China has more than 30 MOOC platforms, 3,400 such courses and 540 million participants in these courses, making the country rank No. 1 in the world in the size of MOOCs, according to data released at the first Global MOOC Conference in Beijing.
As a large international online education platform, MOOC, which stands for massive open online course, is the result of a deep integration of information technology and education.
China started to build MOOC platforms in 2013, allowing people from all over the country to hear lessons simultaneously from anywhere, said Education Minister Chen Baosheng during his keynote speech at the conference.
“In the practice of global education innovation, MOOC is becoming an important engine for promoting reform in higher education,” said Chen, adding “This not only helps the Chinese universities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, but also gathers experience in building a lifelong education for all in the future.”
To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, all Chinese universities moved to online classes during the spring semester, with 1.08 million teachers producing 1.1 million online courses, said Chen, who stressed the unprecedented practice has laid a solid foundation to promote innovative development in online education and MOOC.
“We should continue to improve the quality of MOOC through innovation and new technologies while also protect privacy through law and regulation,” said Chen.
The conference was co-hosted by Tsinghua University and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, with the theme of “Learning Revolution and Higher Education Transformation”.
Representatives and guests from more than 2,000 international organizations, government agencies, universities and online education institutions attended the conference.