Case study

Wang (2008) presents a fascinating case study of the implementation of a TLCP at Lanzhou City University, which gives a good overview of the process from an institutional perspective. After the province puts out the call for TLCP applications, the university begins by calling a meeting with all the heads of departments, to ask them to identify top courses that had potential to become a TLCP. They then put down a teaching committee to identify basic and specialized courses that were relevant, and brought the teachers of those courses together with personell from the computer department to discuss how online teaching materials could be constructed. The school decided to provide some funding to construct the initial courses (when applying for TLCP status, you already have to have a basic site available for review).

The main guiding philosophy was that the construction of TLCP would support the improvement of quality of all the courses at the school. Ideally, the courses that could have the most impact on the entire department would be selected. The university administration also underlined that the idea was not to simply recycle existing courses online, but rather to think through the design, and update the teaching methodology and content. There is a desire to unite research and teaching, in order to have the courses embody the most cutting-edge research in the relevant area.

Based on the submissions, a small committee of course construction leaders was established. In the end, the courses completed were submitted to an external committee of 20 experts, who began by examining all the online materials, and concluded by visiting the campus and listening in on classes. This resulted in 9 courses being selected as provincial-level TLCP. The stated goal of the university is for at least 2-3 of these courses to eventually reach national-level TLCP status.


12 议精品课程在教学工作中的作用

the way that 兰州城市学院 constructed 精品课程. to fulfill the encouragement of Gansu's call for 精品课程, they issues an announcement, and called a meeting with all the heads of depts. They put together a teaching committee to identify special basic and specialized courses that they could apply for, and brought together the teachers of those courses, with those teachers from the computer department. Also decided on funding - the school gave a certain amount of funding to ensure that courses would be completed on time etc. They also made the guiding philosophy clear - the construction of 精品课程 would support improving the quality of all the courses at the school. Underlined that people had to understand the idea behind 精品课程, it was not just about taking existing courses and putting them up, but to really think through their design, update teaching methodology, etc. Better few than bad quality. Choose courses that could have a positive effect on the entire department in sharing resources, etc. Try to reach a national level of quality of all courses, even if it's province level 精品课程. 

Based on the submissions organized a small 精品课程建设领导小组. small committee of leadership for building the courses. also a committee for evaluating courses. They organized 20 (external?) experts to examine their 9 courses that they would submit. First they evaluated all the online materials, then they listened in on classes. Discuss in small group, then big group, then announce that the university got 11 courses?? (But they only applied for 9?) 

Already in 2003, they started evaluating 课堂优秀教学奖 choosing the best courses for a prize. Developed a system of indicators for quality of classes. They want to unite research and 精品课程. For example, in courses they include the newest research, and also use the newest pedagogical methods. 

Unite teacher training and 精品课程. It's obvious that teaching teams are the best way of designing good classes. They want to train young teachers and teaching teams to be able to sustainably produce 精品课程.  improve quality control of teaching and classes. "stress practical results"... seems to be very practically oriented. A five year plan for improving, leading to 2-3 national level 精品课程, 10-15 province level, 20 in total (or addition?). Establish a rational, scientific, strict system of evaluation for 精品课程. The school emphasizes research and practice around systems of evaluating quality of course construction. They radically revised their criteria for evaluation. Not only 精品 also 特色. 

Choosing the TLCP is not the most important - more important is to bring benefit to students. They have fully utilized the services of provincial and national 精品课程 to ensure that as many students as possible benefit (what does this mean?). Allocate certain amount of money each year.