Monday, June 12, 2006

China E-Learning

We visited several universities during our ten-day trip through China. Although I'm having problems locating all of my notes, some of the e-learning numbers were staggering. At Shaanxi Normal University in Xi'an they have only been offering e-learning opportunities to students for the past four years, however they have already grown to 30,000 enrollments in the most recent year. Their largest group of enrollments is in Chinese language and literature, followed by (2) technology and computers, (3) law, and (4) math and physics.

East China Normal University in Shanghai actually has a Distance Education College (DEC). The picture below is of the Director of the DEC showing us the IMS that he built for their e-learning courses. They have over 13,000 enrollments per year in e-learning. One thing that struck me about their e-learning is that they don't seem to be concerned about providing interactivity for the learners. My impression was that these courses are largely what I would call electronic correspondence courses or "EIS" (electronic independent study).


Teresa Theisen said...

Hi Barry, What an experience! I am so, based on your visit, what is the probability of partnering with the Chinese Universities? What kinds of things do you think any USA colleges need to think about when considering targeting their deliveries to the Chinese education market?

Barry Dahl said...

The oppotunities are there all right, but the major universities are being deluged with offers for collaborations from the Harvards, Dukes, and Stanfords of the world. However, there are many other colleges and universities over there that are also interested in partnering. They seem especially interested in student exchanges. I will make another post soon about some of the e-learning opportunities that we talked about over there.

What do we need to think about? We need to understand their culture, and that takes time. We need to build relationships, and that takes time. They don't cut a deal with you after your first one-hour meeting. Kent Kedl has a podcast about "guanxi" (pronounced gwan-she) which is something we need to understand since it is very important in the Chinese culture.
Hear it here.