By Dirk Mulder

Representatives from Austrade, the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT), EduGrowth, Alibaba Cloud, and Microsoft Australia have delivered a webinar for 500 people on delivering online content into China.

Take outs:

* Distance education isn’t new in Australia – that’s a good thing

*capability across broader sector differs

* courses that may need to be delivered haven’t been online previously (think lab work)

* teaching staff may not be familiar with online delivery

* students may not accept or acknowledge online delivery

* time to respond is short

The upside, if there is one, is that broadly the sector is opening up to collaboration and sharing information in a way it may not have done so previously. Conversations and pragmatic solutions are being developed by a wide range of stakeholders, including governments here and abroad sharing best practice and seeking practical outcome by adjusting the status quo.

With time tight institutions are collaborating, as are their staff, to upskil on-line. The general understanding and awareness of China’s education system is also lifting understanding of the roles of organisations within China such as the China Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE).

The international landscape:

Anne Kealley, CEO of CAUDIT reported. In summary:

NZ – in a similar situation to Australia albeit on a slightly smaller scale

South Africa – not impacted so much by student movement but difficulties in procuring equipment, with no view on when orders can be filled

HK – avoiding face to face and moving to online

USA – reports that movement from face to face teaching to online teaching in China has shortened bandwidth with ISP’s in China, remote instruction movement

Canada – same position as Australia, moving to online. One university reported creating a standalone local learning management system as a security measure.

UK – moving towards end of academic year and concern is how they will conduct examinations as well as starting new teaching models in October .

Technology (and related) tips:

Representatives from firms Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft and Edugrowth provided information on their services and provided tips when looking at hosting information in China. These are:

 testing – testing in China needs to be done in mainland China, not somewhere close such as Hong Kong

compliance – who you may use must have the right licenses

speed – services hosted outside of China can experience speed issues

The full webinar is available for download here   a follow up webinar will be held 25 March (TBC).

There are two more webinars that will focus on ‘Digital Borderless EdTech’ by EduGrowth scheduled that are focused on HE and Schools sectors:

Higher Education – Tuesday 17 March @ 4pm AEDT – Register here

K12 Schools – Tuesday 24 March @ 4pm AEDT – Register here 

Dirk Mulder is CMM’s international education correspondent.


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