Part I – I Overview of China’s Online Education Industry
This is a series of articles from Blue Book of China’s Online Education Industry, authored by our partner China Online Education Research Institute (COERI). Each post is a chapter from the blue book.
Chapter I Online Education and Its Benefits
I. What is online education?
“Online education” (sometimes also called “e-learning”) is often regarded as an educational pattern that makes use of the network, multimedia and various interactive digital technologies to conduct systematic teaching and interaction. It is composed of such basic factors as computers, network facilities, teachers, teaching platforms, learning contents and learners (as shown in the schematic diagram below).
It especially needs to note here that there is a great difference in such concepts as “online education”, “online learning” and “online teaching”, but which are not particularly distinguished here from the perspective of industry research in China. Therefore, in this book, we include all industrial outputs of learning with digital technologies; focus more on learning through network services.
II. Advantages of online education
- The Internet breaking the spatial and temporal limitations of traditional education
As we all know, most of China’s high-quality educational resources exist in famous high-quality schools in the first-tier and second-tier cities, but which is not fair to students in the third-tier or fourth-tier cities. While online education realizes the sharing of global good-quality educational resources to the greatest extent, for example, online teaching attracts students all over China by organizing teachers to give instructions.
A good abecedarian has a decisive effect on students. The long unfairness of education resources leads to the loss of many talents who could have become pillars of China. Now the Internet breaks through traditional education’s spatial and temporal and resources limitations and brings in high- quality educational resources to today’s students at the stage of receiving education, especially those in the remote regions.
- The Internet makes learning become easy and efficient
Nowadays, much of classroom-based teaching has involved knowledge visualization, referring to understand abstract concepts in visual ways. It produces vivid and visual pictures or animations instead of simply type characters onto the screen with the way of combining what is seen and heard.
According to research results provided by the National Training Laboratories in Maine of the United States, if students only listen to the teacher, the retention rate is only at 5%, while if students listen to while seeing what is taught, the figure rises to 20%; and with the demonstration, the rate increases to 30%. All of these are passive learning. When students change to learn in an active way, e.g. learning through discussion, the retention rate will reach 50%; if practice, the figure will rise to 75%; and if teaching others, it will skyrocket to 90%. For this reason, there is a need to make students totally integrate all features of learning through advanced technological means, which could raise students’ learning initiative and change the learning from passive to active, so as to improve the teaching quality.
According to relevant experiments, playing high-quality micro courses in the classroom is helpful for significantly improving students’ concentration. While these micro courses contain costly technological development, it needs the power of a team but not only a teacher himself. For example, the abstract leap of logic can be demonstrated in specific imagery thinking with the adoption of visual teaching method. With such a method, it is easy for students to understand classroom-based teaching and at the same time, the quality of such teaching is also significantly improved.
- The Internet makes it really possible to answer any question
It is really possible to conduct one-to-one online tutoring in the era of the Internet, which make changes to the teaching pattern of a teacher teaching dozens or hundreds of students. Fully taking advantage of the Internet breaking through spatial and temporal limitations can help with the free allocation by students and teachers. Students and teachers can complete learning and real-time teaching in the form of online one-to-one education or live class.
With such APPs as question bank and online mentoring, students’ problems would be greatly reduced because students can turn to such software when they have difficulty in learning. Undoubtedly, they are like a home tutor that can make use of global learning resources at any time in any place to students. That indicates the Internet makes students have less learning difficulties.
Through the Internet, we can bring the most advanced technologies and experienced teachers together to help improve teaching quality and make our education no longer painful in order to assist students to master more advanced knowledge in the happy environment. This would also help to enhance the current fairness of education in China.
Sure, “the Internet plus education” policy can not only significantly improve education fairness and teaching quality, but also have an effect on all aspects of educational management, which is not listed in detail due to the limited space. Its primary function is to promote the fairness of education resources in the severely unbalanced education industry in China.
(to be continued)
China Online Education Research Institute (COERI) is an organization dedicated to the research, consulting, and service of Chinese online education industry. It mainly undertakes the following functions:
- Program consulting: provide consulting service about online education industry;
- Research report: compile industrial research report and provide authentic industrial research achievements;
- Technical training: train talents for the online education;
- Academic seminar: organize large- and medium-scale online education seminars to promote the industrial development;
- Product study: study and test the latest online education products and technologies;
- Exchange activity: organize all sorts of exchange activities and propel communication in online education industry