The Reality of Online Courses under the Corona Epidemic, MOOC is Up and Running

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Introduction and Dr. Wang Tao's introduction added by the editor


Under the new corona epidemic, schools have worked hard to stay open, making online courses more necessary than ever before. However, the situation in which these cases are being introduced is chaotic.


Dr. Wang Tao, Director of MOOC Research Center of the Ministry of Education-China Mobile Joint Laboratory, wrote a special article today to explain the ideals and reality of online education.  MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. It originated from Harvard University and MIT.


Dr. Tao Wang was one of the first experts in China to study MOOCs, which transformed into Internet of Xroom. He founded the International Academy of Internet of Xroom (IoX). Dr. Wang is also a strategic partner of ChildWaise International. The two companies will launch MOOC in collaboration with experts from Harvard University in March.



The following is Dr. Wang Tao's article:


The curious truth about online courses ...


After years of continuous investment and development, online education, is no longer new in the eyes of the public. The academic community has conducted extensive research on its development prospects, application models, and impacts. Some conclusions have been drawn across the board: online learning is an important learning tool for current education; the digital revolution has provided a basis for ubiquitous learning, so that anyone can obtain information anytime, anywhere; and synchronized courses are more conducive to stimulate the enthusiasm and initiative of learners. Interaction is the core of the learning experience; etc.


However, its actual application has failed to meet expectations. On one side, online education providers have burned a lot of funds for research and development, and tried hard to solicit customers and to understand their needs. On the other side, potential users paid attention, waited, tried, stopped, and retreated.


The relationship between the two can be summarized in a math problem that everyone is very familiar with:


Xiao Ming and Xiao Hong are facing each other at a distance of X kilometers. Xiao Ming travels at a distance of Y kilometers per hour (there will be A departures from the agreed route), Xiao Hong travels at a distance of Z kilometers per hour (there will be B departures from the agreed route). How long will it take for the two to meet? Im afraid no one can calculate it, because although it looks simple, X, Y, Z, A and B are all unknowns.


However, the sudden outbreak of the Corona virus gave a clear answer to this question full of unknowns: immediately, immediately, now!


Yes, in response to the large-scale epidemic caused by the Coronary virus, the Ministry of Education issued a notice to cancel school, but also stated that classes must continue. For this reason, online education, with the advantage of not being restricted by fixed venues, has been pushed to the front as a good solution to the dilemma of "waiting at home" for students of primary, secondary, and high schools.


Teachers use a variety of platforms for online teaching, video conferences, smart classrooms and live broadcast platforms to lecture, use QQ / WeChat group to issue exercise materials, and organize students to conduct exercise explanations and discussions. With these technologies, education may continue as usual.


According to the "2018 National Statistical Bulletin on the Development of Education" issued by the Ministry of Education, there are 518,800 schools at all levels in China and 276 million students total, including more than 189 million students in primary and secondary schools.  The online education would never have dreamed of filling such a need.


The whole country has turned to live online courses, making the online education market hot. However, not everyone is ready for the drastic change.


Online education providers fail to provide an application environment that fully meets such a huge teaching demand, the network is not smooth, and the teaching platform is not easy to use. In addition, teachers and students are not ready to transfer to a fully online experience. The truth exposed by this wave of online live courses has been surprising and informative.


All in all, I think that the use of online education during the epidemic has exposed truths of great significance to the future development of online education. Even if the unknowns in the primary school math problem above remain unknown, the online education industry can improve product availability and optimize implementation. Educational institutions, teachers and students will no longer shy away from trying application after this surge. And China's online education will see better development. Of course, after this emergency application, we will have to learn more.




Dr. Wang Tao

(WeChat: ioxroom)


Dr. Wang founded the International Academy of Internet of Xroom (IoX), and is a doctor of education economics at the School of Education of Peking University, director of the MOOC Research Center of the Ministry of Education-China Mobile Joint Laboratory, and the manager of the MOOC WeChat public account. The "Xinwei Learning Space Station" in cooperation with Dr. Wang and Zhongguancun Internet Education Innovation Center will become the online teaching platform of ChildWise International. Dr. Wang is also the co-founder of the International Institute for Early Education.

February 18, 2020 05:14

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