1 Lai, F-Q. (2007). Five tens, eighteen circles, & online learning of educational technology in China. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 3(2), Five Tens, Eighteen Circles, & Online Learning of Educational Technology in China Feng-Qi Lai Indiana State University What are the trends and issues in educational technology in China? There are multiple answers to this question due to rapid growth of educational technology in China. This paper reports the findings of a case study. The interviewee, Professor S, is a prominent Chinese educational philosophy professor. He has focused on redesigning curriculum for educational technology programs in China over the past ten years. The findings include Professor S perspectives, his initial efforts on the Five Tens movement, his curriculum design view of Eighteen Circles, the curriculum redesign at his university, and his proposal for connecting the online learning curricula of universities in an eastern province of China. Keywords: Educational Technology in China, Curriculum Design, Five Tens, Eighteen Circles, Online Learning With fast economic growth, China is developing rapidly in all aspects. Educational Technology, a relatively new program in Chinese higher education, is following this fast pace and growing dramatically. Faculty and students in educational technology in China are interested in opportunities to exchange information and ideas with other countries as other countries begin paying attention to the development in China. However, while a great amount of literature focuses on China s development in other aspects (e.g., Batson, 2007; Li & Guo, 2007; Liang, 2007; Qian, Finamore, & Chan, 2007; Roper & Weymes, 2007; Yi, 2007), there is little literature on research into development of educational technology in Chinese higher education. Society of International Chinese in Educational Technology (SICET) in North America, established four years ago, sets its goal to aggregate international Chinese scholars and experts in the field of educational technology to encourage academic cooperation and support among members (http://www.sicet.org). With this mission, SICET organizes annual summer lecturing trips to various universities in China. As a member of SICET, I joined the lecture team every summer for the last four years. Lecturing at various universities provided me with opportunities to meet with numerous scholars in educational technology in China, as well as to interact with educational technology undergraduate and graduate students. I noticed changes each year, especially in the professors perspectives and in the focus of different programs. For example, three years ago, to most faculty and graduate students in this area, the focus of educational Feng-Qi Lai is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, & Media Technology, College of Education, Indiana State University.
2 Educational Technology in China 70 technology was more on the integration of technology into K-12 educational settings. Today, the focus is more diverse. For example, questions examining what an educational technology graduate can do in a corporate setting can be heard frequently from educational technology majors. In order to have a systematic knowledge about educational technology in China, I had a plan to conduct a series of investigations by interviewing prominent professionals in Chinese educational technology. I started my interview with Professor S at a top-tier university in the East China region during summer In this paper, I introduce Professor S views on educational technology from his perspective of an educational philosopher. Findings from interviews with other educational technology professionals in China will be reported in future papers. Because the findings reported in this paper are from one person s perspective, they reflect one facet of Chinese educational technology. My aim is for this paper to open a window for colleagues in educational technology to see trends and issues in educational technology in China, and hence, to initiate more discussions on this topic. THE STUDY This is an educational case study that focuses on educational contexts (Willis, 2007) in educational technology in China. According to Merriam (1988), a case study is an examination of a specific phenomenon such as a program, an event, a person, a process, an institution, or a social group (p. 9). This case study was designed to investigate the following research questions through interviewing prominent individuals in educational technology in China. The purpose of this case study was to provide a rich and detailed description of the findings, and there is no effort to begin with a theory or to develop theory as the case progresses (Willis, 2007, p. 243). RESEARCH QUESTIONS The purpose of this study was to identify major trends and issues in Chinese educational technology by focusing on the following questions: 1. What is the history and presence of educational technology in China? 2. What are the educators beliefs and perspectives in the development of educational technology in China? 3. What are professors and students in educational technology doing in order to improve educational technology programs in China? PARTICIPANTS The interviewee. The interviewee was Professor S, Head of Learning & Innovation Center at a top-tier university in East China. His major was Educational Philosophy. He started research in Educational Technology at the beginning of 1990s. Professor S was especially interested in the impact of computer technology on teaching and learning. In 1997, he shifted his research and teaching focus from Educational Philosophy to Educational Technology. Professor S has been involved in twelve research projects since His publications in China include six textbooks since 1988 and thirty-one academic papers since The interviewer. I was the interviewer. The interview was conducted in Chinese. I was born and grew up in China, so I am able to understand the Chinese culture. I taught English as a Foreign Language at a Chinese university for ten years before coming to the
3 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 71 United States, so I have first-hand experience with the higher education system in China. Further, I have publications in both Chinese and English languages and have translated a book and several journal papers from English into Chinese, so I have skills in translating between the two languages. PROCEDURE I interviewed Professor S in June 2006 at his university during a three-day stay. The interview was nonstructured. My conversations with Professor S were focused on the three research questions listed above. I stated my research purpose and then listened to him talk without interruptions. On Day Two of my stay at his university, Professor S invited me to an educational technology conference organized by the Jiangsu province, where I heard Professor S proposal on online learning and connecting universities in Jiangsu province to online learning programs. Back in the U.S. after my visit to China, I continued communicating with Professor S via telephone interviews and discussions. Professor S ed me several papers that reflected his view and perspectives on redesigning educational technology programs in China. He also ed me the PowerPoint presentation he gave at the Jiangsu educational technology conference about his online learning proposal. I prepared the data during the year based upon the interview notes, communications, and the documents from Professor S. In May 2007, I revisited Professor S in China and discussed the draft of the paper with him. Professor S read the draft with me and asked me for explanations in Chinese whenever he was not able to understand the draft in English. The review of the draft with Professor S lasted more than three hours. I took notes on the draft where Professor S requested changes or revisions. At that time, Professor S proposal for a Chinese government grant for connecting online learning among universities in Jiangsu province was completed. Professor S gave me a soft copy of his proposal for me to add more information to the draft of this paper. In July 2007, I returned to the US and started revising the paper based on this feedback from Professor S. The second draft was discussed via telephone. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Data were collected through both oral and written communications with Professor S. Both oral and written communications were in Chinese. Using Creswell s (2005) six steps involved in analyzing and interpreting qualitative data: preparing and organizing the data, exploring and coding the database, describing findings and forming themes, representing and reporting findings, interpreting the meaning of the findings, and validating the accuracy of the findings (p. 230) as a guideline, I followed the procedures below for data collection and analysis: 1. Collected data: Took notes for the oral communication and downloaded e- mail and attachments 2. Prepared data: Translated Chinese into English 3. Read through data: Obtained a general sense of the information from Professor S 4. Coded data: Coded the text for themes 5. Organized data: Put data together based on themes 6. Wrote the report: Recomposed the transcript, summarized the findings, and added explanations for clarification 7. Validated the accuracy of the findings:
4 Educational Technology in China 72 a. Met with Professor S in person for review of the report. b. Explained in Chinese the parts about which Professor S had questions. c. Gathered Professor S comments. d. Revised the report based on Professor S comments. e. Communicated with Professor S via phone for another review and repeated steps b through e until the report was approved by Professor S. FINDINGS According to Professor S, although the educational technology program in higher education was relatively new, it had a history of about 80 years. However, in order to catch and keep up with education technology in other countries, Professor S believed that Chinese professionals in the educational technology field needed to learn more about the trends and issues in educational technology throughout the world. He emphasized the importance for educational technology faculty and graduate students to define the Five Tens (see the Five Tens movement section). The fact that educational technology programs in China today focus more on technology has been Professor S concern. He pointed out that this fact brought a challenge to educational technology professionals: How to define educational technology? He asserted that to have a model for the redesign of the educational technology program in China was inevitable. Professor S started redesigning the educational technology program at his university following an Eighteen Circle model (see Figures 1 through 4 in the Eighteen Circle model section) that he proposed. His most recent interest focused on online learning connections among universities in Jiangsu province. Details are described in the following two sections: (1) history and presence of educational technology in China to answer research question 1 and (2) Professor S beliefs, perspectives, and actions to answer research questions 2 and 3 from one person s perspective. The findings for research questions 2 and 3 are described in one section because Professor S took actions based on his beliefs. His beliefs and actions are closely interrelated. HISTORY AND PRESENCE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IN CHINA Educational technology in China has a history of about 80 years. It started in the middle of 1930s, called traditional electronic education or audiovisual instruction. However, after a couple of decades, educational technology in China was in a winter sleep stage until the 1980s. It was in the 1990s that educational technology experienced a rapid transition from traditional electronic education to modern educational technology with multimedia and networking being introduced into China. In the middle of 1930s, Educational Technology as a two-year specialization field of study appeared in higher education. As a formal undergraduate program, Educational Technology was originated in 1983 and fully established in Quite a few problems existed for two reasons. First, educational technology in China derived from the science and technology field. Most professors and subject matter experts in this area had a science or technology background. Hence, the thinking style and research methodology in educational technology basically followed the pattern that has been applied in science and technology fields. Second, in recent years, with a rapid development in educational technology, many universities have established educational technology undergraduate programs regardless whether or not they had sufficient facilities or qualified faculty members trained in educational technology.
5 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 73 PROFESSOR S BELIEFS, PERSPECTIVES, AND ACTIONS Professor S believed that in China, there was a lack of understanding of the educational technology field and little was planned on delivering the educational technology programs; therefore, educational technology programs needed substantial curriculum redesign. He thought it was crucial for professionals in educational technology in China to improve in at least three research areas: (1) educational technology and learning theories, (2) up-to-date information on application of information technology in education, and (3) exploration of appropriate patterns and models for educational technology programs in China, including goals, structure, teaching methodology, evaluation and management models, and the interrelationship between undergraduate and graduate programs. For the purpose of improvement in these areas, Professor S first launched the Five Tens movement, created an Eighteen Circles curriculum design model, started curriculum redesign and development at his university, and proposed in establishing a shared online course network at Jiangsu universities. The Five Tens movement. The goal of the Five Tens movement was to learn from the best in the world and find a successful way to improve educational technology programs in China. The five tens that Professor S proposed were: 1. ten most influential scholars 2. ten most well-accepted scholarly books 3. ten top research institutes 4. ten most well-accepted academic papers, and 5. ten most popular Ed Tech Websites. Professor S studied the history and the current status of educational technology in the US and China. He noticed the importance of conducting research on comparing educational technology programs in China with those in other countries, especially in the United States. Professor S believed that doing this research would reduce the gap between China and other countries in educational technology and based on this foundation, China would be able to better-interact with educational technology professionals around the world and create more valid curricular programs for educational technology in China. He said that through the research of five tens, professionals in educational technology in China would begin to know the issues and trends of educational technology found in developed countries, especially in the United States. In China, professionals in educational technology especially paid attention to two universities in the United States: Indiana University and Florida State University. The former to them was an educational media base and the latter a learning theory base. According to his research results through the Five Ten, Professor S summarized that designing curricula for educational technology in China needed to consider the following five aspects: 1. Emphasizing the learning theory base from Skinner to Gagné. 2. Developing media technology that would change instructional delivery strategies and instructional environment. 3. Enhancing the design of instruction and training based on learning theories and media technology. 4. Developing distance education that would break the wall between inside and outside of the university campus. 5. Using scientific methodology, creating a research system in educational technology that meets cutting-edge needs.
6 Educational Technology in China 74 The Eighteen Circles model. Eighteen Circles was a proposed systematic curriculumdesign model for educational technology. In Professor S words, it was one person s proposal but he believed this one person s proposal should and would be accepted in educational technology in China. The focus of Eighteen Circles was on the interrelationship among courses for the educational technology program. Professor S described two levels. The first level, composed of six circles, focused on integration of three bases: educational theory, technology, and arts. The emphasis was placed on translating theory into practice in that with the effective use of technology, effective learning would occur from effective instructional design, development, utilization, evaluation, and management. Therefore, conceptually, educational technology was viewed from both perspectives of philosophy of education and philosophy of technology (Figure 1). Educational Theory Technology Apply theory into practice; Integrate technology and media into learning and instructional design, development, utilization, evaluation, and management Arts Philosophy of Technology Ed Tech Philosophy of Education Figure 1. Educational technology level-one interrelated structure: Six circles
7 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 75 Learning theory based on media use Instructional design, teaching & learning theory based on media use Systematic theories and methodology Educational communication theory Figure 2. Educational technology level-two internal structure of educational theory: Four circles The second level of Eighteen Circles, composed of twelve circles, further analyzed internal structures of the three bases. The internal structure of the educational theory base involved media use in instructional design, teaching, learning, and communication (Figure 2). The internal structure of the technology base involved multimedia, database, and communication technologies (Figure 3). Finally, the internal structure of the arts base involved digital culture (Figure 4). Multimedia technology Systematic theories and methodology Database technology Communicatio n technology Figure 3. Educational technology level-two internal structure of technology: Four circles
8 Educational Technology in China 76 Arts of language Arts of digital culture Arts of digital video Arts of digital audio Figure 4. Educational technology level-two internal structure of arts: Four circles Figure 2 illustrates the three components of the educational theory basis: learning theory based on media use, instructional design and teaching and learning theory based on media use, and educational communication theory. Professor S believed that with the rapid development of technology, teaching, learning, instruction, and communication models were facing big challenges. Appropriate integration of the three components requires systematic theories and methodology. Figure 3 illustrates the three components of the technology basis of educational technology: multimedia technology, database technology, and communication technology. Multimedia technology included those that could be seen and used in teaching and learning such as educational television. Database technology meant the integration of library information resources and computer database technology. That was, using computer database technology to build databases for library information resources. Communication technology included networking and human-computer interaction. Artificial intelligence had to be integrated into the above three components. That meant making technology use in education user-friendly. Design of educational technology using the artificial intelligence approach would be a major trend in this area with all related professionals efforts. Figure 4 illustrates the three components of the arts basis: arts of language, arts of digital video, and arts of digital audio. Educators had to possess strong communication capability in both speaking and writing, that was, arts of language. Professor S said that arts of digital audio and digital video were a new requirement for educators in the information technology age. Not many people in educational technology were aware of the importance of integration of these three arts. Professor S called this the arts of digital culture. He said, Educational technology professionals have to have this concept. Arts of digital culture have to be considered as a must qualification for all educational technology professionals and for all teachers as well.
9 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 77 Professor S believed that the educational technology curriculum that was designed following the Eighteen Circles model would produce graduates needed in the information technology age. He said, Educational technology graduates who are produced from such a curriculum will not be defeated in the job market by physics, computer sciences, education, or psychology graduates. Goal of the educational technology program at Professor S University. In China, typically, educational technology was a program in normal universities. Professor S University (it will be referred as NU hereafter) is not a normal university. Professor S saw the necessity of redesigning the educational technology program, the mechanism of which had to be open, dynamic, and aligned with the need in the real world. Starting from the needs assessment, NU tried to find the answers to the following questions: What did the society need from educational technology majors? What were the available facilities and climate of the university? What were the characteristics of the specialty of educational technology? And, what were the students career goals? There were variations among different universities, including students academic backgrounds, faculty s qualifications, university facilities, etc. Professor S believed that different features had brought different advantages to different universities. NU, based on its own characteristics, had followed six steps in establishing the educational technology program to meet its curriculum and instructional goals: 1. Study the history of educational technology in China and analyze issues and trends in educational technology today and tomorrow. 2. Set a goal for the educational technology program to meet students needs at NU. 3. Establish a model for systematic curriculum design. 4. Analyze the instructional environment at NU. 5. Analyze the program s needs and faculty s qualifications 6. Establish a system, policies, and mechanism that support the development of the program. Professor S said that looking back at the history of educational technology in China and analyzing issues and trends in educational technology today, he and his colleagues understood that the educational technology program at NU should not follow the curriculum design models of normal universities. NU was a top six university in China. Students at NU needed to aim higher and be able to face more challenging tasks, something he thought was not occurring at most normal universities. With that goal in mind, NU established an undergraduate program in educational technology with its unique feature: digital media and knowledge engineering in Professor S words. Professor S expected that what NU had done would become a new model for non-normal universities to follow in establishing educational technology programs. The goal of the educational technology program at NU was to produce graduates who were able to use digital media to enhance learning performance, to exchange ideas, to design training programs, and to manage knowledge. NU wanted its students to be knowledge engineers who would be able to survive in the digital world. Therefore, educational technology majors were expected to possess the following four categories of capabilities: 1. Capability of using digital media to enhance learning performance and manage knowledge with creativity. 2. Capability of planning, designing, and evaluating, especially with online
10 Educational Technology in China 78 course plan, design, and management. 3. Capability of searching and researching on the Internet for emerging information for a better way of interacting with people from multicultural backgrounds. 4. Capability of applying information technology to performance training and learning. The educational technology majors at NU were provided with opportunities to focus on one emphasis area of their interest after they have possessed the above capabilities. The program had three emphases, from which senior students might select one to develop more specific skills to meet their career needs: 1. Learning science and instructional design, focusing on learning and instructional theory research and instructional design. 2. Digital media and educational software engineering, focusing on development and technology integration. 3. Knowledge engineering and educational resource management, focusing on database and system management. Professor S believed that in China today, there was a great demand for employees with the four categories of capabilities. Educational technology majors with these capabilities would be able to meet the real-world challenges and be vital rivals for good job opportunities when computer science majors, software engineering majors, educational science majors, or educational psychology majors did not possess all four categories of capabilities. Curriculum redesign and course development at NU. The existing program at NU required educational technology majors to have basic knowledge and skills in (a) mathematics and physics, (b) fundamental educational psychology, (c) information technology, and (d) graphic design. These requirements made this program cumbersome and lose focus. In order to solve this problem, NU had started a so-called divergent model. That was, those who took a Bachelor of Arts degree did not need to take university physics and digital electronic circuit classes while those who took a Bachelor of Science degree did not need to take educational science and psychology classes. However, all students needed to take eight core courses. They were Learning Science and Technology, Digital Media Technology, Educational Software Engineering, Networking and Distance Education, Knowledge Engineering and Educational Resource Management, Science of Educational Technology, Systematic Design of Curriculum and Instruction, and Arts of Digital Culture (the Chinese course titles are listed in the appendix). Professor S said, These courses bridge technology with education. This is a start. The University expected that the model would reduce students load and produce potential employees with different specialty foci. Learning Science and Technology is an online course. This course cost more than seven years of effort, but it started a new instructional model in educational technology. Professor S said, This online course was awarded the first-place price for the excellent teaching and learning achievement and included as an exemplar course at the national level. Other courses for the program included Fundamental ICT Skills, Learning Theories and Practice, Development and Management of Online Courses, Principles for Artificial Intelligence, Science for Management, etc. According to Professor S, Learning and Instructional Theories was the only one course that was related to learning theory in normal universities. The course purely
11 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 79 introduced school psychology and various schools of instructional and learning theories. Professor S proposed that Learning and Instructional Theories be replaced by Theory to Practice in the Information Technology Environment. The purpose for the proposed change was for educational technology majors (undergraduates) to have a better understanding of various learning theories and then be able to integrate learning theories into practice in educational technology. Professor S commented, The proposed course focuses on the new concept of learning that also nurtures students capability of creative thinking in the information technology learning environment. Considering the heavy work load and the difficulty level for the course development, NU used a three-stage model to complete the curriculum design: 1. Designed a four-year curriculum scheme for 2004 Class as a blue print. For the first two years, students took general education courses required by NU. 2. Designed and developed three years of courses for Class 2003 based on the four-year curriculum scheme for Class Class 2003 and Class 2004 were enrolled in the same year, Ten students volunteered to form Class 2003, an experimental class. Class 2003 s program consisted three years of courses, directly starting with the second year s courses. Students in Class 2003 were divided into several groups focusing on different research topics according to their background and interest. Each research group took the courses that helped the students with their research focus. The professors and graduate students in the department tracked undergraduate students learning performance and provided comments. Based on the information collected, the department identified and determined the courses for each strand of the educational technology program for Class 2004 students. 3. Going through the formative evaluation on the curriculum designed for Class 2003 and Class 2004, the department revised and finalized the required and elective courses for Class 2005 to form an official curriculum system. The curriculum design and course development team did research during the design process. They focused on an educational technology curriculum that facilitated students active learning and integrated theory into practice. The curriculum design was not a stand-alone just for undergraduates. It was a curriculum system including the undergraduate, Master s, and Doctoral programs, and the training program for visiting scholars as well. The redesigned curriculum placed emphasis on strengthening student advisory and collaboration services. This emphasis was reflected in the curriculum redesign process. Two examples are the Digital Media Work Station (DMWS) and Knowledge Engineering Lab (KEL). DMWS and KEL were places for students to practice their skills in a team format. These produced learning experiences in which professors and students worked together to manage the project, develop the courses, and conduct research on the Internet. That experiential learning approach not only saved resources for the university but created a well-received curriculum for the students. One of the design guidelines was to go beyond the current evaluation and management system in Chinese education. Thus, instead of only examining students knowledge in educational technology, emphasis was also placed on the students realworld work abilities. The exam of students real-world work capability included assessing student social responsibility, team cooperation, willingness to serve, and independent exploration. Because this evaluation system helped professors know more
12 Educational Technology in China 80 about their students real-world work capabilities, professors academic advising could include recommendations about students career directions. Professors, based on students knowledge and skills, recommended students to search for jobs in the area where his/her potential would be greatest. Networking and online learning. Professor S put emphasis on the online learning design. He said, Online learning design is one of the design focuses. Compared with online education in other countries, China is left behind. According to Professor S, the pattern of online instruction in China was basically lesson plan + test bank, which is less than ideal even though plans are designed by a team of seasoned teachers. That pattern was not welcomed by students and did not have vitality. The unsuccessful reality was caused by more than one factor, including the current educational system and traditional educational concepts, financial constraints and old schooling perception, insufficient capability of developing educational software, limited networking bandwidth and transmission speed, high cost for use, etc. The online learning pattern in China basically followed the paradigm used for face-to-face classroom teaching. There were no online learning characteristics in terms of the goal, curriculum, organization, assessment, and management. In order to make a change, research on the distance education theories and practices became inevitable. Professor S believed it was critically important for professionals in educational technology in China to truly understand what the nature and characteristics for online learning were in terms of knowledge acquisition, teaching and learning, teacher-student relationship, course development, achievement evaluation, educational management, and educational research. Only when authorities and faculty who are engaged in online learning have clearly and correctly understood these concepts, said Professor S, can online learning in China be improved to having a new pattern. According to Professor S, the goal of online learning in China needed to aim at popularization, modernization, digitalization, visualization, multimedia utilization, knowledge sharing, database sharing, artificial-intelligence application, and individualization. That was the online learning pattern that Profess S wants for China. How would online learning in China be further developed? Professor S envisions five key aspects: Online learning is a virtual school, new but everlasting. Online learning should not be a supplement to the existing school educational system, but a new arena where many reforms could take place and from where teachers and parents could see the new educational pattern in the information age and culture. Online learning research should focus on active learning, collaborative learning, creative learning, and efficient learning harnessing multimedia tools. These reflect capabilities that are needed for surviving in the information society. Professor S anticipates that K-12 online learning in China will possibly experience the following three stages: 1) School centered: online teaching and learning on the Intranet; 2) Educational software corporation centered: online teaching and learning using the commercial educational software as a platform; and 3) Educational ministry centered: true networking and knowledge sharing over the country. Whether or not online learning in China will become successful depends on whether or not China will soon have a team of teachers who are able to understand, get used to, and be engaged in creating the online learning culture. China will need this team to successfully construct a new online
13 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 81 teaching and learning model. Professor S believes that exploration of online teaching and learning models must combine the experience of the three worlds : the practical world, the text world, and the virtual world. He said that in the past, students lived in a two-world environment: practice + text. However, the reality told us that the current educational pattern had led the text to stray farther and farther from practice. This problem had been raised and discussed; however, no solution was found until virtual reality had come into being in the information technology age. This virtual world could be the bridge of the two separate worlds, connecting theory from the text with practice in the real world. Therefore, exploration of online teaching and learning should not be limited to multimedia and online technology. It should focus on using virtual reality features of the online multimedia environment to extend learners learning potential and research capability. Professor S used networking in the sky combined with networking on the earth to describe a network that K-12 need for future. He referred the satellite educational TV system as a network in the sky and other networking systems as the network on the earth. Professor S believes using such a network for K-12, teaching would be more efficient and the cost would be reduced greatly. Professor S pointed out that networking should go beyond computer networking. He said, It is networking of human s wisdom. He proposed that all universities and schools should share available resources. That is, share the best teaching resources including the best courses and especially the best instructors. He and his research center submitted a proposal to the Chinese government for an educational reform grant to start a new online courseware administrative system called Jiangsu Higher Education Educational Technology Allies, whose mission would be to develop and share online learning resources at higher education in the Jiangsu province. Through this system, all good courses and resources will be shared. Professor S said, The key to the success of establishing such an online system is to form an online instructor team that will combine positive force from all universities in Jiangsu. Such a team will be a collection of the best resources that will be appropriately harnessed. His proposal was strongly supported by Jiangsu Higher Education Educational Technology Research Committee. The proposed reform project was planned in the following three stages: Stage I, May 2007 January 2008: Establish Jiangsu Five Educational Technology Allies for a half-year online teaching and learning resources sharing experiment. This stage is for preparing and testing of teaching and learning resources sharing. Investigation of teaching and learning resources including courses, instructional materials, and instructors from various Educational Technology programs is to be conducted within more than 20 universities in Jiangsu to find what the universities have and what they need. Five universities including Nanjing, Nanjing Normal, Nanjing Telecommunication, Yangchow, and Xuchow Normal Universities are the experimental sites where data will be collected and analyzed in terms of the best features of teaching and learning resources at each individual university. These best courses will be shared and the best instructors will teach these courses online. Students at the five universities will have the access to taking these best courses taught by the best instructors. Professor S
14 Educational Technology in China 82 course Learning Science and Technology is the first online course for slated to be shared. Stage II, February 2008 August 2008: Establish the Jiangsu Higher Education Educational Technology Allies subcommittee. The subcommittee will summarize the first stage s experience to form an online teaching and learning resources sharing system including the mechanism, the platform, and the database for resources. The main task for this stage focuses on designing and redesigning core courses and testing core courses within the universities in Jiangsu. Stage III, January 2009 August 2009: Officially establish Jiangsu Higher Education Educational Technology Allies as a model set for online teaching and learning in China. At this stage, Professor S research team will also complete the research report on this educational reform experiment. CONCLUSIONS This paper provides a portion of the big picture about educational technology in China. Although, it describes only one person s perspective on educational technology reform in China, it provides a strong basis for beginning to understand educational technology and educational technology reform in China. Comparing the educational technology history in China with that in the United States, reveals that China has a relatively shorter history and the definition of the field is not as specific. According to the information provided by Professor S, there are three major stages in the development of educational technology in China. The three stages are (1) the audiovisual instruction stage that started in the mid 1930s and lasted for a couple of decades, (2) a winter sleep stage that lasted for about 40 years, and (3) the modern educational technology stage from the 1990s. Although it started with audiovisual instruction like in the United States, educational technology in China does not show its development of the field. It jumped from a traditional stage to a modern stage after a long sleep. With an amazing speed, educational technology in China developed into a completely different stage. In the United States, there is a continuous development of the field. This development can be seen from various definitions of this field in different stages that is summarized in Reiser (2002). The major difference is educational technology in China focuses mainly on technology while the nature of the focus of educational technology in the United States is constantly developing. Educational Technology faculty in China, working with their students, are exploring this relatively new area and want to catch up with the world, especially the United States. Professor S is one of those who are devoted to developing and improving educational technology in China. He has noticed the importance of communicating with scholars and professionals in educational technology in the world and paid great attention to the trends and issues in educational technology in the United States. Because of its historical background, educational technology in China focuses more on technology, but leaves more space for improvement in educational technology research and bridging theory with practice in this field. What faculty and students in educational technology at NU have done and are doing in recent years reflect amazing growth of educational technology in China. The Five Ten movement has helped faculty and students in this field acquire information and knowledge about trends and issues of educational technology elsewhere in the world, especially in the United States. The Eighteen Circles curriculum design model is a set of actions taken to
15 International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 83 redesign curricula for educational technology, which is expected to be a highly effective approach. Finally, the online courseware administrative system, which coordinates sharing of effective courses, is a key initial step towards more effective sharing of online teaching and learning resources. Scholars and professionals in educational technology in China are seeking opportunities for more communication with their colleagues from other countries. I have found it valuable to exchange ideas and viewpoints with colleagues in China. There are so many changes in this field in China. What is its destination and how will Chinese faculty and students in educational technology reach this destination? Scholars and professionals in educational technology worldwide that are interested in development in China may want to work with colleagues in China to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and solutions that this field faces in China. REFERENCES Batson, A. (2007, July 20). Economics: China s growth surge raises stakes for Beijing. Wall Street Journal [Eastern edition], p. A5. Retrieved August 19, 2007, from the ProQuest database. Creswell, J. W. (2005). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Li, Z., & Guo, T. (2007). Reflection on the higher engineering education in China based on engineering education reform at North China University of Technology. International Forum of Teaching and Studies, 3(2), Retrieved August 19, 2007, from the ProQuest database. Liang, Y. (2007). China's technological emergence and the loss of skilled jobs in the United States: Missing link found? Journal of Economic Issues, 41(2), Retrieved August 19, 2007, from the ProQuest database. Merriam, S. (1988). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Qian, J., Finamore, B., & Chan, C. (2007). Greeting the red cities: Sustainable development in China. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 8(2), Retrieved August 19, 2007, from the ProQuest database. Reiser, R. A. (2002). What field did you say you were in? Defining and naming our field. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (pp. 5-15). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Roper, J., & Weymes, E. (2007). Reinstating the collective: A Confucian approach to well-being and social capital development in a globalised economy. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 26, Retrieved August 20, 2007, from the ProQuest database. Willis, J. W. (2007). Foundations of qualitative research: Interpretive and critical approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Yi, W. (2007, May 17). It s win-win on U.S. China trade. Wall Street Journal [Eastern edition], p. A21. Retrieved August 19, 2007, from the ProQuest database. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank Professor Xinmin Sang at Nanjing University for inviting me to his university and granting me permission to publish this paper based on the interview findings and the papers that he has provided
16 Educational Technology in China 84 APPENDIX: COURSE TITLES IN CHINESE Learning Science and Technology [ 学 习 科 学 与 技 术 ] Digital Media Technology [ 数 字 媒 体 技 术 ] Educational Software Engineering [ 教 育 软 件 工 程 ] Networking and Distance Education [ 网 络 文 化 与 教 育 传 播 ] Knowledge Engineering and Educational Resource Management [ 知 识 工 程 与 教 育 资 源 管 理 ] Science of Educational Technology [ 教 育 技 术 学 ] Systematic Design of Curriculum and Instruction [ 课 程 与 教 学 系 统 设 计 ] Arts of Digital Culture [ 数 字 文 化 艺 术 ] Learning Science and Technology [ 学 习 科 学 与 技 术 ] Fundamental ICT Skills [ICT 技 能 基 础 ] Learning Theories and Practice [ 学 习 指 导 的 理 论 与 实 践 ] Development and Management of Online Courses [ 网 络 课 程 开 发 与 管 理 ] Principles for Artificial Intelligence [ 人 工 智 能 原 理 ] Science for Management [ 管 理 科 学 ] Learning and Instructional Theories [ 学 与 教 的 理 论 ] Theory to Practice in the Information Technology Environment [ 信 息 技 术 环 境 下 学 习 理 论 与 实 践 ].