OUC Launches Next Generation Open Learning Platform - Online Credit Bank to Boost Lifelong Learning


To implement the spirit of operating an efficient continuing education system, accelerating the construction of a learning society, and strongly enhancing the nation’s quality, goals put forth at the 19th National Congress of the CPC central committee, a "Lifelong Learning, U-Learning, and Future Learning" themed Launch Seminar for the Online Credit Bank & Credit Bank Construction was held in Beijing. 

The next generation open learning platform, the joint OUC, Research Institute of New Education, and Chaoxing Group’s Online Credit Bank, was officially opened, marking the credit bank’s entrance into a brand new development phase with MOOCs as its core application model.

Ministry of Education Department of Vocational and Adult Education director Wang Jiping, OUC president Yang Zhijian, vice chairman of both the Central Committee of China Association for Promoting Democracy and the Chinese Society of Education, Zhu Yongxin, State Counselor Tang Min, Hongkong Qualifications Framework senior manager Feng Jiayong, Havard University vice provost Peter K.Bol, Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy vice chairman and secretary-general Zhang Shuanggu, dean of Teaching Condition Division of MOE Department of Higher Education Li Jing, and president of Chaoxing Education Group Shi Chao were present at the meeting. Thousands of people from across the OUC school system, ordinary universities, higher vocational colleges, and people in charge of the OUC’s learning outcomes accreditation system attended the conference.

Wang Jiping pointed out that the recently concluded 19th National Congress of the CPC issued new goals, tasks, and requirements. Implementing continuing education with Chinese characteristics in the new era in a comprehensive manner is a critical key task at present. In his opinion, there is room for improvement within the current education system in China, especially in terms of pre-school and continuing education. Continuing education is the "last mile" in reforming Chinese education. Since launching the OUC's credit bank pilot five years ago, it has done significant work, achieved ample results, and has excellent prospects. Today, the official Online Credit Bank launch marked the credit bank’s entrance into a new phase of comprehensive implementation and wide application based on the past five years’ achievements. He imposed some requirements on future development of the credit bank. First, make credit and quality priorities to guarantee the credit bank’s brand credibility. Second, build a credit bank with Chinese characteristics, proceeding from user demands, and beginning with easy tasks; focus on key tasks, and look for breakthroughs in continuing education field.

Yang Zhijian delivered a report titled Online Credit Bank: Boost the New Platform of Lifelong Learning. He said lifelong learning is the key to the future. The credit bank has shifted from concept to action, and is bound to become a trend. He pointed out that, through five years of research and exploration, the credit bank’s construction has achieved its phased achievement targets. To take the initiative in catering to lifelong learners, U-Learning, and future learning, the OUC built Internet-based learning platform "Online Credit Bank" through university-enterprise cooperation, and cross-field innovation. Generally speaking, the Online Credit Bank provides an integrated learning environment that combines MOOC, credit bank, and “education Taobao” (apply the operation model of online shopping to the education field). He stressed that there are a few unique features and innovations within the Online Credit Bank. First, empowering MOOCs by introducing high quality courses from other educational institutions through the credit bank and recognising their credits realises the transfer of academic degrees. Second, building a public service platform that meets the demand of various education institutions and learners. As a third-party platform, Online Credit Bank integrates high-quality courses with various types of certificates through an “education Taobao” concept to ensure quality education and avoid diploma overflow. Third, providing a learning experience to students through big data on all terminals, available for students to learn at different stages. The integrated learning environment provides an experience that caters to each student’s learning needs, effectively controls quality, and achieves professional capability evaluation in multiple dimensions for the future. Yang Zhijian put forward three expectations for the Online Credit Bank. First, he looks forward to more universities, enterprises, social school agencies, famous tutors, and popular courses joining the platform, enabling the Online Credit Bank to become a major platform national public activities and services. Second, he looks forward to the platform better addressing and serving students’ diverse personal learning demands, enabling the Online Credit Bank to become a major platform for lifelong learning, U-Learning, and future learning. Third, he looks forward to social powers issuing their advice and suggestions for the platform’s improvement, enabling Online Credit Bank to further develop.

Zhu Yongxin delivered a report titled Credit Bank and Future Education. He said the credit bank was created in response to demands from new era education development. It is a way to address current education system problems. He pointed out that the credit bank makes full use of the Internet, while using bank operating principles as a reference, to effectively bridge the following five gaps in education today. First, gaps in various education stages; second, a gap between the degree and non-degree education; third, a gap between public and private education; fourth, a gap between domestic and overseas education; fifth, a gap between learning and capability cultivation. He stressed that the Online Credit Bank was based on credit bank mechanisms, and collected fine education teaching resources to build a web-based new, open, diversified, and integrated university. It is a new type of learning mode based on lifelong learning to promote U-Learning, and focused on lifelong learning. It is the future learning centre oriented towards lifelong learning service. He hoped that future education would become a lifestyle, and learning would no longer be the only channel for work and life. He hoped that everyone would lead a happy and robust educated life.

Shi Chao demonstrated the Online Credit Bank learning platform "Learning Master." He pointed out that the Online Credit Bank has referenced some concepts from Taobao. It is a public and open platform, and all the ordinary universities, higher vocational colleges, open university system, alliances, and industry enterprises can join and become masters of the platform. He stressed that the Online Credit Bank’s launch has broken space and time barriers within education, and that the future of education is around the corner. According to Shi Chao, the "learning master" application was created as an integrated learning environment. It was jointly created by the OUC, new Research Institute of Open and Distance Education of the OUC, and Chaoxing Group. Currently, the app has 16.5 million users, with that number growing by 60,000 new users each day. It averages 300 million daily hits.

Tang Min gave a report titled Credit Bank and Learning Society, Feng Jiayong made a report titled Hongkong Qualifications Framework's Quality Assurance System Construction, and Peter K.Bol issued a report titled HarvardX-Online Courses Serve to Bridge Cultures, with each voicing their opinions on the construction of an "Online Credit Bank."

This conference marked the official launch of the Online Credit Bank. The seminar encompassed a constellation of participants’ wisdom and opinions, strove to build the Online Credit Bank into a brand new platform that serves lifelong learning, U-Learning, and future learning, enable more civilians to open the door to their own bright future under the support of the Online Credit Bank.

The MOE entrusted the OUC to launch the "Study and Practice of the Accreditation, Accumulation, and Transfer System of National Continuing Education Learning Outcomes" pilot in 2012. Over the past five years, the OUC has designed the credit bank system framework at a national level, completed infrastructure development such as a learning outcome frameworks, accreditation standards, and accreditation alliances, as well as built a credit bank informatisation management platform and accreditation service system. The OUC has also worked together with local open universities, relevant industries, colleges, and training agencies to carry out practical explorations into various accreditation, accumulation, and transfer of learning outcomes. It has established 70 learning outcomes accreditation sub-centers that cover 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, involving 20 industries. To date, the OUC has opened credit bank account for nearly 4.8 million learners, laying a solid foundation for a lifelong learning "bridge" and learning society.

By Li Xiaoqiang, OUC

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