TLCP split into three categories, undergrad, vocational and online courses. I am responsible for XXX. From 1999 MoE started online education pilot, then it was called modern distance education. Improve quality, exemplary function. MoE believes in the power of examples to raise the quality of the entire sector. From schools’ point of view, they want to improve the reputation of their school, branding, so they are happy about this kind of competition. From a professor’s perspective, a professor can learn about experiences from other universities, and be inspired to improve his/her own class. 

Three goals, which one is more important? Can’t do it all. Is providing a platform for learning more important for online TLCP than for other TLCP? 

Two tracks in universities, normal full-time students coming in through gaokao, and mostly learning through lectures, and another, partly because of China’s history where they had very few percentage able to access higher ed. Working students, with very poor marks, learning online. So the evaluation of normal TLCP and online TLCP is very different, online TLCP puts more weight on students being able to study directly from the material. 

Important to have a lot of good learning material, also some interaction, teachers should take initiative to contact students. Quite holistic way of assessing courses. 

All the fixed resources must be shared, but we don’t share the organized activities or the interaction with the student, for students who are not registered (or with other universities).

CORE has no relation with TLCP. Fun Den Wang, overseas Chinese, had relationship with Beijing Jiaotong, came here, we organized some top schools, how to take advantage of MIT OCW in China? Part of the initial motivation for many of these universities, was that they would be able to collaborate directly with MIT professors, something that never materialized. 

How did it start? Not sure, was not there from the start. Like a ranking table, for courses. With Chinese characteristics. Began expansion in 1999. Too fast, not enough equipment or teachers. Society doubted the quality of instruction. Make universities care more about quality of instruction, and TLCP was just one of the ways. 

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.

TLCP has made us all focus much more on quality. There is no doubt that TLCP has brought online courses to a new level of quality.