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Tertiarylevel Online Education in English Language Education in China


Tertiary-level Online Education in English Language Education in China ... key issues examined in our national survey. ... Issues Under Survey: A Brief Review ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Tertiarylevel Online Education in English Language Education in China

Tertiary-level Online Education in English
Language Education in China
  • Tensions and Implications

  • The research this presentation is based on is
    part of the overarching research project
    (Workpackage 2) of Sino-UK e-Learning Programme
    sponsored by MoE (China) and HEFCE (UK).
  • This presentation is an extended version of the
    three papers in Exploring Online Education (Gu,
    2004) by Cao, Wang and Tang.
  • We would like to extend our gratitude to Prof.
    Gu Yueguo (China) and Prof. David Wood (UK) for
    their guidance and support to our research.

Part 3
Assessment Tensions and
  • A secondary analysis of the research findings
    from the national survey study, which was
    conducted in last May.
  • Due to its predominant position in the
    educational system, assessment inevitably became
    one of the three key issues examined in our
    national survey. We were curious to know how
    assessment was undertaken in tertiary-level
    online degree-awarding programs in English
    language education in China, along with tutors
    and learners perceptions of the practices in

Issues Under Survey A Brief Review
  • What is the current practice for assessing
    students in the context of tertiary-level English
    online education in China?
  • What are learners and tutors perceptions of
    practices in formative assessment?
  • What are learners and tutors perceptions of the
    final exam?

Preliminary Findings
  • The research results indicated that the majority
    of online institutions under study had formal
    entry requirements regarding learner enrollment.
    The course assessment practices consisted of
    formative assessment and final exams.
  • The preliminary analysis of the research resulted
    in a paper published in Gu (2004) Exploring
    Online Education.

Results of secondary analysis
  • What is presented here today is a secondary
    analysis of the key issues that have surfaced
    from the study.
  • Four tensions have been identified, with their
    pedagogical implications.

Tension 1
Students failure to fulfill self-assessment
tasks to monitor their learning progress
The expectations of them being autonomous learners
Tension 1 -- Findings
The formative assessment practices that are
considered most helpful are also those that
learners pay maximum attention to, and these are
usually included in their final score.
As self-assessment tasks are not included in
their final score, in consequence, students
usually do not do them.
Tension 1 -- Implication
  • Development of learner autonomy in checking
    and monitoring ones own learning progress is
    becoming of high urgency in the e-learning

Tension 2
The effectiveness of a real tutor undertaking the
task in the e-learning environment
Students wish for a real tutor assessing their
Tension 2 Findings(1)
Learner preferences about formative assessment
  • Summary
  • They prefer tutor assess their performance and
    provide feedback

Tension 2 Findings (2)
Two major problems reported by learners in their
learning process
  • Delayed feedback from the tutor about learning
  • Delayed feedback from the tutor about assignments

Summary Tutor is deemed to be the only
authority that can provide feedback to their
assignments and learning difficulties.
Tension 2 Findings (3)
  • Due to resource pressures, feedback on learners
    performances is being provided slower, sometimes
    not provided until the course is finished. (Gibbs
    Simpson, 2003)
  • It may be argued that imperfect (but prompt)
    feedback from a fellow student may be more useful
    than more perfect feedback from a tutor 4 weeks
    later. (ibid.)

Tension 2 -- Implications
  • In the light of this understanding, we need to
  • What kind of assessment tasks can be more
    effectively evaluated by a real tutor?
  • What kind of assessment tasks can be better
    evaluated by a built-in tutor?

Tension 3
ICTs potential for providing more varied means
of e-assessment and students expectations of
greater use of technology in assessment (New
The limited use of technology in assessment and
in monitoring learning process (Old practices)
Tension 3 Findings(1)
Formative assessment practices an overview
Summary Online component of learning process
monitoring is few.
Means for assignment delivery, submission and
Tension 3 Findings(2)
  • Summary
  • Offline mode is dominant
  • Online elements are still few.

Learner preferences about formative assessment
Tension 3 Findings(3)
  • Summary
  • The majority of the learners prefer online mode
    of delivery, submission and feedback

Tension 3 Implications (1)
Use of ICT in helping learners tackle learning
difficulties needs to be exploited online
testing (with item bank), with learning
difficulties predicted and explained, with
immediate feedback provided. Use of ICT in
feedback provision of learners assignments and
learning difficulties is worth further
Tension 3 Implications (2)
  • Innovative means of assessment, rather than
    essay types only, should be explored to better
    reflect the nature of the e-learning process.
  • A challenge of online learning is to use the
    qualities of the medium to advantage, rather than
    replicate existing teaching, learning and
    assessment practices. To take advantage of the
    medium, we need to harness new opportunities for
    interactions, dialogue and debate among open and
    distance learners and to create assessments that
    promote the value of these learning
    processes.(Morgan OReilly, 199941)

Tension 4
Learners strategic use of tasks provided (i.e.
they only fulfill the assessment tasks that are
included in the final score)
The assumption that carefully crafted study
materials would shape and inspire students
Why learners fulfill these assessments
Tension 4 Findings (1)
Main Reasons
  • The main reason
  • They are part of the final score (64.9)

Tension 4 Findings (2)
  • In a preliminary summary of the e-learning
    development in China, Liu (2005) reported that
    99 learners registered online courses just for
    the purpose of obtaining a degree.
  • Taken this factor into consideration, the
    research finding is not surprising. For those
    learners whose primary goal, is, to
    satisfactorily complete assessment tasks on time,
    study materials that are not clearly interwoven
    with assessment will be overlooked.
  • .

Tension 4 -- Implication
  • Aligning assessment with course objectives
  • Aims and objectives content teaching and
    learning activities assessment

Thank you !
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