Between 1998 and 2003, 68 e-colleges were established as a result of the Modern Distance Education Project funded by the Chinese government. This research concentrated on the online distance learning degree courses offered by e-colleges in two cities of Guangdong: Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The research was guided by a multi-method phenomenological qualitative methodology. Conducted in the late summers of 2002/03, 16 individuals were involved in the investigation ; 12 students at three e-colleges, two teachers of English at a senior secondary school in Shenzhen, a teacher of English at an e-college, and an officer at the Provincial Educational Bureau of Guangdong. Primary data were gathered using semi-structured interviews (supplemented by a questionnaire). Secondary data consisted of government documents and research papers in Chinese. Multiple perspectives and multiple methods were used to help triangulating the data. In the literature review, debate around the teacher-centred and learner-centred views of education, and major educational influences on the contemporary model of Chinese education were examined. Research into studentsÕ characteristics and needs were explored. The potential of ICT in promoting learner-centredness in higher education and distance learning was explored. Lifelong learning, open access and flexible delivery as guiding principles for online distance learning courses were also examined. The characteristics of the Guangdong online distance learning context were identified. The strengths and problems in educational policies, and in teaching and learning practices relative to online distance learning in Guangdong were examined, and some recommendations were made. Copyright © 2005 The Asian Society of Open and Distance Education.
|Journal||Asian Journal of Distance Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|