduce
full
professors
to
teach
undergraduate
coursesencourage
professors
to
use
more
technology
in
their
teaching
encourage
formation
of
teaching
teams,
rethinking
of
course
material
and
teaching
methodscourses
function
as
“models”
for
other
professors
    27. 27. Purposesinduce
full
professors
to
teach
undergraduate
coursesencourage
professors
to
use
more
technology
in
their
teaching
encourage
formation
of
teaching
teams,
rethinking
of
course
material
and
teaching
methodscourses
function
as
“models”
for
other
professors(course
material
used
directly
by
students?)
    28. 28. Lanzhou City University School gave certain amount of funding case study Clear philosophy: Construction of CQOCW will improve quality ofHave already been evaluating best courses all coursesinternally since 2003. Developed system of Not just about putting old courses online, butindicators of course quality rethink content, teaching methodology, etc.Issue announcement, meeting of heads of Internal committee to evaluate courses, thendepartments invited 20 external experts - used online material, also sat in on classesTeaching committee to identify basic andadvanced courses they could apply for In the end, 11 courses were selected for provincial CQOCWBrought teachers together with computerdepartment ( , )
    29. 29. Honor JPKC diploma
    30. 30. Quality Project ( )The OER project is a key part of the QualityProject, but it’s not the only part:The program targets 1000 universities with 10million FT students, and will cost approximatelyUSD $365 million.Targets:Help 3000 professors and administrators todevelop peer training exchangesSelect 1000 national-level teaching teamsGive awards to 500 top national teachersDevelop500 experimental teaching centers500 individual talent development and creativityareas500 high quality bilingual classes
    31. 31. 10
    32. 32. 11
    33. 33. 12
    34. 34. 13
    35. 35. 14
    36. 36. 15
    37. 37. 16
    38. 38. 17
    39. 39. 18
    40. 40. 19
    41. 41. 20
    42. 42. 21
    43. 43. 22
    44. 44. 23
    45. 45. 24
    46. 46. 25
    47. 47. 26
    48. 48. 27
    49. 49. 28
    50. 50. historical
background
    51. 51. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
sky
    52. 52. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
university
    53. 53. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?
    54. 54. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification
    55. 55. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)
    56. 56. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplines
    57. 57. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
step
    58. 58. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
steppush
for
increase
in
use
of
computers
in
higher
ed
already
from
early
1990’s
    59. 59. Not
quite
like
lightning
from
a
blue
skyFrench
and
German
model
of
the
medieval
universitycourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?massification985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
steppush
for
increase
in
use
of
computers
in
higher
ed
already
from
early
1990’s(evidence
from
interviews)
    60. 60. future
trends 31
    61. 61. What
does
the
future
hold?
    62. 62. What
does
the
future
hold?New
cycle
in
2011?
    63. 63. What
does
the
future
hold?New
cycle
in
2011?Education
Plan
2010‐2020:
less
focus
on
distance
ed
for

    64. 64. What
does
the
future
hold?New
cycle
in
2011?Education
Plan
2010‐2020:
less
focus
on
distance
ed
for
degrees,
more
focus
on
life‐long
learning
and
continuing
ed.
    65. 65. What
does
the
future
hold?New
cycle
in
2011?Education
Plan
2010‐2020:
less
focus
on
distance
ed
for
degrees,
more
focus
on
life‐long
learning
and
continuing
ed.Encouraging
reuse
of
the
resources
    66. 66. Key
numbers
from
China’s
2010‐2020
education
plan
    67. 67. 34
    68. 68. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universities
    69. 69. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?
    70. 70. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)
    71. 71. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplines
    72. 72. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
step
    73. 73. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
steppush
for
increase
in
use
of
computers
in
higher
ed
already
from
early
1990’s
    74. 74. Establishing
Beijing
and
Shanghai
Open
Universitiescourse
teams,
course
evaluations
go
way
back,
from
the
Soviet
Union?985
‐
evaluate
the
best
universities
(peer‐review)and
the
key
disciplinesevaluating
best
courses:
natural
next
steppush
for
increase
in
use
of
computers
in
higher
ed
already
from
early
1990’s(evidence
from
interviews)
    75. 75. Foreign
open
course
craze
    76. 76. 37
    77. 77. 38
    78. 78. 39
    79. 79. 40
    80. 80. 41
    81. 81. 42
    82. 82. 43
    83. 83. Thank you! shaklev@gmail.com http://reganmian.net/blog CC BYThesis can be downloaded in a variety of formatsfrom http://reganmian.net/top-level-courses

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