Tsinghua University will offer several Internet courses as part of an attempt to develop an online syllabus, principal Chen Jining said at the Massive Online Education Forum held in Beijing on June 3.
There has been a boom in online education since Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, first became popular in American universities last year. Millions of students from around the world enrolled in free online courses offered by the likes of Coursera, Udacity and edX.
This May, Tsinghua University and Peking University joined edX, a joint venture set up by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year. As part of edX’s first batch of Asian members, the two universities will offer several online courses accessible to students all over the world in the near future.
According to Howard Lurie, vice president of edX, online education based on interactive technology and data analysis enables students from different universities of different countries to share quality educational resources, and students can take personalized courses to meet their own needs.
Also, by collecting feedback and related data, teachers who give online classes can trace students’ learning process and get to know each student’s learning characteristics, allowing them to improve the courses and tailor them to students.
Lin Huiqing, assistant minister of education, said in his keynote speech that online education is a new higher education trend that will bring great change to the notions, structures and methods of education.
“It will also further the reform of traditional teaching methods, improve the quality of higher education and promote education equity among different universities,” he said.