China’s Open Courses & Other Tech Dispatches from Asia

Back in 2003, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment launched its answer to MIT’s Open­Course­Ware project. The “Nation­al Qual­i­ty Course Plan” scoured Chi­na’s vast uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem and select­ed 3,000 best-of-breed cours­es in var­i­ous sub­ject areas. Then, mil­lions of dol­lars were ear­marked to put lec­tures and relat­ed course mate­ri­als online, with the hope that oth­er pro­fes­sors could draw inspi­ra­tion from these resources. But, things did­n’t go so well. Appar­ent­ly rough­ly 50% of these mate­ri­als nev­er made their way online. And the mate­ri­als that did were rarely updat­ed. (More on that here.) Will the project get renewed? Jeff Young, a reporter for The Chron­i­cle of High­er Edu­ca­tion, went to Chi­na to find out. His report (read it here) is part of a month long series of dis­patch­es that takes you inside Asi­a’s wired class­rooms and high-tech research labs. You can read Jef­f’s dai­ly posts from Sin­ga­pore, Chi­na, South Korea, and India through­out this entire month.

Update: One of our read­ers wrote a the­sis on Chi­na’s open­course­ware ini­tia­tive and offers much more detail on what went right, and what went wrong. You can down­load Stian Håk­lev’s the­sis (for free) here, and be sure to check out Stian’s oth­er brain­child, Peer2Peer Uni­ver­si­ty, oth­er­wise known more sim­ply as P2PU.

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • The real­i­ty is a lot more com­plex than this. The project last­ed from 2003–2010, and in this peri­od, it enabled over 12,000 open cours­es (3,000 got the nation­al lev­el dis­tinc­tion, which is the high­est one, but there were a large group of cours­es get­ting provin­cial des­ig­na­tions, and uni­ver­si­ty lev­el des­ig­na­tions).

    The main impact of the project was­n’t nec­es­sary in the avail­abil­i­ty of this mate­r­i­al, but in the process to cre­ate them — pro­fes­sors had to cre­ate teach­ing groups, reflect on their mate­r­i­al and update their class teach­ing, increase the use of tech­nol­o­gy in their teach­ing etc.

    I just released my MA the­sis about this project, where you can find a lot more detail about how the project was cre­at­ed, how it is ground­ed in the Chi­nese high­er edu­ca­tion devel­op­ment dur­ing the last fifty years, and case stud­ies from two uni­ver­si­ties, talk­ing to pro­fes­sors and admin­is­tra­tors about the impact of this pro­gram:

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.