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Open University of China staff receive UoL CODE Awards


Eleven Open University of China staff have received special recognition from the University of London for outstanding performance on a recent 12 week online course, ‘Designing for learning in online and distance education’ run by UoL’s Centre for Distance Education. ‘Designing for learning in online and distance education’ was a bespoke short course run by the Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) between September 2022 and June 2023 for 250 new and experienced tutors at the Open University of China (Opens in new window). It was delivered and supported entirely online, by Fellows of the Centre for Distance Education, in partnership with local tutors in China. 

The 12 week long staff development course, which was co-designed with senior colleagues from the Open University of China, was designed to develop expertise and practice of distance teaching pedagogy, online learning design, learning, assessment, and programme development. With over 4.8 million students, OUC is the largest single provider of higher education in China, employing a blend of face-to-face and online/distance learning.  

A special award is given each year to one participant in each of the tutor groups, who has demonstrated outstanding engagement, collaboration, and innovation on the course. The recipients of the award are nominated by their group tutors. This year 11 participants have received a participant award as two individuals within one tutor group are recognised for their achievement. 

Open University of China staff

Through a combination of synchronous online videoconference sessions and asynchronous exercises and discussions, participants were helped to learn through reflection on their own experience, peer and tutor feedback and through engagement with the role of theory in their practice. 

Making the awards, Dr Linda Amrane-Cooper, Director of the Centre for Online and Distance Education said:

“As part of our strategic collaboration with the Open University of China, the Centre has been honoured to deliver this short course. I was delighted to see the enthusiasm and professional development demonstrated by all of the participants who engaged with the short course, and it is a pleasure specifically recognise individuals through the CODE Participant Award.”. 

What our award recipients said about their learning experience:

Li Ding 

The online learning in the past few months is a very fruitful and meaningful experience for me. Precisely, I have a full knowledge of the theories and practice of course design, and the great interactions deepen my understanding of the course. Accepting challenges and updating our teaching skills and professional knowledge will always be the priority for teachers.  

Hui Li 

Through this course, I have more understanding of how to design teaching effectively, mobilize students' participation and improve evaluation efficiency. What's more, during the learning process, the professors from University of London and tutors of the group provided a good online learning experience. As a teacher, through my own experience as a student, I can understand my students better and enhance their learning engagement. 

Huiyong Miao 

The online courses at the University of London systematically introduce the theories and methods of online teaching. Through learning, I have effectively improved my teaching methods and skills. More importantly, I have met excellent professors, tutors, and peers. This makes me more convinced that 'learning is endless' 

Jing Li 

Through this short-term course, I have gained a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in online course design. Having the opportunity to communicate and share with teachers from different universities and majors is a very meaningful thing. I think this will be very helpful for my future work and development. 

Lin Li 

This training has broadened my horizon and consolidated my understanding of adult learning theory. It is more important for me to pay more attention to the time cost of adult learning when designing the curriculum and implementing the teaching. Task-based learning also gives me more inspiration for the use of teaching methods. 

Wenjuan Hu 

It’s a great experience to be a participant of this short course, which not only deepens my understanding of designing for learning in online and distance education, but also provides an opportunity for communication and learning with peers. The theories and methods introduced are very enlightening and practical for my current work. Online learning is one of the important ways for adult learning and will play an increasingly significant role in future, so the importance of designing for learning will become apparent and attract more attention. I’m appreciated for this learning opportunity provided by UoL and OUC, and also the support and encouragement from the tutor group. 

Wensheng Huang 

I greatly value this learning opportunity, which spanned nearly a year and allowed me to systematically explore the concepts of distance education and course design of UoL. Across three study units and twelve course topics, I acquired essential skills in teaching strategies, instructional tools and technology application, principles and methods of instructional design, and assessment techniques. Not only did I gain insights into various teaching assessment methods and tools, but also learned how to leverage data for evaluation and improvement. These insights have broadened my knowledge perspective, enabling me to think comprehensively and apply concepts and practices in online education. 

Xiaoying Zhang 

I am very grateful to participate in this course, which gave me an opportunity to learn more about online course design. This course is also an excellent example of online course design, which helps me “see” how theories are applied into practice. The interaction with teachers of UOL is very helpful. The course updates my knowledge and makes me reflect on my work as well. It’s really a wonderful journey of learning. 

Xuliang Wang 

This series of courses helped me establish a structured knowledge base for teaching and learning. Throughout the courses, I gained experience in the learning process, formative assessment, and feedback as a student, and developed professional knowledge and practice in course design, teaching, and assessment. These skills will have a positive impact on my future work. 

Yang Pan 

Participating in the online training program of University of London, I learned a lot of distance teaching theories and course design methods. Collaborating with senior colleagues from the Open University of China, I gained invaluable insights and practical skills that have greatly enriched my teaching practice. This training has empowered me to effectively navigate the realm of online and distance education, ultimately benefiting both myself and my students. 

Yaqi Wu 

As an administrative staff from News and Publicity Department, this study has given me a systematic understanding of the relevant theories of online teaching for the first time. Through personal experience, I have gained a deeper understanding of the work-study contradiction. Moreover, the inspiration and exploration of the ways of thinking are my biggest gains. For my current work responsibility, this valuable experience can help me to better promote and report the teaching philosophy and achievements of the Open University of China , as well as showcase excellent teachers and students in a targeted manner. 

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