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China to further open up MOOC program, now No 1 in world

By ZOU SHUO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-12-12 12:34

A student attends an online class at home in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi province, on Feb 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is committed to further opening up its Massive Online Open Courses and share its quality education resources with other countries and regions, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said on Friday night.

The country now ranks first in the number of MOOCs and viewers in the world, he said at the first Global MOOC Conference, which was held online and offline at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

China started to build MOOC platforms in 2013, allowing people from all over the country to hear lessons simultaneously from anywhere, he said.

By October, the country had more than 30 MOOC platforms and 34,000 such courses. A total of 540 million people have participated, and 150 million university students have also received credits through mass courses, Chen said.

To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, all Chinese universities moved teaching online during the spring semester, with 1.08 million teachers producing 1.1 million online courses, he said, adding the unprecedented practice has laid a solid foundation to promote innovative development in online education and MOOC.

The unique advantages of MOOC and online education have always been leveraged to promote educational equity and the sharing of quality educational resources on a greater scale, so that everyone can learn whenever and wherever they want, he said.

"We should continue to improve the quality of MOOC through innovation and new technologies while also protect privacy and intellectual property through law and regulation," he said.

MOOC should be student-centered and their active participation should be encouraged to ensure deep learning, he added.

The conference was co-hosted by Tsinghua University and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, with the theme of "Learning Revolution and Higher Education Transformation".

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