Coping with the challenges of open online education in Chinese societies in the mobile era: NTHU OCW as a case study

  • Shelley Shwu-Ching Young Institute of Learning Scienses, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
  • Hui-Chun Hung Institute of Information Systems and Applications, National TsingHua University, Taiwan
Keywords: mobile learning, OpenCourseWare, online courses, Chinese society, cross-device learning

Abstract

In an era witnessing the rapid development of information technology, mobile devices have brought revolutionary changes to learning. A single conventional media platform is not enough for the various mobile devices. Technology-enriched educational environments supported by different devices are important research issues nowadays. To capture the rapid growth of mobile users in Chinese societies, OpenCourseWare (OCW) needs to move their learning models toward the mobile sphere. Therefore, this study reports the three years of empirical experience in implementing the upgraded National Tsing Hua University OCW platform and analyzes how users access the platform with various devices. The results indicate a responsive web design and cloud-computing provide great accessibility to meet the diversity of various mobile devices from Chinese users throughout the world, including 466,429 visits with 264 different mobile devices from 146 territories. Moreover, the proposed solutions make the workflow of OCW production more efficient. The study further discussed the importance of both tablets and smartphones. Moreover, to expand the reach of open educational resources (OER) in Chinese societies, the critical issues of fair use and sustainability of OER should be of concern. The findings of the study provide valuable references for web engineers and educators to explore cross-device online learning using PCs and mobile devices.

Author Biographies

Shelley Shwu-Ching Young, Institute of Learning Scienses, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Shelley Shwu-Ching Young is Chair and Professor at the Institute of Learning Sciences, and has joint appointments with the Institute of Information Systems and Applications & Center for General Education, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Her research interests focus on information technology in higher education, lifelong education and web-based learning communities, and interactive multimedia design and computer-supported collaborative learning.

Hui-Chun Hung, Institute of Information Systems and Applications, National TsingHua University, Taiwan

Hui-Chun Hung is a PhD student at the Institute of Information Systems and Applications, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. His research interests concentrate on technology-assisted learning in higher education, digital classroom, and mobile learning. He has contributed to the design the technology-assisted learning in higher education and OpenCourseWare in National Tsing Hua University for six years.

Published
2014-06-16
How to Cite
Young, S. S.-C., & Hung, H.-C. (2014). Coping with the challenges of open online education in Chinese societies in the mobile era: NTHU OCW as a case study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15(3). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v15i3.1742
Section
Research Articles