We also consider when making TLCP that we don’t want to release all our material, because we have struggled over many years to create it, and don’t want others to just take it. But we put most of it up. I know other teachers who try to put as little as possible up there, we put most of it.
some surveys show that the sharing and use of TLCP is not positive. only 10% of all material from 2003-2005 available online, most webpages had errors
Critiques of the program in the Chinese literature
Although most of the articles are written in a laudatory tradition that does not doubt the good intentions or the success of the program, there are some interesting dissenting voices. Many pick up on the ambitious name (“jingpin kecheng” roughly translates as top quality courses). Lu (2008) states that from his experience, many top professors are not willing to share the materials that they have been teaching for decades, and that he also had this fact confirmed by the Chinese Ministry of Education. He therefore does not believe that the courses deserve to be called “top quality courses”. He also criticizes the technical platform, by stating that according to this tests, of the 1.100 national level TLCP courses, over half were unavailable for one reason or another.
Wang, X. H. (2008) is sceptical to the commitment of producers of TLCP, and believes that many simply “go through the motions” and do not take the opportunity to rethink their own pedagogical practices. Despite the rigorous evaluation criteria, he believes that many universities choose famous professors to “put their name” on courses. Many courses are not developed as part of an overall plan, but rather quickly put together in two months, to obtain "fame". There is also the danger of focusing too much on the aesthetic aspects of the website, where some universities spend as much as 20-30% of the award money on hiring external web design companies, rather than focusing on the quality of the content. He suggests that the evaluation criteria should be more rigorous, perhaps including specific criteria for different disciplines, and that there will be an ongoing process of reassessment, which could lead to some courses loosing their designation.
Three problems: They only enter the competition to get the recognition, not to continually improve, don’t follow up critique, no change in 3-4 years, the original problems are still there.
Also hard to find courses, not well advertises.
We control courses, check if they still exist, if they are updated. For example a course on food security, there have been many interesting court cases, that course should be updated.
There is never a case when TLCP guidelines stops you from doing something good, the things required are all ingredients of a good course. The only thing is very detailed requirements about the constitution of the teaching teams. However some courses are very small, can’t get that many teachers, not realistic. Our course has a group, but not too big. But I saw some course applications, they have a huge group of people behind one course, Is that really the case? Maybe just a few people doing it. It should be more appropriate depending on the course, not the more people the better.
Here it’s very centralized and standardized. A few years ago I was really enthusiastic about teaching, now it’s slowly disappearing. Why? You spend so much time making teaching plans, and people always come to listen to your class. The students are more and more, it’s hard to do. To big classes, we can’t have discussions, can’t reach students own interests.
I started evaluating distance courses in 2007. I evaluate the evaluation work ever year. The first year there were some problems. Evaluation reports were not consistent enough. We have to be more specific about expectations, and communicate them better, both to reviewers, and to people contributing courses. Also a problem that we cannot find experts to review each course area, so people have to review courses that they are not experts in.
What is jingpin? High quality? Comparison with football teams (and the poor Chinese performance). Jingpin means that there is nothing better than it. A lot of top professors are not willing to share what they have been teaching for decades. He asked this of MOE and they didn't deny it. If that's the case, how can we claim that the selected 1,100 courses are the "top" courses? Reference to 精品课程的模块建设与运 行质量分析何 says that of 1,100 top courses, only 578 were not broken links, servers down etc. I will not criticize TLCP, but it doesn't seem to represent the jingpin of our country. MIT is sharing with the world (doesn't comment on the quality). Also mentions 世界远程教育经典文丛 says we don't just want "top quality" but also to select "classics". This book was signed by John Daniels (COL), chose the best monographs in distance ed in the world.
Seems his main quarrel is with the choice of the name - we shouldn't do false advertising.
People go through the motions, short-term packaging, falsify for evaluations.
高职教育 - vocational training occupies half of higher ed, but the training and the needs of the market are different. Partly because the courses are not adapted for vocational training. 精品课程 should be based on this - for example building materials course. 建筑材料 is a practically based course teaching skills.
Basically courses should be chosen based on market-needs, and not on the basis of some famous professors. Right now, the courses chosen don't necessarily prepare the students for jobs, and are not skills-based enough. Many schools design courses according to what they think the evaluation criteria are, and include famous profs. Should be based in the whole school, design organized way of designing the development process. Do three year project time limit, and five year project plan. Companies should participate in the evaluation process.
A way of tracking quality on the campus web. Continually evaluate 精品课程, and remove designation from courses that no longer meet the definition. For each discipline to develop standard courses, quality courses, 精品课程 etc, and a quality system, based on the characteristics of that discipline. Many courses are not developed as part of an overall plan, but rather quick and fast, to obtain "fame", put together in two months. They focus more on the fancy look of the website, than the quality of the contents. There isn't a good enough system/structure for developing - should be develop, test, get results, evaluate, etc.
Since the evaluation of 精品课程 happens online, it's impossible to analyze the micro-level. If they don't do inspections, there are many things they cannot ascertain, like whether the conditions for practical teaching are good enough for students to learn skills well. Must make the evaluation process much more rigorous.
According to survey (which survey???) some universities hire external developers to develop the 精品课程 sites, to win the provincial or national designations, and spend up to 20-30% of the money on this aspect. 精品课程 cannot be fully mature in a short time, we need time to learn, have to take it seriously.
University and responsible teacher responsible to keep website online, inform the ministry of any irregularities etc. Supposed to be inspected every year, if problems, can revoke the designation.