Dev’l of course until TLCP
XXX. When the university started, we set up a XXX department, then we started this course. There was a professor called XXX, he is very famous in XXX in China, he edited a text book, until last year it had been published continually for 50 years. Had a huge impact nationally. Some of his disciples spread XXX very widely. The course had his characteristics, very determined by his thinking. It’s very important to connect theory to practice. I am one of the students that he trained, many of the teachers in this department today are his students. We all continue his heritage. So continually in developing teaching teams, teaching materials, developing courses, we all worked. We applied for TLCP in 2005, and got it. With the guidance from MoE and specifically from the academic affairs office here’s guidance, we have made some improvements.
We also applied for the school’s excellent course. His book was judged to be national top level teaching material. These last years, because of TLCP, we’re continually improving, the teaching materials. We’re not using that book anymore, it’s a series. Actually the course has been expanded to a series of courses. We got very good results in last years teaching evaluation. We got first price in XXX first class. We also applied for national TLCP, but didn’t get it.
We started to develop a website in 2001. We put the courseware, questions, experimental descripition, teaching materials etc on the web. We also developed a resource database for the province. In the resource base we put lot’s of resources from the course, so we started with this quite early. We also had exchanges with other universities, especially because we are so well known for the publishing of his textbook.
Before we became TLCP, all the resources were for our own students, we also shared some courseware and some recordings with other campuses. In 2005, our campus did an evlauation, XXX published it. We began to notice that a lot of courses in this topic, even that applied to be TLCP, had used our thinking, even our direct expressions sometimes. Some told us, some didn’t.
Both other teachers and students are using the resource, more teachers than students though. But it’s also popular among those who are going for the graduate school exam in this field and want to understand the situation in the field better. We also put a lot of news there, excursions or competitions we enter with our students, ideas, pictures.
Since we began with TLCP, it has opened our eyes a bit, before we just used the teaching material we had and taught to the local students. Because of the “five first-class” required by the government, we have to continuously explore, and improve our course, it is a motivation for us to improve, and it also tied the teachers in the course closer together. This is also how we started with experimental teaching reform. For example, we might allot a whole day for experiments, students have to set it up themselves, much better than having it all set up already, and just asking you to move two things to do the experiment. More inquiry based, trains initiative. Only by doing it themselves, do students understand that doing experiments is so interesting.
Now that there are much more educational resources online, that the students can visit, that also changed they way they can learn, makes it more flexible. We can’t just lecture after the book anymore. This year we had a class which was entirely recorded, and a number of colleagues helped lecture, I also lectured. Lecturing there is very different from what we do normally, it’s more inspiring. Reflects the developments of the field, brings problems and theories into the classroom. If you don’t give the students anything interesting to respond to, they won’t respond .
I have visited a lot of online classes, because I am involved in evaluation. A few years ago I was evaluating nationally, part of the teaching evaluation committee. We were invited to many campuses to talk, interact, many opportunities for interaction, and we all learnt a lot from each other.
I think TLCP has achieved the initial goal set by the MoE, become a standard-setter. Like my course, which was the first to get TLCP moniker in my department, it has set the standard. Nationally, there are only three or four TLCP courses in this topic, but it’s taught in 100 universities around China, so it plays a reading role. But we (teachers, and administrators) should think about how we can go deeper.
I have heard about foreign OER, but don’t know a lot about it. I talked with a foreign colleague about it.
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.