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Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak

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Abstract and Figures

In China, to contain the COVID-19, the Chinese government has banned most-face-to-face activities, including teaching. Chinese Ministry of Education, on the other hand, has launched an initiative entitled “Disrupted classes, undisrupted learning” to provide flexible online learning to over 270 million students from their homes. Inspired by the united solidarity and innovative experiences of millions of teachers and students, this handbook aims to define the term “flexible learning” with vivid examples and touching stories. It describes several implemented flexible online learning strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies are presented based on six dimensions, namely (a) infrastructure, (b) learning tools, (c) learning resources, (d) teaching and learning methods, (e) services for teachers and students, and (f) cooperation between enterprise, government, and schools. Specifically, this handbook can help other educators, researchers and practitioners implement similar case studies in their context. Finally, this handbook shows, based on this practical experience, the different cooperation between several sectors (governmental, telecommunication, enterprises, etc.) to provide effective and inclusive education in case of emergencies, such as the COVID-19.
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Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption:
The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak
© Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University (SLIBNU), March, 2020. Version 1.2
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This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO)
license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/).
Please cite the work as follows:
Huang, R.H., Liu, D.J., Tlili, A., Yang, J.F., Wang, H.H., Jemni, M., & Burgos, D. (2020). Handbook on
Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining
Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak. Beijing: Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University.
Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education
March 15, 2020
Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption:
The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak
Statement
15/03/2020
As COVID-19 continues spreading in many countries of world, how to keep learning in
disruption has become a major challenge to the global education community. As stated by
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay:
“We are entering uncharted territory and working with countries to find hi-tech, low-tech
and no-tech solutions to assure the continuity of learning.
At this critical moment, UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural
Education (UNESCO INRULED) and Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
(SLIBNU) are releasing a special publication entitled Handbook on Facilitating Flexible
Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted
Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak” together with our collaboration partners.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese Ministry of Education has launched the
“Disrupted classes, Undisrupted Learning” initiative, providing flexible online learning to over
270 million students from their homes. Inspired by the united solidarity and innovative
experiences of millions of teachers and students, this handbook aims to define the term “flexible
learning” with vivid examples and touching stories. It describes several implemented flexible
online learning strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies are presented based
on six dimensions, namely (a) infrastructure, (b) learning tools, (c) learning resources, (d)
teaching and learning methods, (e) services for teachers and students, and (f) cooperation
between government, enterprises, and schools.
Additionally, this handbook aims to help other educators, researchers and practitioners
implement similar case studies in their context. We hope to work together more closely with all
partners for the shared mission in this difficult situation. As emphasized by Mrs Stefania
Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education:
We need to come together not only to address the immediate educational consequences
of this unprecedented crisis, but to build up the longer-term resilience of education systems.”
On behalf of UNESCO INRULED and SLIBNU, I would like to thank our partners from China
and abroad. Our special thanks go to the National Commission of the People's Republic of
China for UNESCO for their incredible support during the realization of this publication. We
also acknowledge with gratitude contributions for this publication from our partner
organizations, including UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education
(UNESCO IITE), the International Association of Smart Learning Environment (IASLE), the
Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), and Edmodo.
Dr. Ronghuai Huang
Director, UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education
Co-Dean, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Acknowledgement
Many people have helped us in nalizing this handbook. They have our great appreciation for the long hours
and hard work they devoted to conducting research and developing the content. Without their continuous
assistance, this handbook would not have been realized.
We would especially like to thank Dr. Haijun Zeng from the Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal
University and Dr. Changjie Chen from the NetDragon Websoft Inc., for their professional recommendations
on the handbook framework. Special thanks also go to Rongxia Zhuang from the Smart Learning Institute of
Beijing Normal University for organizing meetings to develop the content and managing the evolution of this
handbook from a simple framework to a well-structured content.
Our acknowledgement is also extended to the researchers who put a lot of eorts in nding and developing the
content. The research team includes Ahmed Tlili, Junfeng Yang, Huanhuan Wang, Muhua Zhang, Bojun Gao,
Hang Lu, Ting-Wen Chang, Qian Cheng, Xiayu Yin, Wei Cheng.
We acknowledge with gratitude those experts from the Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
(SLIBNU), UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO INRULED),
UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), the International Association
of Smart Learning Environment (IASLE), the Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization
(ALECSO), and Edmodo for their professional feedback and comments during the preparation of this handbook.
Executive Summary
1. Understanding Flexible Learning during Educational Disruption
1.1 Flexible learning
1.2 Characteristics of flexible learning
1.3 Dimensions of flexibility
2 Applying Online Learning to Provide Flexible Education
2.1 Technology enhanced learning
2.2 What is online learning
2.3 How to provide online learning
2.4 Core elements for supporting “Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning”
3 Ensuring Reliable Network Infrastructure
4 Utilizing Friendly Learning Tools
5 Adopting Suitable Digital Learning Resources
5.1 Evaluate the suitability of digital learning resources
5.2 The available digital learning resources for different levels of education
6 Facilitating Effective Online Teaching and Learning
6.1 Instructional organization of learning
6.2 Social organization of learning activities
7 Providing Supports and Services for Teachers and Students
7.1 Technical services for teachers
7.2 Learning supports for students
8 Empowering the Collaboration between Governments, Enterprises,
and Schools
Conclusions and Recommendations
Reference
Participant List
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Contents
1March, 2020. Version 1.2
Executive Summary
Large scale outbreaks of pandemic disease, natural disaster, or serious air pollution took place in the global wide,
aecting not only humans’ health, but also the education sector. For instance, at the end of 2002, SARS aected
several countries around the world. To contain the virus, face-to-face teaching was banned in several regions
in China. Similarly in 2009, the outbreak of H1N1 Flu aected several people around the world, causing school
closures in many countries and areas, such as Bulgaria, China, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Serbia, South
Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States (Cauchemez et al., 2014).
At the end of 2019, while the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading worldwide, causing the death of
over 3000 persons, several countries have initiated several strategies to contain this virus, including school
closures. UNESCO stated that, as of 12 March, forty-six countries in ve dierent continents have announced
school closures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Specically, twenty-six countries have completely closed
schools nationwide, affecting the learning process of almost 376.9 million children and youth who would
normally attend schools. A further twenty countries have partially closed schools (localized school closures) to
prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19. Particularly, 500 million children and youth are still threatened with
not attending their schools if these twenty countries also order nationwide school closures.
International organizations have paid particular attention to the issue of “Education Response in Crises and
Emergencies”. UNESCO stated in the Education 2030 Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action that
countries should “provide alternative modes of learning and education for children and adolescents who are
not in school at both the primary and secondary levels, and put in place equivalency and bridging programmes,
recognized and accredited by the state, to ensure flexible learning in both formal and non-formal settings,
including in emergency situations”.
Specifically in China, to contain the COVID-19, the Chinese government has banned most-face-to-face
activities, including teaching. The Chinese Ministry of Education has launched an initiative entitled “Disrupted
Classes, Undisrupted Learning” to provide flexible online learning to hundreds of millions students from their
homes. Inspired by the united solidarity and innovative experiences of millions of teachers and students, this
handbook aims to dene the term “exible learning” with vivid examples and touching stories. It describes several
implemented exible online learning strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies are presented
based on six dimensions, namely (a) infrastructure, (b) learning tools, (c) learning resources, (d) teaching and
learning methods, (e) services for teachers and students, and (f) cooperation between enterprise, government,
and schools. Specifically, this handbook can help other educators, researchers and practitioners implement
similar case studies in their context. Finally, this handbook shows, based on this practical experience, dierent
collaborations between several sectors (governmental, telecommunication, enterprise, etc.) to provide eective
and inclusive education in case of emergencies, such as the COVID-19.
2March, 2020. Version 1.2
1Understanding Flexible Learning
during Educational Disruption
Lee and McLoughlin (2010) dened exible learning as a “set of educational approaches
and systems concerned with providing learners with increased choice, convenience, and
personalization to suit their needs. In particular, exible learning provides learners with
choices about where, when, and how learning occurs, by using a range of technologies
to support the teaching and learning process.”
1.1 FlexibleLearning
The study of exible learning and teaching has a long history. First, “exibility” is dened as oering choices in
the educational environment, as well as customizing a given course to meet the needs of individual learners.
Therefore, providing the possibility of making learning choices to learners is crucial. These learning choices
can cover class times, course content, instructional
approach, learning resources and location, technology
use, the requirements for entry/completion dates,
and communication medium (Collis, Vingerhoets,
& Moonen, 1997; Goode, Willis, Wolf, & Harris,
2007). With the development of information and
communication technologies, new learning modes have
appeared that can open more opportunities for exible
learning, such as open learning. Open learning aims to
make learners more self-determined and independent,
while teachers became more as learning facilitators
(Wiki, 2019). Learner-centered philosophy serves as
an underpinning theory for this exibility dominated educational practices (Lewis & Spenser, 1986). In exible
learning environments, barriers that might prevent students from attending a given educational context (e.g.,
classrooms) are removed. With the further development of technologies, flexible delivery is considered a
critical component (Lundin, 1999), which usually empowers learners and instructors to exchange information
in a two-way manner. Later, the scope of exible learning has been further extended beyond the dimension of
delivery to cover exible pedagogy (Gordon, 2014; Ryan & Tilbury, 2013). Gardon (2014) and Ryan and Tilbury
(2013) believed that exibility is not only an attribute of students, but also a feature of educational strategies at
the institution level.
Term 1. Flexible pedagogy
In this handbook, we re-conceptualize flexible
pedagogy as a learner-centered educational
strategy, which provides choices from the main
dimensions of study, such as time and location
of learning, resources for teaching and learning,
instructional approaches, learning activities, support
for teachers and learners. In this way, teaching and
learning can be exible rather than xed. This can
help promote easy, engaged and eective learning.
3March, 2020. Version 1.2
1.2 Characteristicsofflexiblelearning
Flexible learning has several characteristics, as follows:
First, it oers learners rich learning choices from multiple dimensions of study (Goode et al., 2007).
Second, it applies learner-centered constructivism approach which is indicated by a shift from the teacher
taking learning responsibilities to the learner taking these responsibilities as well (Lewis & Spencer, 1986;
Goode, 2007).
Last, learners are granted a variety of choices and take more responsibilities for their own learning. Therefore,
exible learning requires learners to be more skilled at self-regulation in terms of goal setting, self-monitoring
and make adjustments and instructors to promote active learning so that learning in such situations can be
engaging and eective (Collis, 1998).
1.3 Dimensionsofflexibility
The strategy of flexible learning can be implemented at different levels, such as teaching and learner
management, operational management, and institutional management (Casey & Wilson, 2005). Focusing on the
exibility at teaching and learner management level, we identied the following eight key exibility dimensions.
• When and where the learning occurs
It means that the time of participating in a course (Collis et al., 1997), starting and finishing a course
(McMeekin, 1998), participating in learning activities (Collis et al., 1997; Collis, 2004; Casey, 2005), the pace
of study (Collis, 2004; Casey & Wilson, 2005) can be exible. Learners can be oered choices based on their
needs (e.g., study during evenings or weekends). They can also specify the time they want to interact with
others and the time they want to study on their own. The location of learners to carry out learning activities
and access learning materials can also be flexible anywhere at any time via mobile devices, such as at
campus, home, public transport, airport or even on a plane (Collis et al., 1997; McMeekin, 1998; Gordon,
2014). Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Beijing Normal University in China cancelled the regular physical
class meetings. The alternative ways that the instructors used is to post a list of learning tasks and upload
related resources on the learning management system every Monday. Students can then access these
resources and study at any time (usually at home during the current week). Finally, the students submit their
completed learning homework and assignments before the following week.
• What and how students will learn
It allows students to determine the sections and the sequence of content according to their desire, pathways
of learning, forms of course orientation, size and scope of the course through modulization of the content
(Collis et al., 1997; Collis, 2004; Casey & Wilson, 2005; Gordon, 2014). During the period of COVID-19, the
self-inquiry course oered by Guangzhou International Middle School Huangpu ZWIE encouraged students
to select the topics based on their personal interests and strength. They can then create products in the
formats they prefer, such as a regular letter, posters, brochures, videos, songs or dances to salute the front-
ne heroes who ght against the novel Coronavirus in Wuhan City, China.1
1 https://lx.huanqiu.com/article/9CaKrnKps6s
4March, 2020. Version 1.2
• How to deliver instruction
Flexible delivery oers a suitable range of how and where students can access learning materials (Collis et
al., 1997; Lundin, 1999; McMeekin,1998). Students may experience the course in campus-based learning,
web-based learning, or in both via dierent technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR). Employer-based
learning has recently emerged as a new delivery method, which enables students to combine work with study,
bringing together higher education providers and employers to produce innovative learning opportunities from
a broad view (UK Universities, 2018). A blended way to deliver a course with the theme of English Language
for pre-school kids in China provided by New Oriental Education and McGraw Hill allows students to use an
Articial Intelligence-driven mobile application to access the learning resources and study on their own paces
during the weekdays1. The supplementary activities include following and imitating the reading process,
automatic grading, and group discussions via social network applications. During the weekend, the lecture is
delivered online by the instructors as live virtual classrooms.
• What strategies could be used for organizing learning activities?
The learner's choices can be oered using several instructional approaches, such as lectures with tutorials,
independent study, discussion, seminar groups, debates, student-led discovery approaches and educational
gamification (Gordon, 2014). For instance, the University of British Columbia (2020) has recently used
different methods, such as blended learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and experiential
learning, to offer more opportunities for learners to control their own learning process and improve their
1 http://www.maxen.com.cn/
Binbei School in Shandong Province opened a “Course Supermarket”, which provides
students great flexibility in learning from home and helps them develop self-management
skills. The topics of the courses offered by this “supermarket” range from photography,
calligraphy, reading, housework, music, fitness and bodybuilding exercises. Examples of the
course topics are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Binbei School (Shandong, China) opened a "Course Supermarket" that oers courses with a broad range of topics
Source: https://www.sohu.com/a/375788276_508621
“Course Supermarket”
Story1
5March, 2020. Version 1.2
learning experiences. For the methods of social organization of learning, exibility can be enabled by oering
learners several ways of studying (individually, in groups, collaboratively, etc.). The instructors at Baiyangdian
High School at Xiong'an District delivered live lectures through a software "DingTalk." They also organized
group-based student discussions by using the platform ZOOM so that all participants can interact with each
other more conveniently. Video-based one-on-one tutoring was used by the instructors at Renmin University
Affiliated-Sanya High School so that students can have a better emotional perception while they are
addressing the course work with real-time help from the instructors1.
• What types of learning resources should be provided to students?
For the origin of the resources, in addition to instructor created content, the resource created by learners,
libraries, even high-quality resources from the web can also be the potential choices (Collis 2004; Casey, 2005).
Regards to the modality of the resources, exibility can be indicated by using a range of media formats, such
as podcasts, narrated screen capture, the full video of lectures and software (Gordon, 2014). Open Educational
Resources (OER) can also provide exibility in the way of using learning resources since they are under an
open license. For instance, an educator can use, mix, adapt a given OER to t his/her learning context.
1 data source: Participants who attended a webinar on Online Education Needs and Implementation in CO.VID-19 Situation hosted by National
Engineering Laboratory for Cyberlearning and Intelligent Technology of China(CIT), on February 19, 2020.
The Ministry of Education of China coordinated 22 online learning platforms that totally
offered 24, 000 free and open online courses at the national level1. Schools and educational
corporations at the province level also provided a huge amount of open learning resources so
that the quantity and flexibility of resources can be guaranteed during the special period of
the virus outbreak. The modality of the resources includes filmed lectures and educational
games, as showing in Figure 2. Schools like Wenzhou Experimental Middle School further
customized the public resources based on the characteristics of its students to t their needs2.
Notes:
1 https://news.sina.cn/2020-02-05/detail-iimxxste8997186.d.html?vt=4&pos=3
2 data source: Participants who attended the webnar on Online Education Needs and Implementation in COVID-19 Situation
hosted by CIT, on February 19, 2020.
3 Graphs from http://jypt.tjjy.com.cn/acommonapp/chome/mindex.do and https://www.xianshua.net/app/hbszxxxsjxpt/
Free and open learning resources
provided to students
Story 2
Figure 2. Parts of resources provided in dierent modalities3
6March, 2020. Version 1.2
• What technologies are truely useful for learning, teaching and administration?
The use of technologies to enhance teaching and learning (Gordon, 2014) and help instructors and
departments to process administrative work within institutions (Casey, 2005) can be flexible. A variety of
web 4.0 tools can be used to help learners generate content and interact with peers, such as blogs, wikis,
and social networks. Additionally, several technology-based communication mediums, such as emails and
instant messages applications, made the instructors and administrative stas' work much more convenient.
To address the challenges that students can’t go to campus to study in a regular way during the COVID-19
period, in China, dierent types of tools and platforms were used in an integrated way to support learning and
teaching from home. The major technologies utilized by dierent schools were summarized and classied
into dierent categories based on their functions in Table 1.
Table 1. The types of technologies used in dierent schools in China during COVID-19 outbreak
Schools in China Platform Communication
tools AI-driven APPs Survey tools
Wuhan Yucai Experimental
Primary School Wuhaneduyun WeChatQQ
DingTalk Tencent Class
Wuhan Wuchang District
Sandao Street Primary
School
Wuhaneduyun Tencent Class
Wen Zhou Experimental
Middle School UMU DingTalk
Baiyangdian High School at
Xiong'an District Xinkaoyun DingTalk
Xiaoxita High School at
Yichang Wuyi District Zhixue DingTalk Wenjuanxing
RDFZ Sanya School WeChatQQ
DingTalk
Beijing No. 8 High School Tencent Meeting Yuanfudao
BaGu Primary School in
Sichuan Liangshan Xuexi WeChatQQ
DingTalk
The Asia-Pacic
Experimental School of
Beijing Normal University
Seewoo Cloud
Platform
WeChatQQ
DingTalk
7March, 2020. Version 1.2
• When and how to provide assessment and evaluation?
The assessment and evaluation of learning quality, as well as teaching and academic programs (Collis et al.,
1997; Casey, 20005) can be exible. The exibility can be indicated by the methods of assessments, such
as presentation, research papers, team projects, peer assessments, and standardized tests (e.g., multiple
choices). E-portfolio is one method that can oer more exibility for students to update the evidence of their
development and achievement (Gordon, 2014). The timing and delivery channel of assessment can also
be exible. computer based test (e.g. online test, adaptive test) and human managed assessment (paper-
based test) are the typical methods. Flexible learning can also be provided by applying learning analytics
approaches, which will collect the students’ learning traces (within the learning system) to provide real-time
assessments, as reports or dashboards.
Figure 3. An assessment delivery method by using image processing tools and real-time chatting tools
Source: https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1659043617942496101&wfr=spider&for=pc
The instructors at No.1 Primary School in Puyang, Henan province, required students who
study at home to write their answers to the test questions on pieces of paper. Students
should then take photos of their completed answer sheets and send them to their
instructors via real time chatting tools, such as WeChat. Instructors' grading and comments
were then manually added on the photos of the answer sheets by using the image
processing tools like Drawing and then be sent back to students, as shown in Figure 3.
Real time chatting tools facilitated assessmentsStory 3
8March, 2020. Version 1.2
• What kind of supports and services should be provided for students and instructors?
The time and place to obtain support and the methods of support can also be exible (Collis et al., 1997;
Casey, 2005; Gordon, 2014). For example, students can get help via help desks, face-to-face or online
meetings with tutors, group help sessions and through video-based real-time chatting tools. Allowing learners
to specify the language used on learning materials or communication is also an important support, especially
for international students. For example, current intelligent learning systems can now provide automatic
personalized support to students based on their individual learning characteristics, such as learning
performance, personal preferences, etc.
To address the needs of the students' non-real-time Questions & Answers counseling,
Beijing has launched an online Q & A platform. By February 23rd, 2020, there has been
13,705 instructors registered for qualication checking.
All students of grade three in junior high school in Beijing can access the Q & A module of
the "Smart Learning Partner" through their computers, mobile phone APPs, or the WeChat
Subscription. They can upload and publish their questions as text or pictures. Teachers can
give students ideas and methods to solve problems through text and pictures. Only one
best answer can be adopted for each question.
Figure 4. Online supports for learners and instructors
Source: http://www.zgkao.com/zk/202002/38847.html
The Q & A platform of “Smart Learning Partner
Story 4
9March, 2020. Version 1.2
2.1Technologyenhancedlearning
Technology enhanced learning leverages technology to maximize learning within an environment of high-
quality course design that can oer students the options of time, place, and pace, and emphasizes dierent
learning styles. The following ve laws play vital role in applying eective technology enhanced learning (Huang,
Chen, Yang, & Loewen, 2013).
• On intrinsic access to E-learning resources (related to learning resources).
If learners take the initiative to browse or to ‘‘readthrough’’ all e-learning resources in order to learn more
eectively than face-to-face teaching, the resources have to satisfy the following ve basic conditions: (a) The
contents are of learners’ interests or necessary for them to solve problems; (b) The contents are of moderate
difficulty and in an appropriate scale, so that cognitive ‘‘overload’’ will not occur; (c) The structure of the
contents is simple and clear, which will reduce the cognitive load of learners; (d) The content is well designed
to avoid visual strain; and, (e) The navigation layout is clear with moderate depth so that the learners will not
get lost during the navigation on a given learning system.
• On virtual learning communities (related to learning environments).
If learners want to communicate in Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) as in the authentic classroom
environments, the following three basic conditions are required: (a) Build a trustful learning environment,
via providing continuous encouragements, so learners feel a sense of ‘‘belonging to the group and
environment’’; (b) Provide timely feedback to learners, so they can nd the answers and acquire a sense of
achievement in the VLE; and, (c) Allow learners to gain a sense of emotional identication and release their
desire of ‘‘competition’’ or ‘‘performance’’.
2Applying Online Learning to
Provide Flexible Education
At present, according to the development of emergency situation of COVID-19, several
countries have adopted various flexible teaching and learning approaches in their
education systems, and online education is one of the main approaches. Online
learning, as a subset of distance education, has always been concerned with providing
access to educational experiences that are at least more exible in time and in space
than campus-based education by utilizing different types of technologies, as discussed
in the next section.
10March, 2020. Version 1.2
• On learning management systems (related to the learning system).
To eectively manage the learning process using Learning Management Systems (LMS), the following four
basic conditions should be satised: (a) The LMS structure and the ‘‘teaching process’’ are highly coupled;
(b) The LMS incorporates automatic services, such as automatic dashboards, which can reduce the teachers
and the students’ workload; (c) The generated learning data of both the students and teachers are safe to
protect their privacy; and, (d) The LMS should be well-designed in order to provide friendly learning and
teaching experiences to both students and teachers respectively.
• On user’s understanding of the designer’s intention (related to system design).
Design that does not take into account the user experience might lead to inconvenient learning experiences.
In order to overcome this problem, the following three methods can be applied: (a) The use of ‘‘metaphor’’
and ‘‘common sense’’; (b) Clear and concise documents; and, (c) A universal standard of labels and symbols
that is made public and available to teachers and students.
• On learner's asking for help (related to users).
In order to make learners more motivated to ask their teachers for help when encountering diculties, there
are three necessary conditions: (a) Appropriate external encouragements (from the teachers, administration,
etc.); (b) The intimacy between teachers and students; and, (c) Timely and eective feedback.
2.2Whatisonlinelearning?
Term 2. Online learning
Online learning is dened as learning experiences
in synchronous or asynchronous environments
using different devices (e.g., mobile phones,
laptops, etc.) with internet access. In these
environments, students can be anywhere
(independent) to learn and interact with instructors
and other students (Singh and Thurman, 2019).
In online learning, learners can interact directly with
the learning content that they nd in multiple formats
(e.g., video, audio, document, etc.). Additionally,
they can also choose to have their own learning
sequenced, directed, and evaluated with the
assistance of a teacher. This interaction can take
place within a community of inquiry, using a variety
of internet-based synchronous and asynchronous
activities (video, audio, computer conferencing, chats,
or virtual world interaction). These synchronous and
asynchronous online environments will promote the development of social and collaborative skills, as well as
personal relationships among participants.
11 March, 2020. Version 1.2
DingTalk is a multi-terminal platform (e.g., PC, Web and mobile devices) for free communication
and collaboration created by Alibaba Group for Chinese enterprises. It also supports the mutual
transmission of files between mobile phones and computers. Although DingTalk is originally
designed for the enterprises, it has been widely used by a large number of primary schools
and secondary schools in China to resolve school closures caused by COVID-19. More than 5
million students from more than 10,000 universities and primary schools in 17 provinces attend
live-streaming classes via DingTalk.
In response to "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning", DingTalk further developed a distance
education package that can help both teachers and learners. For instance, this package provides
health reports on students, online class reports and live interaction. DingTalk also provides real-
time class announcements, school notices. Additionally, DingTalk provides free access to online and
live classes for schools and colleges across China via computers and mobile devices, supporting
DingTalk to deliver live-streaming classes
Story 5
2.3Howtoprovide
onlinelearning
One of the keys to ensure effective online
education is active learning. Active learning covers
a number of related learning modes, methods, and
movements. It represents a shift from traditional,
teacher-centered and lecture-based class toward
more student-centered class activities that feature
group activities, pair discussions, hands-on learning
activities, and limited use of traditional lectures. To
provide online active learning, the following three
learning modes can be applied.
Term 3. Synchronous online learning
Synchronous learning is more structured learning
strategy, where the courses are scheduled
at specific times and in live virtual classroom
settings. In this way, students benefit from real-
time interactions, hence get instant messaging
and feedback when needed. (Littleeld, 2018).
Term 4. Asynchronous online learning
The students in asynchronous learning cannot get
instant feedback and message. Additionally, the
learning content is not provided in live classes, but
rather on different learning management systems
or forums(Littleeld, 2018).
Term 5. Open learning
It is the use of teaching methodologies that can
help students construct their own learning pathways
(self-regulated) and be actively contributing to
knowledge building, Specically, the used teaching
materials should be openly licensed and the
resources produced during the course should also
be released as OER.
12March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 6. Creating and managing an online class by DingTalk on smar tphones
Source: https://www.sohu.com/a/371362451_394951
Figure 7. Delivering live-streaming classes of Chinese, Maths and English by DingTalk
Source: http://www.sjz44z.com/Content-7273.html
Figure 5. The main functions provided by DingTalk to
support "Disrupted classes undisrupted learning"
Source: https://www.sohu.com/a/371362451_394951
more than one million students to learn at
the same time. These online classes offer
online teaching, online homework submission
and correction, online examination and other
learning simulation scenarios. Finally, DingTalk
provides free access to online conferencing
for all teachers, managers, and principals,
ensuring fast and normal coordination
between all school members (teachers,
directors, etc.).
13 March, 2020. Version 1.2
2.4Coreelementsforsupporting“DisruptedClasses,
UndisruptedLearning”
According to the Chinese Ministry of Education (2019), there were in 2018 about 518,800 schools at all
levels, with about 16,728,500 full-time teachers and 276 million students in China. As a leading experience
worldwide, China is the rst country to provide massive online education to hundreds of millions of students
nationwide during the epidemic prevention and control period.
From the perspective of online education organization on a huge scale, online education should eectively
support “Disrupted Casses, Undisrupted Learning” according to the following seven factors: (a) reliable
communication infrastructure, (b) suitable digital learning resources, (c) friendly learning tools, (d) eective
learning methods, (e) instructional organizations, (f) eective support services for teachers and learners, and,
(g) close cooperation between Governments, Enterprises and Schools (G-E-S cooperation). These seven key
factors could be organized in three types of government-led, school-based, and social-service, as shown in
Figure 8. The tangrams in the gure are just the “metaphor” of arrangements of these core elements. These
types will work in dierent contexts, i.e., based on the priority of decision-makers from dierent perspectives.
It should be noted that these 7 factors will be in dierent combinations and communications, depending on
the society and culture. For instance, in the “School-based type”, as schools are equipped with basic network
infrastructure, the rst concern that they will focus on is therefore the use of appropriate learning tools that
can be used online or oine to manage or create dierent learning resources. These seven factors will be
discussed in details in each of the next sections.
Figure 8. Diagram of exible learning with cyberspace during educational disruption
14March, 2020. Version 1.2
National Public Service Platform for Educational Resources is an initiative of the central
government of PRC in providing basic public services for education. The platform creates a
network of communication, sharing and application environment for resources providers and
users, and serves all levels of education. Large amounts of resources have been provided
for teachers and students of schools at all levels, including digital resources that are
synchronized with classroom teaching in primary and secondary school (e.g., teaching plans,
courseware, teaching videos, course material), problem sets and tests database for the
high school entrance examination and the college entrance examination. Additionally, the
platform also provides MOOCs for students, teachers and principals of schools at all levels,
and resources for vocational education, safety education, moral education, education for
physical, health and art.
In order to support the "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning" during the coronavirus
outbreak, the ministry of education of PRC quickly launched the National Network Cloud
Platform for Primary and Secondary School based on National Public Service Platform
for Educational Resources. To meet the students learning demands in this special period,
appropriate resources modules of 10 topics in time were added to the platform, including
epidemic prevention education, moral education, curriculum learning, life and safety education,
mental health education, family education, classic reading, trip learning education, film and
television education, and electronic books.
On the first day of operation on
February 17, 2020, the platform
had more than 8 million clicks
with millions of users covering 31
provinces of China. Users also from
47 countries and regions logged in
to this platform. About 85 percent
of visitors used mobile devices,
such as smart phones and tablets.
Providing appropriate learning resources
on the National Public Service Platform for
Educational Resources
Story 6
Figure 9. National Public Service Platform for Educational Resources
Source: http://www.eduyun.cn/
15 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Mobilize all major telecom service providers to boost internet connectivity service for
online education, especially for the under-served regions.
• Increase the server bandwidth of universities and schools to provide exible learning and
teaching experience for millions of students simultaneously without interruption.
• To ensure accessible learning experiences, several universities used telecourses.
Specifically, four channels of China Education Television started open broadcasting of
primary and middle school classes across the nation covering 75 lessons on air to provide
learning experiences for those in remote areas without Internet or without cable TV.
3Ensuring Reliable Network
Infrastructure
Reliable network infrastructure is crucial to support different activities, such as
synchronous cyberteaching using video conferencing, asynchronous cyberlearning
by accessing or downloading digital learning resources, and collaboration with peers
via social software, etc. Schools should test and evaluate the network bandwidth and
increase it if necessary. To ensure a reliable network infrastructure that can support
millions of students studying at the same time, the following strategies can be applied.
China Mobile Communications Group Company
Limited (CMCC) is a mobile communication
operator based on GSM, TD-SCDMA, TD-TEL
and FDD-LTE standard network. Over the years,
CMCC has actively promoted the development
of national education informatization through
taking the lead in jointly releasing the campus
broadband "doubling plan" with the Chinese
Ministry of Education, and carrying out the
campus broadband acceleration and fee
reduction.
Reliable communication infrastructure provided
by CMCC to ensure “Disrupted Classes,
Undisrupted Learning”
Story 7
Figure 10. National Network Cloud Platform for Primary and
Secondary School supported by CMCC and other companies
Source: http://ykt.eduyun.cn/
16March, 2020. Version 1.2
In order to support the "Disrupted Classes,
Undisrupted Learning" during the novel
coronavirus outbreak, CMCC assisted four cloud
service providers to complete the IDC bandwidth
expansion to 2.18T, reserved 12.95T resource for
use, opened the SMS capacity of 16,000 pieces/
second flow rate, and expand the capacity of 414
mobile cloud hosts. On February 17, 2020, CMCC
successfully ensured the smooth launch of the
"National Network Cloud Platform for Primary
and Secondary School ", which served 180
million primary and secondary school students in
China to study at home and provided 50 million
students with online access at the same time.
In addition, CMCC has also actively carried out
network security and mobile cloud security of
provincial public platform for education resource service in Guizhou province, Jiangxi province,
Beijing city, and Shanxi province.
In Hubei province, CMCC strived to support the launch of "Air Classroom Based on
Wuhan Education Cloud” and provided the "Hubei Synchronization School" service, which
can provide synchronous curriculum resources on demand service for 6 million primary
and middle school students in Hubei province. Supported by "Air Classroom Based on
Wuhan Education Cloud”, 700000 primary and middle school students in Wuhan city can
simultaneously watch live online teaching videos at home. In Hebei province, CMCC, as the
exclusive cooperation unit of the provincial department of education, undertook to build
and guarantee the launch of an online teaching resource platform of primary and secondary
education. The platform can serve 15,000 primary and secondary schools and 12 million
teachers and students in Hebei province. In Jiangxi province, CMCC has also covered remote
villages to enable children in the village to access the online courses of the new semester,
ensuring inclusive learning where "no child should be left behind".
Figure 13. The online teaching resource
platform of primary and secondary education
in Hebei province supported by CMCC
Source: http://edu.10086.cn/hbcloud/index
Figure 12. Air Classroom Based on Wuhan Education Cloud supported by
CMCC and other companies
Source: http://www.wuhaneduyun.cn/
Figure 11 A student was learning online at the remote
village in Jiangxi province supported by CMCC
Source: http://jx.sina.com.cn/news/zhzx/2020-03-02/
detail-iimxxstf5822566.shtml
17 March, 2020. Version 1.2
4Utilizing Friendly Learning Tools
Table 2. Classication of learning tools
Categories of Tools Suitable Teaching
Scenarios Representative Tools Links
Tools for
resources
producing
PPT recording
software
Suitable for PPT-assisted
video recording
Power Point and WPS in
Windows, Keynote in IOS
system
(1) PowerPointhttps://products.oce.com/
zh-cn/powerpoint
(2) WPShttps://www.wps.cn
(3) Keynotehttps://www.apple.com/
keynote/
Screen capture
software
Video editing; especially
suitable for producing software
operation courses
Camtasia Studio, QuickTime,
Adobe Premiere
(1) Camtasia studio https://www.techsmith.
com
(2) QuickTime https://support.apple.com/
quicktime
(3) Adobe Premiere
https://www.adobe.com/cn/products/
premiere.html
The software of
video production
Producing micro course video
quickly Huawei Course maker App http://www.coursemaker.cn
The software of
original video
producing
Suitable for recording
handwritten calculation and
action skills display
Mobile phones, CamScanner CamScanner https://www.camscanner.com
The software of
Multimedia learning
resource producing
Appropriate for developing
multimedia courseware Mystic raft, Sdobe Captivate
(1) Mystic raft
https://en-vr.101.com
(2) Sdobe Captivate https://www.adobe.com/
cn/products/captivate.html
Effectively selecting and using learning tools is beneficial to learners in finding and
processing information, constructing knowledge, collaborating with peers, expressing
understanding and evaluating learning effects in concrete ways.
The convenience of tools should be taken into consideration when choosing learning
scenarios. Specifically, tools should be convenient and quick to: (a) help teachers
effectively produce and manage resources, release notices and manage students; (b)
help students obtain resources, participate in learning activities; (c) help teachers and
students interact in real time; and, (d) help teachers, parents and schools understand
students' learning performance and make timely school-home interaction. In order
to facilitate teachers at all levels to quickly select various learning tools for a smooth
online teaching, learning tools are divided into eight categories, as shown in Table 2,
according to their different roles in various teaching activities.
18March, 2020. Version 1.2
Categories of Tools Suitable Teaching
Scenarios
Representative
Tools Links
Tools for
synchronous live
teaching
All types of
live streaming
software,
including software
on interactive
teaching, remote
oce, online-
course
Suitable for live teaching
courses; dierent kinds of
software can be chosen to satisfy
various demands for interaction,
network quality or convenience
Teaching interaction:
Rain-classroom, Tencent
Ketang Chaoxing
Learning APP, ClassIn,
CCtalk, UMU
Social communication:
QQ Group, Wechat Group
Remote oce: Welink,
Dingtalk, ZOOM, FEISHU,
TED Conversations
Online course platform:
icourse, edX, Coursera,
Udacity
(1) Rain-classroom: https://www.yuketang.cn
(2) Tencent Ketang
https://ke.qq.com
(3) Chaoxing Learning APP
http://www.xuexi365.com
(4) ClassIn
http://www.eeo.cn/cn/index.html
(5) CCtalk,
https://www.cctalk.com
(6) UMU
https://www.umu.cn/model/home
(7) QQ
https://im.qq.com
(8) WeChat
https://weixin.qq.com
(9) Welink
https://welink.com
(10) Dingtalk
https://www.dingtalk.com
(11) ZOOM
https://zoom.com.cn
(12) FEISHU
https://www.feishu.cn
(14) icourse
http://www.icourses.cn/home/
(15) edX
https://www.edx.org
(16) Coursera
https://www.coursera.org
(17) Udacity
https://cn.udacity.com
Tools for
asynchronous
teaching
All kinds of online
teaching platforms
in national level,
regional level
and university
community level,
as well as those
launched by
universities and
enterprises
Suitable for the courses in need
of asynchronous teaching;
suitable network teaching
platforms can be chosen
according to the requirements of
the schools and the courses
Course sharing platform
icourse, edX, Coursera,
Udacity
Reginal MOOC platform
CNMOOC
Local university MOOC
platform UOOC
Tsinghua University
MOOC platform XuetangX
Peking University MOOC
platform CHINESE
MOOCS
Enterprise online course
platform: Zhihuishu,
ulearning
(1) icourse
http://www.icourses.cn/home/
(2) edX
https://www.edx.org
(3) Coursera
https://www.coursera.org
(4) Udacity
https://cn.udacity.com
(5) CNMOOC
https://www.cnmooc.org/home/index.mooc
(6) UOOC
http://www.uooc.net.cn/league/union
(7) XuetangX
https://next.xuetangx.com
(8) CHINESE MOOCS
http://www.chinesemooc.org
(9) Zhihuishu
https://www.zhihuishu.com
(10) ulearning
https://www.ulearning.cn
Tools for self-
regulated
learning
Learning apps for
all subjects
Suitable for the courses leading
students’ online self-learning;
orientated by problems or tasks
and based on all kinds of online
interactive learning, inspiring
students to utilize learning tools
to preview, review or explore on
a specic topic
Chinese subject: SANYU,
Happy Pinyin App
English subject:
yangcong345, Sketchpad
Physics subject:
NOBOOK, wlds100
Chemistry subject:
NOBOOK, Potato
Chemistry App
Biology subject: XINGSE,
Potato Biology App
History subject: Chinese
Cadres Learning App,
Your Forbidden City
(1) SANYU
http://www.etc.edu.cn/tsh/
(2) Happy Pinyin App
http://www.61baobao.com/xuezhishi/kuailepinyin/
(3) yangcong345
https://yangcong345.com/#/studentPage
(4) Sketchpad
https://www.jihehuaban.com.cn
(5) NOBOOK (physics)
https://www.nobook.com/wulistudent.html
(6) wlds100
https://www.wlds100.com/view/index.html
(7) NOBOOK (chemistry)
https://www.nobook.com/huaxuestudent.html
19 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Categories of Tools Suitable Teaching
Scenarios
Representative
Tools Links
Tools for self-
regulated learning
Learning apps for
all subjects
Suitable for the courses leading
students’ online self-learning;
orientated by problems or tasks
and based on all kinds of online
interactive learning, inspiring
students to utilize learning tools
to preview, review or explore on
a specic topic
(8) Potato Chemistry App
https://www.cr173.com/soft/764883.html
(9) XINGSE
http://www.xingseapp.com
(10) Potato Biology
http://www.downcc.com/soft/202055.html
(11) Chinese Cadres Learning App
https://www.onlinedown.net/soft/136113.htm
(12) Your Forbidden City
https://www.dpm.org.cn/classify_
detail/180890.html
Tools for
knowledge
construction
Cognitive tools,
collaborative
editing tools,
virtual simulation
tools, etc.
Suitable for the courses in need
of collaborative learning for
the construction of knowledge;
from various aspects of the
construction of knowledge, tools
selection and learning activities
design can be conducted by
combining course contents
Cognitive tools: mind
mapping, GeoGebra
Collaborative editing
tools: Knowledge forum,
wiki, shimo.im, Tencent
Document, Google Docs,
Trello
VR tools: phET,
Sandboxie, KRPano
(1) mind mapping
https://www.mindmapping.com
(2) GeoGebra
https://www.geogebra.org
(3) Knowledge forum
http://www.knowledgeforum.com
(4) wiki
http://wiki.com
(5) shimo.im
https://shimo.im/welcome
(6) Tencent Document,
https://docs.qq.com/desktop
(7) Google Docs
https://google-docs.en.softonic.com
(8) Trello
https://trello.com
(9) phET
https://phet.colorado.edu/zh_CN/
(10) Sandboxie
https://www.sandboxie.com
(11) KRPano
http://www.krpano360.com
Tools for learning
analytics
Apps, websites,
and interactive
class software
supporting data
analysis
Suitable for the development
of accurate teaching based on
data, such as the self-learning
part before the ipped class,
and the collaborative learning in
computer-supported cooperative
learning (CSCL)
Apps: Smart Partner,
zhixue, afanti
Websites: zhixue, zxxk,
FCLASSROOM
Interactive class software:
Rain-classroom
(1) Smart Partner
http://stem.bnu.edu.cn/public/apps/slp/
(2) zhixue
https://www.zhixue.com/login.html
(3) afanti
http://www.afanti100.com
(4) zhixue
https://www.zhixue.com/login.html
(5) zxxk
http://www.zxxk.com
(6) FCLASSROOM
http://www.fclassroom.com
(7) Rain-classroom
https://www.yuketang.cn
Tools for practice
and evaluation
All kinds of tools
suitable for higher
education and
basic education
Suitable for conducting plenty of
practice which facilitate learning
and mastering of the contents,
as well as the evaluation of
learning results
Higher education: SO
JUMP, wj.qq.com
Basic education: yuantiku,
knowbox
(1) SO JUMP
https://www.wjx.cn
(2) wj.qq.com
https://wj.qq.com
(3) yuantiku
http://www.yuantiku.com
(4) knowbox
http://www.knowbox.cn
20March, 2020. Version 1.2
Categories of Tools Suitable Teaching
Scenarios
Representative
Tools Links
Tools for
resources
and class
management
Apps for learning
and class
management,
mini programs in
Wechat, as well
as social software
Suitable for the eective
organization of online learning
with abundant learning
resources, a large number of
students and learning tasks.
Learning management
systems: Moodle,
Learning Cell, Software-
as-a-Service, Edmod
Schoology TalentLMS
Class management apps:
EasiCare, Mentimeter,
Typeform.
Social software: QQ
Group, Wechat Group,
Facebook, WhatsApp,
Skype, line.
(1) Moodle
https://moodle.org
(2) Learning Cell
http://www.etc.edu.cn/ko/?view=list
(3) Software-as-a-Service
(4) Edmodo
https://api.edmodo.com
(5) Schoology
https://www.schoology.com
(6) TalentLMS
https://www.talentlms.com
(7) EasiCare
https://care.seewo.com
(8) Mentimeter
https://www.mentimeter.com
(9) Typeform
https://www.typeform.com/forms/
(10) QQ
https://im.qq.com
(11) WeChat
https://weixin.qq.com
(12) Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/
(13) WhatsApp
https://www.whatsapp.com/
(14) Skype
http://skype.gmw.cn
(15) line
https://line.en.softonic.com
In terms of utilizing tools to facilitate students’ cognitive development and collaborative construction of
knowledge, the following aspects are recommended: (a) utilizing various tools in information retrieval, mind
mapping, document management, presentation, social tools and other tools to help students access information
and compare different views and express their own opinions, and form an organizational and multi-media
personal knowledge base; (b) utilizing instant messaging tools, social platforms and learning communities to
help students discuss, debate and reach agreements with group members or learning community members,
and complete knowledge construction in discussion or online collaborative interaction; (c) utilizing all kinds of
tools that provide real-time feedback and evaluation, learning situation analysis. This can help students conduct
internal consultation and meaning construction by reection on learning results and learning process, promote
personalized meaning construction, and, ultimately, the development of higher-level thinking.
21 March, 2020. Version 1.2
5.1Evaluatethesuitabilityofdigitallearningresources
Ozdemir and Bonk (2017) have pointed out that searching and locating specically high-quality educational
resources, among the thousands that are published, is a dicult task. Therefore, teachers should carefully
choose the quality of educational resources to use by referring to well-known national and international
repositories, such as the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Additionally, assessing and selecting good quality digital educational resources is one of the challenging tasks.
Specically, the educational resources can be selected on several criteria, as follows:
• Licensing: Educators should choose open license content, as this will allow them to legally reuse and remix
these educational resources in their teaching context.
• Accuracy/quality of content: several digital resources are published online without knowing the reliability of
the content or the publisher. Therefore, educators should refer to reliable digital educational resources and
platforms (see the next section).
• Interactivity: Educators should choose interactive learning resources which can help increase the learning
engagement and motivation of students. For instance, using interactive open textbooks, instead of simple
PDF les, would make students more active and interested to learn.
5Adopting Suitable Digital
Learning Resources
With the development of ICT in education, digital learning resources like Massive
Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), online video
micro-courses, e-books, simulations, models, graphics, animations, quizzes, games,
and e-notes are making learning
more accessible, engaging, and
contextualized. However, selecting
suitable digital learning resources
for learners should be on the design
of online learning activities..
Term 6. Open learning resources
The term 'digital learning resource' is used to refer to
materials included in the context of a course that support
the learner's achievement of the described learning
goals. These materials consist of a wide variety of
digitally formatted resources including graphics images
or photos, audio and video, simulations, animations,
prepared or programmed learning modulesEpigeum,
2019).
22March, 2020. Version 1.2
• Ease of adaptability: Educators should choose resources which are easy to adapt in their context, i.e.
resources which can be easily mixed or modified to fit a specific learning context. For instance, PPT
presentations can be good resources as they can be easily readapted.
• Cultural relevance & sensitivity: Educators should choose educational resources that do not report any
oensive information to any given race or culture.
• Suitable learning resources also include the following five criteria : (a) Suitability of content: the learning
resources should be highly related to learning objectives and contents, as well as be interesting or necessary
to solve problems for students; (b) Suitability of diculty: the content should be moderate in diculty and
scale, so that students will avoid cognitive overload; (c) Suitability of structure: the structure of learning
contents is concise and rational, which will not make students "confused"; (d) Suitability of the media: The
media should be presented in an acceptable way, so as not to cause visual fatigue, especially for younger
students; and, (e) Suitability of resource organization: dierent types of learning resources can be eectively
organized, such as video, animation, text, electronic teaching materials, virtual experiments, etc., in order to
make the layout clear and the content suitable, and students will not be confused.
5.2Theavailabledigitallearningresourcesfordifferent
levelsofeducation
Table 3 presents a comprehensive review of available digital learning resources that both teachers and
learners can refer to in their context.
Table 3. Classication of Digital Learning Resources
Basic education Higher education Adult education
National public platform for
educational resources
National Public Service Platform for
Educational Resources;
One teacher, one excellent course
Course, FUN, IGNOU,
OpenER Xuexi.cn
Public platforms for
educational resources of
regions
The educational cloud platforms of
provinces and regions, One Stop
Learning
University Open Online
Courses (UOOC), Zhejiang
Institutions of Higher Learning
Online Open Course Sharing
Platform
The Civil Learning Space in
Capital Library of China
School-based resources at
all levels
The school-based learning resources
of Tsinghua University Primary School,
The High School Aliated to Renmin
University of China
XuetangX, CHINESE
MOOCS, Blackboard,
JMOOC, Ewant
The Open University of
China, “SOU Course” FM in
Shanghai Open University
All types of resources
by online educational
enterprises or school-
enterprises collaboration
The digital teaching resources and
electronic teaching materials of People's
Education Press, 101 Education PPT,
Connections Academy
Zhihuishu, ulearning, NetEase
Online Open Courses, erya.
mooc.chaoxing.com
Udacity, NetEase Cloud
Classroom, Zhengbao
Cloud Classroom
International high-quality
open education resources
(OER)
The K12 learning resources in OER
COMMONS, Khan Academy
Coursera, edX, Canvas,
FutureLearn
ALISON, iversity,
Open2Study, openupEd,
CodeCademy
Objects
Resources
23 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Tianjin is a municipality directly under the central government in northern China. It has 16
districts, with a total area of 11966.45 square kilometers, a permanent resident population
of 15.60 million, an urban population of 12.97 million, and an urbanization rate of 83.15%.
There are about 1.17 million students in primary and secondary schools, and there are
more than 100,000 students in junior three and senior three who need to take entrance
examination every year.
In order to support the "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning" during the coronavirus
outbreak, the government of Tianjin quickly adjusted the teaching arrangement and
launched relevant policies according to different demands of students in kindergarten,
primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. The Tianjian Municipal Education
Commission provided guidance on learning, and physical exercise at home during this special
period. The guidance on resource entry and selection has been instantly shared to students,
teachers, and parents via WeChat.
For the students who need to take the entrance examination, groups of refresher courses
were recorded in a short time. Each course was taught by two teachers with senior or
above professional titles. These courses broadcasted to the whole city through Tianjin
cable television. At the same time, various types of learning resources covering the main
subjects of primary and secondary schools were provided to all the teachers and students.
These resources were stored on the Tianjin public service platform of education resources
for primary and secondary education, the cyber-learning spaces, the personalized learning
service system, and the digital library of primary and secondary schools.
Appropriate digital learning resources for all
education levels provided by Tianjin municipality
Story 8
Figure 14. Guiding students to choose appropriate resources
through WeChat public account
Source: http://tj.bendibao.com/news/2020130/86600.shtm
Figure 15. The Tianjin public service platform of education
resources for primary and secondary education
Source: http://tjedu.tjjy.com.cn/api/front/index/rst
24March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 16. Cyberlearning spaces for
connecting each student of Tianjin province
Source: http://tj.mypep.cn/
Figure 17. Digital library for primary and
secondary schools in Tianjin province
Source: http://www.tjjy.superlib.net/
Free electronic textbooks for primary and secondary
schools provided by Peoples Education Press
Story 9
People's Education Press (PEP) is a large professional publishing company affiliated to the
Chinese Ministry of Education. It is mainly engaged in the research, compilation, editing,
publication, and distribution of textbooks for primary and secondary education and other
kinds of textbooks for education at all levels. It does not only publish paper medium
books, but it also engages in electronic audio-visual and multimedia products publishing and
printing, copyright trade, books, and related products logistics services, digital publishing
and services.
In order to support the "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning" during the coronavirus
outbreak, PEP has provided open and free access to all digital teaching resources on an
APP named “PEP Touch & Read” to primary and secondary school students in China. The
digital teaching resources involve texts of three disciplines uniformly compiled by the state
and digital teaching materials compiled by PEP, coming with thousands of video and audio
micro courses synchronized with the textbooks. In order to support the 6 million teachers
and students in Hubei province, PEP provides free digital textbooks and digital application
25 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 18. The official website of
People's Education Press
Source: http://www.pep.com.cn/
Figure 19. The staffs of People's Education Press are
working overtime to make the resource on the APP named
“PEP Touch and Read” free for all users
Source: http://www.pep.com.cn/rjdt/rjdt/202002/
t20200204_1949363.shtml
Figure 20. The interface of
the APP named “PEP Touch
and Read”
Source: http://image.baidu.
com/
Figure 21. The unied entrance of all digital textbooks for
education at all levels
Source: http://www.dzkbw.com/
services for 3 months to the teachers and students of primary and secondary schools in
Hubei Province. In addition, PEP provided free digital textbooks for the spring semester of
2020 to teachers and and students of primary and secondary schools across compulsory
education, senior high school education, secondary vocational education, and special education.
The digital textbooks involve nearly 600 varieties of more than 20 disciplines.
26March, 2020. Version 1.2
6.1Instructionalorganizationoflearning
A range of teaching and learning strategies can be used in online contexts to make exible instructions, as
highlighted in the following examples of instructional methods (Petrina, 2011).
• Lecture: also known as direct instruction. The Direct Instruction teaching strategy mainly focuses on teacher-
directed approaches and is the most commonly used teaching method. Here, the content needs to be
prepared and organized in advance. Also, the instructor needs to be aware of student requirements for the
lessons or sessions. This strategy is eective for imparting knowledge to students in a step-by-step structured
way and involves active student participation.
• Case study: A detailed analysis is made of some specic, usually compelling event or series of related events
so that learners will better understand its nature and what might be done about it. For example, learners in
a technology lab might investigate the wear and tear of skate boarding on public works. Another class might
look at cases of digital technologies and privacy.
• Debate: A form of discussion whereby a few students present and contest varying points of view with regard
to an issue. For example, students could take dierent positions and debate an issue: "Should rights to free
speech on the internet be extended to students in schools?"
• Discussion: Discussions occur when a group assembles to communicate with one another through speaking
and listening about a topic or event of mutual interest. To illustrate, a group of learners convenes to discuss
what it has learned about global warming.
• Student-led discovery: Students are given responsibility over particular topics and delivery methods. Students
can choose how they want to research the material, and then how they will present it to the rest of the class
in an engaging way.
• Experiential Learning: Experiential Learning focuses more on activities and requires the students to apply
their experience to other contexts. It’s more about the process of learning rather than focusing on the content.
6Facilitating Effective Online
Teaching and Learning
Unlike traditional classroom learning, online instruction is characterized by having
different locations of both teachers and learners, therefore flexible learning should
consider effective online teaching and learning instructions using different technologies.
27 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Students participate in the activities, reflect and share their experiences, analysis and infer the solutions
and formulate plans to apply their learning in new situations. Teachers need to provide the environment for
learning and encourage the students to be active. You also need to have back-up plans for activities in case
of problems. This model is used in most pre-schools today, since the other models really do not work that well
with younger kids. This course can show you how to make experiential learning more eective for young kids.
• Academic games or competition: Learners compete with each other one to-one or team-to-team to determine
which individual or group is superior at a given task such as "spelldowns," anagrams, technology trivia, Odyssey
of the Mind, or project competition. Commercially available, academic computer games are also very popular.
• Brainstorming: In order to generate creative ideas, learners are asked to withhold judgment or criticism and
produce a very large number of ways to do something, such as resolve a problem. For example, learners
may be asked to think of as many ideas as possible to eliminating world hunger. Once a large number of
ideas have been generated, they are discussed to see their feasibility.
• Drill and practice: A form of independent study whereby, after the teacher explains a task, learners practice it. For
example after students are shown how to use Ohm's Law, they are asked to make calculations of current, resistance
and voltage.
6.2Socialorganizationoflearningactivities
Several social organizational approaches can be used in online contexts to make flexible learning, as
highlighted in the following examples (Promethean, 2017; Petrina, 2011).
• Independent study: Independent study encompasses a range of teaching methods that develop student skills
like initiative, self-belief, time management, and self-improvement. Students are encouraged to undertake a
planned activity under the supervision of a teacher or guide. It also involves group study or learning with an
assigned partner. These methods are designed by the teachers carefully to address the specic requirements
of a group. As a teacher you would need to plan the process of feedback collection, monitor performance and
provide the appropriate resources for independent study.
• Cooperative learning: Learners are placed in groups of four to six. Sometimes the groups are as diverse
or heterogeneous as possible. In such cases, group members are often rewarded for the group's overall
success. Student groups might be given a teacher presentation on division of fractions. They would then
be given worksheets to complete. Team members would rst help and then quiz one another. Co-operation
involves interdependence. Roles and responsibilities are clearly dened but are open for negotiation. This
method of collaboration brings with it a strong sense of accountability.
• Collaborative learning: Students progress personally, while collectively working towards a common goal. Students
are accountable to one another and, with appropriate direction, will self-manage this. Learners learn to better work
with others having dierent individual dierences(e.g. cultures, styles, etc.).
During the coronavirus period, all teaching activities must be online. This raises the challenge of providing
the appropriate online instruction in a exible way, by considering the characteristics of students and learning
28March, 2020. Version 1.2
subjects. In order to help teachers combine both the learner characteristics and the content characteristics,
we classify the instruction organization types according to the interaction of teachers and students in online
environments, as shown in Table 4.
Table 4. Organization forms of online teaching
Time Types of
organization
Technical
means
Learning
resources
Learning
content
Requirements
for teachers and
students
Expected
outcome Potential risks
Synchronous
instruction
Live streaming
teaching
Live
streaming
platforms
Existing
teaching
courseware/
lecture notes
Face to face
teaching
contents
Teachers should
be capable to use
live streaming tools
for online teaching.
Students should be
focused for a long
time in front of the
screen.
Focused teaching
in classroom
Require good
network bandwidth,
Poor real-time
online discussion
and communication,
poor student
experience
Online real-
time interactive
teaching
Classroom
interaction
software
Learning
materials and
guidance
questions
should be
provided
before class
Key and
dicult points
in teaching
Teachers should
be capable of
guiding and
organizing online
interaction. Students
should actively
communicate with
teachers online.
Face-to-face
discussion and
communication
Asynchronous
instruction
Online self-
regulated learning
with real-time
interactive Q&A
Online
learning
platform and
real-time
interactive
tools
MOOCs of
others or
oneself, or
self-made
courses
Rich learning
resources
and complete
learning
activities
Teachers should
be capable of
producing course
resources, such as
making videos and
designing online
learning activities.
Students should
have strong self-
regulated learning
abilities.
Improvement
of students'
self-regulated
learning abilities
Students lack the
sense of collective
belonging, and
students with lower
self-regulated
learning ability are
easy to fall behind.
Online
cooperative
learning guided
by teachers
Online
learning
space, online
collaborative
learning
platforms
and learning
analysis tools
Featured
websites,
databases
and learning
tools
Individual
activities
and group
activities;
individual
task and
group task
Teachers should
be capable of
diagnosing problems
based on data
analysis results and
giving guidance
in time. Students
should collaborate
with others and
conduct self-
regulated learning.
Improvement
of students'
cooperative
learning abilities
There is a huge
dierence in learning
outcomes between
dierent groups,
and a few students
do not actively
participate in it.
29 March, 2020. Version 1.2
"Self-directed learning" is a prerequisite for students to form good cognitive habits and
a key factor of academic success. As early as January 27, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of
Education issued a notice on the postponement of the spring semester in 2020 due to the
spread of the epidemic, urging schools to use online platforms.
Yang, a senior 3 student at Guangzhou Nansha no.1 Middle School, said it was "important
for her to keep up with the pace of study". Every day Yang gets up at 6 am, opens
the learning application from 6:20 to 6:50 to practice oral English, read out loud, retell
stories, play different roles highlighted in the application, and conduct special exercises
by simulating tests scenes. From 6:50 to 7:20, she recites the Chinese ancient poems and
famous quotes she knows. After breakfast, Yang sat at her desk at 8:00, waiting for the
school's live lecture to start. For Yang, online classes not only helped her keep up with the
pace of the college entrance examination, but also provided her an opportunity to practice
her "self-discipline" Learning.
Figure 22. High school students study independently during epidemic prevention
Source: https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1659035542839640688&wfr=spider&for=pc
Compared with traditional learning methods in schools and classrooms, learning methods in
the era of “Internet+” are pluralistic and diverse. They can be either individual learning, or
group and community learning; either based on learning tools or resources, or via terminal
devices; either self-regulated learning for a specific subject or skill, or collaborative,
interdisciplinary learning based on a specific project or problem. During the period of
preventing the epidemic, according to the scale of participants and their cognitive levels
during the learning process, schools at all levels and kinds can guide students to choose
appropriate learning methods on the basis of specic and applicable educational scenarios.
Self-directed learning encouraged by
Guangzhou Nansha No. 1 Middle School
Story 10
30March, 2020. Version 1.2
Table 5. Classication of learning methods for dierent participants
Participants Learning behavior Cognitive
level Educational scenario
Individuals
Self-regulated learning based
on video-on-demand/ live
screaming
Lower-level learning Fast acquisition of factual contents of
all disciplines
Self-regulated learning based
on disciplinary tools
Lower-level learning
Higher-level learning
Accurate mastery of factual content
of specic discipline and learning of
experimental operation skills
Autonomous and exploratory
learning based on learning
resources websites
Higher-level learning Learning of interdisciplinary, open and
comprehensive themes
Self-regulated learning based
on terminal devices such as AI,
VR, and AR
Lower-level learning
Higher-level learning
Learning of experiential content or
skills requiring high demand of learning
scenarios or experience
Groups
Group discussion based on
social media/online forums Higher-level learning
Learning of controversial topics or
open questions, and the acquisition of
emotional attitude
Online group collaboration
based on collaborative learning
tools
Higher-level learning Tasks or topics that can be completed
in a short period of time
Inquiry learning based on
project/topic Higher-level learning
Tasks or topics that require a long
period of time to complete, covering a
wide range of complex operations
Communities
Collaborative construction of
knowledge based on learning
community
Higher-level learning
Acquisition of complex concepts or
cutting-edge knowledge, as well as
that of emotional attitude
Rain-classroom is a smart teaching tool jointly developed by Xuetang Online and the office
of online education of Tsinghua university, with the purpose of comprehensively improving the
classroom teaching experience, enhancing the interaction between teachers and students, and
making online teaching more convenient. Rain-classroom integrates the complex information
technology means into PowerPoint and WeChat, establishes the communication bridge between
the extracurricular preview and the classroom teaching, and makes the classroom interaction
never offline. With the help of Rain-classroom, teachers can publish the pre-class preview
courseware with MOOC videos, exercises and voice audios to students' mobile phones, so that
the teachers can easily diagnose the problems of students’ learning and give feedback in
time. Rain-classroom also provides classroom live broadcast, during which student can answer
real-time questions and interact with teachers through “bullet screen”. In addition, Rain-
classroom provides teachers and students with complete three-dimensional data support,
personalized reports, and automatic task reminders.
“Rain-Classroom” to deliver synchronous and
asynchronous classes
Story 11
31 March, 2020. Version 1.2
On February 17, 2020, Tsinghua University started its online classes on Rain-classroom. In
the first week of the new semester, there were 264,000 teachers and students attending
Rain-classroom, completing 10,635 online lessons involving 3,923 courses, with a total of
395,000 hours. Among these courses, 152 courses were undertook by 73 foreign teachers
from various schools and departments, and delivered in the United States, the United
Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, Australia, and Germany. This is the first time in the history
of higher education in the world that a large-scale, real-time, interactive, long-distance and
decentralized online teaching system has been implemented.
In order to make more teachers skilled in using rain classes, the teacher development center
of Tsinghua University, together with the Xuetang Online, the academic affairs office and
the graduate school, conducted live training on the use of Rain-classroom for teachers in the
spring semester of 2020. Yinan Guan, who works in the online teaching and training center
of the school, first guided the teachers to experience the basic environment and functions
of the Rain-classroom as students, and explained the methods of downloading, installing and
using relevant software. The participating teachers conducted real-time interaction with
Yinian Guan through “bullet screen” and posts, and got familiar with the teaching environment
of the Rain-classroom.
Xinjie Yu, a professor of electrical engineering and who has a rich experience in using Rain-
classroom, organized a training about "pre-class, in-class and after-class" arrangement of
online teaching. As Yu pointed out, teachers should first change their teaching philosophy before
class and "split" their teaching content. The original course should be divided into several 20-
30 minute paragraphs, breaking the big story into small stories, breaking the whole course into
paragraphs. In order to achieve the ideal teaching effect, Yu suggested that teachers should
take full advantage of the interactive advantage of Rain-classroom to intersperse with rich
interaction between the three parts to keep attracting students' attention.
Figure 23. A teacher is interacting with his students on Rain-
classroom
Source: https://www.takefoto.cn/viewnews-2064054.html
Figure 24. Yinan Guan is conducting a live training on the use of
Rain-classroom for teachers
Source: http://news.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/thun
ws/10303/2020/20200207124404280367426/
20200207124404280367426_.html
Figure 25. Xinjie Yu is conducting a live training on the teaching
application of Rain-classroom for teachers
Source: http://news.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/thunews/
10303/2020/20200207124404280367426/
20200207124404280367426_.html
32March, 2020. Version 1.2
7.1Technicalservicesforteachers
Eorts should be paid to improve teachers’ online teaching ability as both the synchronous and asynchronous
online teaching tools are unfamiliar with most of the teachers. It includes online teaching strategies, information
technology applications, epidemic prevention cases in schools and local teacher training cases, so as to
promote the rapid improvement of teachers’ online teaching abilities. The supports for teachers include how to
use the synchronous cyberlearning software, how to utilize the learning management system, how to conduct
learning activity design etc.
7.2Learningsupportsforstudents
The eectiveness of supportive services for learning is reected in two aspects: it can promote the students’
effective learning and personality development. Effective learning refers to the growth and improvement of
students' knowledge, cognition, intelligence and skills; personality development mainly involves the cultivation
of positive attitude towards life, good thinking, basic communication and cooperative skills, the consciousness
of rules, integrity, perseverance and innovation.
7Providing Supports and Services
for Teachers and Students
Effective support services are the key to ensure quality online education. The support
services of online education include two types: support services for teachers’ online
teaching and support services for students’ online learning. Both services can be
provided in collaboration with the government, schools, enterprises, families, society,
etc.
33 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 27. Using Squirrel AI system to facilitate student’s smart learning
Squirrel AI is the first AI unicorn company to apply adaptive learning technology in AI in K-12
schools. It has established more than 2,000 learning centers across the country. The Squirrel
AI online learning system is different from ordinary live lessons. It not only supports online
teaching and learning but also provides AI service to students’ online learning. First, Squirrel
AI sets a personalized learning path to locate students' weakness in learning accurately
to shorten learning time and improve learning efficiency. Secondly, it can visually display
students' learning status,
monitor learners’ learning
behaviors in time, provide big
data learning analysis, and
support learners to real-time
view their learning reports.
Third, squirrel AI provides
different functional views for
teachers and principals to
monitor and manage their live
classes.
After the outbreak of coronavirus in China, Squirrel AI responded quickly and provided 500
million free online learning courses for primary and secondary school students nationwide.
On January 26, 2020, Squirrel AI conducted online trainings for public school teachers,
compiled user manuals, organized account registration, and established guiding teams.
At present, more than 160 public schools located in Shandong, Hubei, Fujian, and Jiangsu
provinces are using squirrel AI for classroom learning, covering the subjects of Chinese,
Math, English, Physics, Chemistry. In the course, more than 200,000 students across the
country use squirrel AI accounts to study online. It is expected that the demand for
squirrel AI student accounts will soon exceed 500,000.
Education enterprise “Squirrel AI”: Using AI teachers to
create personalized learning system for students.
Story 12
During the epidemic, students and teachers
talked about their feelings after using the
squirrel AI classroom. Since the outbreak
of COVID-19, students who have to take
the entrance examination of senior high
school or colleges had too many difficulties
and pressures. Xiao Zhang, a third grade
middle school, mentioned that he was
not good in math, but Squirrel AI helped
him improve, since detailed reports on his
learning performance and recommended
materials are instantly provided. In a
face-to-face video interview, Xiao Zhang
stated: "I didn't expect to learn like this!
In the first class, the assessment system
Figure 26. the characteristics of platform
34March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 28. Using Squirrel AI system to monitor students' learning process
Source: The photo/picture was provided by the cooperation school of Squirrel AI in
Zhijiang city, Hubei province. The texts were provided by the cooperation school of
Squirrel AI in Kuiwen District,Weifang city, Shandong province.
Eective supports and services are important to ensure the quality of online learning. These
services can be for both teachers and learners and based on the collaboration between
governments, schools, enterprises and families.
The national cloud classroom (www.eduyun.cn) provides e-textbooks compiled by the
education department. These digital e-textbooks are widely used in various areas and cover
all levels of middle schools and high schools. The school can also use the authoring tool
embedded in the platform to create a flexible curriculum by using the provided resources
on the platform as well. Additionally, the platform supports online lecturing and interactive
tutoring functions.
Besides, there might be limitations of the internet access in remote areas, therefore the
ministry of education requested China Education Television to broadcast courses and resources
through TV channels to meet the needs of students studying at home in these areas. The
Ministry of Education also coordinated with both the education departments in Beijing,
Shanghai, Sichuan, and Zhejiang provinces and schools affiliated to Tsinghua and Renmin
University in China to develop high-quality open learning resources during the mergency.
Diversied Supports for Online Teaching and
Learning
Story 13
highlighted my learning weaknesses precisely. This kind of learning experience is so helpful
and interactive."
Teacher Wang, a public school teacher, who often uses the squirrel AI system in his class
also talked to us about his feelings:
"The squirrel AI system classroom is indeed easier and more effective than regular
classrooms! After logging in to the system, I can supervise my course. Although there are
many students, I can quickly know the answers of each student through the generated
dashboards. After a student finishes the pre-test, the system displays course questions that
match his/her ability. After
each question is completed,
the student can immediately
get feedback on each question
and the process of solving it.
After the class, the system
will automatically generate
a learning report of each
student, and this helps me
better monitor my students. "
35 March, 2020. Version 1.2
At the same time, the People's
Education Press provided the mobile
application "Touching and Reading
of PEP ", which offers free
digital teaching resources. During
"Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted
Learning," the government required
education departments and schools
at all levels to cooperate with each
other. The Ministry of Education
also encouraged a variety of social
organizations to proactively offer
more diverse learning resources
with high quality for the public.
Handan Education Bureau has made efforts to support "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted
Learning" from two aspects. One is to help teachers to improve their online teaching skills.
The other one is to provide various resources to support, guide, and encourage students to
carry out independent learning activities at home. Handan city further developed the platform
"Classroom on Air" at the city-level. This platform is supplemented by the national primary
and secondary school network cloud platform, China Education Television Station, and various
excellent education resources platforms. It supports students to study independently at home.
In some villages with limited internet connection, students can watch educational videos offline
via the "Classroom on Air" platform and carry
out asynchronous learning by using national and
local resources. These resources help maintain
the quality of learning, but also help develop
the skills of self-regulated learning. To meet the
needs of different students in both synchronous
and asynchronous learning, filmed presentations
were produced by well-known teachers and then
broadcasted via "Classroom on Air". To enhance
the quality of teaching, Handan Education Bureau
also recruited teachers in each subject from all
schools in the city to work together on course
production for everyone.
Figure 30. Students study at home and some of them are
accompanied by parents
The author of photography: Qingfeng Duan, Handan
Municipal Education Bureau, Hebei Province
Figure 29. Teacher assigns and checks homework through the network
Source: https://www.sohu.com/a/373272035_114731
36March, 2020. Version 1.2
Figure 31. Parents are supervising their children's
independent study at home
The author of photography: Hang Lu, BNU PhD. student
Figure 32. A high school student in a village, listens to lectures
online on her mobile phone at home
The author of photography: Hang Lu, BNU PhD. student
Figure 33. Online homework correction, real-time
guidance of students
The author of photography: Qingfeng Duan, Handan
Municipal Education Bureau, Hebei Province
Figure 34. A teacher is recording a lesson for "Classroom on Air"
The author of photography: Qingfeng Duan, Handan
Municipal Education Bureau, Hebei Province
37 March, 2020. Version 1.2
8Empowering the Collaboration
between Governments, Enterprises,
and Schools
Governments, enterprises, and schools (G-E-S) should closely collaborate together to
ensure high-quality learning content, diverse learning activities, and effective learning
outcomes when students learn online. The G-E-S collaboration should have the
following features: flexible instructions; self-regulated learning; on-demand selection
and respect for differences; open resources, scientic and technological support. The
G-E-S collaboration should be led by the government and organized by schools. The G-E-S
collaboration should involve the family-school interaction and social participation.
In the face of the current needs of online education during the epidemic and its future
development, the government should play multiple roles in policy guidance, overall
coordination and effective supervision, etc. The government should also coordinate
enterprises, schools, research institutes, families, the society, etc. to build smooth
communication platforms, select suitable learning resources, provide convenient
learning tools, encourage diverse learning methods and support flexible teaching
methods. Effective support services for online education will be provided through the
close cooperation of multiple parties.
Since February 10, 2020, many districts in Wuhan City, have implemented the "Disrupted
Class, Undisrupted Learning" initiative by using the educational cloud platform of Wuhan
city. Each district organized micro learning at the class level via the channel “Classroom on
Air”. Specifically, all the schools within each district followed the same learning schedule;
classes in the morning, while questions and answers,
and assignments are planned in the afternoon. During
the implementation phase, district-level governments
and schools worked together and solved several
challenges. For example, the City Board of Education
guided researchers to help the front-line teachers to
adapt the 20-30-minute online teaching process and
improve their online teaching skills and strategies.
Figure 35. Zhiling Peng, an eighth-grade student from Tongji High School, is taking a class. While listening to the teacher's voice, he
also interacted with the teacher in the chat box
Source: https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1660457815642562336&wfr=spider&for=pc
Collaboration between governments and schools in
Wuhan City
Story 14
38March, 2020. Version 1.2
To support the “Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning” initiative by the Ministry of
Education during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, NetDragon, a global leader in building
internet communities, announced that its online education platform “One Stop Learning” will
provide a new free service plan for live-streaming of courses to over 10 million users.
“One Stop Learning” platform not only updates the latest information of COVID-19 and
measures for public health, but also
provides services including teachers’
class preparation and teaching,
online assignments and exams, live-
communication between schools and
parents, academic research, and
operational management that allow
users to effectively accomplish their
daily work.
Governments & enterprises coordination:
Technical services support improved
Story 15
On February 01, the Fuzhou Bureau of Education
further published the “Guidelines on proper
management of education for primary, secondary,
and vocational schools amidst postponement of
school semesters”. The guidelines state that “One
Stop Learning” is chosen as the official platform
in support of Fuzhou’s “Continuous Learning amid
School Suspension” mandate. The platform will
then facilitate online learning of over one million
teachers and students as well as several million
parents.
Meanwhile, “One Stop Learning” platform has also been aiding the Department of Education
of Hubei Province to support the national initiative entitled “Disrupted classes, Undisrupted
learning”. In collaboration with Hubei Province, NetDragon established the “Hubei Education
Cloud Platform”. After the construction and testing of the platform were completed (in three
days), live trials were conducted on January 30, in three cities, including Macheng, Xiantao
and Yangxin, and over 10 thousands live courses were carried out since then. The company
has cooperated so far with Hubei, Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Shandong and other provinces
to provide online educational services including live teaching and online courses.
Source: The texts and images were provided by ELENITY.
Figure 36. Online Courses on “One Stop Learning” platform
Figure 37. A pupil is studying on “One Stop Learning”
platform
39 March, 2020. Version 1.2
School closures in many countries worldwide during the spread of COVID-19 made more than 376.9 million
learners being excluded from the learning process. Alternative approaches, such as online learning, was then
used to maintain undisrupted learning. However, several challenges were reported during the application of
online learning in the global wide according to the literature and international experts. For example, (a) Internet
connection can be unreliable if there are thousands of learners learning simultaneously; (b) Some instructors
can find it difficult to find online resources that are the most suitable in their teaching contexts because
thousands of resources are published online; (c) Several instructors and learners do not have the appropriate
digital skills to teach and learn online. This can make the online teaching/learning experience inconvenient for
them; (d) Several learners lack crucial learning competencies, such as adaptation, independent study, self-
regulation and motivation, which are key factors for successful online learning; and, (e) Several instructors
simply use direct instructions without considering important features of online learning, such as interactivity,
social presence, and cognitive presence, resulting in unmotivating learning experiences.
Based on the Chinese practices to maintain undisrupted learning during COVID-19, the following
experiences are identied to facilitate exible online learning.
Top-level departments of the government, such as ministries and commissions, collaborated with each other
and then coordinated with regional government agents, colleges, schools, and enterprises to ensure a reliable
network infrastructure. Particularly, specic communication networks (internet servers, etc.) that can handle
millions of users were quickly deployed during this COVID-19 situation. This helped supporting millions of live
classrooms, as well as watching, downloading, and uploading interactive media resources. The government
also coordinated national platforms with enterprises of cyberlearning to provide educational resources and
tools in the national wide via multiple channels so that instructors and learners can use them based on their
specic needs. Furthermore, the government, in collaboration with several schools, provided training on how to
use the online learning repositories and select the appropriate learning resources accordingly.
Experts, schools, and governments at different levels also provided learning supports as professional
training and immediate assistance for instructors, learners, and parents to guide them on how to use digital
tools and platforms for an eective online learning experience. The supports and services varied according
to the features of particular education contexts (levels, regions, schools, subjects, etc.). For instance, several
suggested platforms, tools, and methods were customized based on the provided learning scenarios by
instructors and according to the age of learners.
The government, in collaboration with special education specialists, adapted several learning materials to
the needs of learners with disabilities (e.g., mental retardation) to cater their specic learning needs during
the COVID-19 situation. Additionally, instructors further provided appropriate online support for learners with
Conclusions and Recommendations
40March, 2020. Version 1.2
special needs, such as one-on-one tutoring and real-time communication with parents, in order to provide an
inclusive online learning experience for them.
Based on the above practices and experiences, this handbook identied the following seven core elements
of eective online education in emergencies.
(1) Ensuring reliable network infrastructure, which can handle millions of users simultaneously, is crucial to
support smooth online learning experience without interruption when: (a) providing synchronous online
teaching using video conferencing; (b) using (watching, downloading, uploading) interactive learning
resources (videos, games, etc.); and, (c) collaborating with peers via social platforms.
(2) Using friendly learning tools is benecial to learners in nding and processing information, constructing
knowledge, collaborating with peers, expressing understanding, and evaluating learning eects in concrete
ways. It is also vital that instructors avoid overloading learners and parents by asking them to use too
many applications or platforms. In this context, schools should coordinate between all the instructors to
use consistent learning tools or platforms.
(3) Providing interactive suitable digital learning resources, such as online video micro-courses, e-books,
simulations, animations, quizzes, and games. The criteria for selecting digital learning resources should
include licensing, accuracy, interactivity, ease of adaptability, cultural relevance & sensitivity, and also the
suitability of content, diculty, structure, media, and organization.
(4) Guiding learners to apply eective learning methods can be used individually or in groups. Specically, the
online instructional practice should involve using online communities, via social networks, to ensure regular
human interactions and to address potential online challenges, such as learners’ perceived loneliness or
helplessness.
(5) Promoting eective methods to organize instruction by adopting a range of teaching strategies, such as
case studies, open debate and discussions, learners-led discovery, experiential learning, etc.
(6) Providing instant support services for teachers and learners on learning about urgent school and
governmental policies, using effective learning technologies, tools, and resources and collaborating
between the government, schools, enterprises, families, society, etc.
(7) Empowering the partnership between governments, enterprises, and schools. Specifically, the
governments should also coordinate enterprises, schools, research institutes, and families to build smooth
communication platforms to exchange urgent notices and to keep everyone safe.
From this Chinese experience, some limitations are also noted that should be considered in the future.
For instance, to provide accessible learning experiences, all universities should rely on tele-courses to
provide learning experiences for those in remote areas without internet or without cable TV. Additionally,
more affordable devices should be developed as well to provide offline digital learning resources for
learners, especially in those remote areas. Moreover, researchers and practitioners should consider dierent
accessibility guidelines (e.g., WCAG 2.0) while developing their digital learning resources platforms, tools
and devices. This helps provide an effective approach to accessibility, functional diversity and e-inclusion
in educational settings. Finally, more inclusive authoring tools (that work with dierent functional diversities)
should be developed so that educators can use them to create accessible digital learning resources.
41 March, 2020. Version 1.2
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43 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Participant List
Project Members
Ronghuai Huang, Professor of Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, and Co-Dean of Smart
Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Dejian Liu, Founder and Chairman of NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited and Co-Dean of Smart Learning
Institute of Beijing Normal University
Changjie Chen, Vice President of NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, and Vice Dean of Smart Learning
Institute of Beijing Normal University
Haijun Zeng, Vice Dean of Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University, and Administrative Ocer of
National Engineering Laboratory for Cyberlearning and Intelligent Technology
Junfeng Yang, Professor, College Of Education, Hangzhou Normal University
Rongxia Zhuang, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
Ting-Wen Chang, Assistant to the Dean, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Ahmed Tlili, Post-doctoral Fellow, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Huanhuan Wang, Post-doctoral Fellow, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Muhua Zhang, Post-doctoral Fellow, National Engineering Laboratory for Cyberlearning and Intelligent
Technology
Hang Lu, PhD. Student, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
Bojun Gao, Master Student, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
Zhenyu Cai, Master Student, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
Mengyu Liu, Master Student, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
Wei Cheng, Lecturer, School of Educational Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Posts and
Telecommunications
Qian Cheng, Project Assistant, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
Xiayu Yin, Project Assistant, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University
44March, 2020. Version 1.2
International Contributors
( Names are presented according to the alphabetical order)
Khalid Berrada, Professor, Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech, Morocco,
Daniel Burgos, Professor, Educational Technology, Universidad International de La Rioja (UNIR), Spain
Carol Chan, Professor, The University of Hong Kong
Nian-Shing Chen, Grith University, Australia
Wei Cui, Co-founder & Chief Scientist, Squirrel AI Learning
Said Dahdahjani, Designer, Iran
Gabriela Grosseck, West University of Timisoara, Romania
Carmen Holotescu, Ioan Slavici University of Timisoara, Romania
Xiao Hu, Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong
Mohamed Jemni, Professor, Computer Science, ALECSO
Koutheir Khribi, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, ALECSO
Kinshuk, Professor, University of North Texas, U.S.
Joleen Liang, Partner, Squirrel AI Learning, Director of AIAED Conference
Okhwa Lee, Professor Chungbuk National University, Korea
Chee-Kit Looi, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Fabio Nascimbeni, Assistant Professor, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Spain,
Jonathan Michael Spector, Professor, University of North Texas, U.S.
Jianhua Zhao, Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology, Senior Expert, International Centre
for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) under the auspices of UNESCO
45 March, 2020. Version 1.2
Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University (SLIBNU)
Beijing Normal University (BNU) grew out of the Education Department of Imperial
University of Peking established in 1902, which initiated teacher training in China’s
higher education. After the development for over a century, BNU has become a
comprehensive and research-intensive university with its main characteristics of basic
disciplines in sciences and humanities, teacher education and educational science.
Smart Learning Institute (SLI) is jointly established by Beijing Normal University and a
global educational technology company NetDragon Websoft. SLI is a comprehensive
experimental platform involving scientific research, technology development, and
innovative instruction. SLI focuses on detecting learning patterns powered by ICT,
creating smart learning environments and platforms for life-long and life-wide learning,
as well as supporting diversified, personalized and differential learning needs for
digital learners.
UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural
Education (UNESCO INRULED)
UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO
INRULED) was jointly founded by the Chinese government and UNESCO and located
at BNU in 2008. The vision of UNESCO INRULED is to promote social-economic
development in rural areas by bringing about positive changes in the thinking and
behavior and rural people, who make the majority of the population in developing
countries and to achieve the goals of Education for All. UNESCO INRULED has
published over 40 publications, including research projects, training modules,
magazines as well as newsletters. UNESCO INRULED also has established a wide
network of cooperation with UN agencies, development agencies, non-governmental
organizations, foundations and closed links with UNESCO institutions and centers.
UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO
IITE)
UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) was established as
an integral part of UNESCO by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 29th session
(November 1997) and is located in Moscow, Russian Federation. IITE is the only
UNESCO category 1 Institute that holds a global mandate for ICT in education. In line
with the new Education 2030 Agenda, IITE has developed its strategic priority areas to
meet new demands and tasks ahead. The mission of IITE in the new era is promoting
the innovative use of ICT and serving as facilitator and enabler for achieving Sustainable
Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) through ICT-enabled solutions and best practices.
UNESCO Institute
for Information Technologies
in Education
United Nations
Educational, Scientic and
Cultural Organization
46March, 2020. Version 1.2
International association of smart learning environment (IASLE)
The International association of smart learning environments (IASLE) is a cutting-
edge professional forum for researchers, academics, practitioners, and industry
professionals interested and/or engaged in the reform of the ways of teaching and
learning through advancing current learning environments towards smart learning
environments. It provides opportunities for discussions and constructive dialogue
among various stakeholders on the limitations of existing learning environments, need
for reform, innovative uses of emerging pedagogical approaches and technologies,
and sharing and promotion of best practices, leading to the evolution, design and
implementation of smart learning environments.
Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientic Organization
(ALECSO)
Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) was
founded in 1975. Its Documentation and Information Department provides information
on all aspects of education including adult education, culture and science in and on
Arab countries. Expansion of the documentation services through use of Internet
is being planned in order to deepen international contacts and co-operation. The
Department of Documentation and Information maintains cooperation and coordination
with the Arab countries in the domain of information processing and exchange, in order
to guarantee easy ow and high eciency. This aim also includes the Arabization of
information tools consistent with the Arab national ambitions that stress the upgrading
of economic and social plans in the Arab region; thus reaching an optimum enrichment
of development.
Edmodo
Edmodo is an educational technology company offering a communication,
collaboration, and coaching platform to K-12 schools and teachers. The Edmodo
network enables teachers to share content, distribute quizzes, assignments, and
manage communication with students, colleagues, and parents. Edmodo is very
teacher-centric in their design and philosophy: students and parents can only join
Edmodo if invited to do so by a teacher. Teachers and students spend large amounts
of time on the platform, both in and out of the classroom. Edmodo is free to use, but it
also oers premium services.
... Malaysia was not the only country affected by this predicament. The Ministry of Education (MoE) of China had also closed all educational facilities to control the spread of the virus (Yang, 2020) alongside the MoE in the forty-six countries (as of March 12, 2020) resulting in disrupted classes (Huang et al., 2020). ...
... Technology is indeed no longer a tool used to facilitate learning but has become the main medium of instruction and learning to support flexible online education in the event of school closure (Huang et al., 2020). In the period of crisis, the education system's solution to the most effective ways to keep going is by turning to technology and online education mediums (Mavrou, 2020). ...
... China being the most applauded country regarding their quick response towards the unfortunate event has disclosed a handbook on facilitating flexible learning during this time of concern. The ministry launched "Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning" signalling that even through the crisis, the learning would still go on through flexible online medium to over 270 million students from their homes (Huang et al., 2020). ...
Book
Full-text available
We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue.
... Hendrix and Degner [14] reported that high school students found it difficult to communicate with online teachers. A recent study [15] identified that communication in an online learning environment required that three basic conditions be met: continuous encouragement, timely feedback, and a sense of enthusiastic identification through competition and performance assessment. ...
... The teacher was also aware of the students' need for timely support and replies to their inquiries, saying that the students expected the teacher to respond promptly with a clear, concise message and wanted to be informed about how long it would take to receive replies to their inquiries. These findings emphasized the three online learning environment communication requirements: encouragement, timely student feedback, and enthusiastic identification via competition and performance [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This small-scale qualitative study aimed to explore learning programming through online experiences among middle school students in a school for girls in Saudi Arabia. The low uptake of computing by girls has been a persistent problem in schools and beyond. In Saudi Arabia, there are similar issues in encouraging learners and girls in particular to be interested in computer coding. To explore how to engage learners in coding, an informal online course on programming for learners (age 12) was designed using a community-of-inquiry approach and a gamification process enabled through the use of Thunkable™ and TalentLMS™ to engage learners. An inductive qualitative research approach was used to explore influencing factors for engaging learners in programming. The data comprised three individual interviews, one focus group, a teacher’s diary, and a content analysis of the activities recorded in the TalentLMS™ system’s student progress reports. Findings highlighted the need to consider digital learning agency in the online learning environment and that learning programming online was best facilitated through student collaboration using live tools with teacher support to develop the online community. Further, findings revealed the rationale for the girls enrolling in the online programming course, which included improving their online learning skills, planning future careers, and developing résumés. These findings may contribute to offering some insight into pedagogy that can encourage greater interest in computer programming in schools.
... During those early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, efforts were made globally to maintain students' education online (e.g. Huang et al, 2020). However, in Canada (as elsewhere) teachers and parents of school-aged students had grave difficulties engaging students' interest in learning online. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The mass closure of schools as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic paralyzed many children's education. Teachers across the globe did their best to engage students and help support their learning through online educational formats. However, teachers and parents indicated that students' struggled with these approaches. This study aims to build on successes some science teachers had using curiosity as a starting point in inquiry-based science projects that bridged face-to-face and online learning formats. This year-long qualitative, participatory action research study brings together fourteen teachers (seven elementary and seven secondary) and four university faculty using an online community of inquiry framework. This work is in its early stages. Through two cycles of planning, implementation and reflection, the community of inquiry will ultimately develop a model for best practices and resources that respond to the educational challenges faced during the pandemic and help prepare teachers for future crises. These materials will be shared with other teachers as open education resources, that are freely accessible, digital, re-mixable and revisable. This work will also contribute to theory regarding best practices for curiosity-driven, inquiry-based science education in blended learning spaces.
... All public and private organizations, including educational institutions, have been compelled to suspend face-to-face teaching sessions in whole nations, which have been placed under lockdown by their governments. As a consequence of the extensive transmission of the virus across nations and even continents, as well as the closure of educational institutions, more than 80 percent of students around the globe have chosen not to attend their respective institutions (Huang et al., 2020;Langegård et al., 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to identify the mean values of self-esteem, educational stress, and depression, to examine the correlations between them, and to identify their contributing factors among students in high school within the context of e-Learning during the covid-19 outbreak. Across sectional design was utilized in this study. A convenience sampling technique was used to select 1380 students from four public schools in Amman, Jordan. A self-administered questionnaire was utilized to collect the data from the students. The descriptive and inferential analyses were carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 software. The results showed that the mean values of the mean self-esteem, educational stress, depression level were moderate (mean=32.21/50, SD=5.41; mean=21.72/35, SD=5.27; mean=11.86/18, SD=3.27). The results showed a significant negative correlation between self-esteem and education stress (r=-.157, p value= .01) and depression ((r=-.094, p value= .04) and a significant positive correlation between education stress and depression (r=-.129, p value= .02). Finally, gender, receiving the private course, satisfaction with e-learning, and religiosity factors are considered predictors for self-esteem, educational stress, and depression among students in high schools. Self-esteem, educational stress, depression level are important variables affecting the students' wellbeing in high school. Many students' characteristics may affect these variables.
... lity by today's learners, who see them as a better return on investment. Several studies found that electronic textbooks adopted following a pivot to remote instruction that included interactive features designed to engage and motivate students with immediate feedback and real-time responses enhanced the teaching and learning process (George, 2020;R. H. Huang et al., 2020). At the same time studies such as one released by Chabbott and Sinclair (2020) noted that the move to online learning placed many under-resourced and at-risk students in a position to struggle as they dealt with limited or no access to the technologies and resources necessary to be successful. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim/Purpose: The exorbitant cost of traditional textbooks, which particularly impact low-income, underrepresented minority groups, can be a barrier to student success in higher education that contributes to educational inequities. The aim of this multi-methodology study, conducted at a mid-Atlantic minority-serving institution that serves primarily first-generation and lower-income learners, is to explore the impact of, and student satisfaction with, a one-price per-semester unlimited e-book subscription service and digital learning solution that includes a number of embedded interactive features, adaptive student learning activities, and learning outcome assessments. In addition, the paper is purposed to inform individuals in higher education so that they can make knowledgeable decisions when considering various book acquisition options. Background: A mid-Atlantic minority-serving institution becomes an early adopter of a one-price per semester unlimited e-book and interactive digital learning subscription service. Following adoption, a quantitative assessment regime was conducted to inform the institution. Methodology: Pass-fail rates for selected courses were compared before and following implementation and cost savings estimates in U.S. dollars were generated in collaboration with the bookstore and publisher. Additionally, student satisfaction and perceived learning efficacy survey were created and distributed. Contribution: This paper contributes significantly to the literature as it includes a population that is frequently neglected in studies that primarily are concentrated at traditionally white institutions (TWIs) with very low enrollments of Black students. Findings: A positive increase in course pass rates was found. Most students expressed having been concerned about paying for books in prior semesters, that college textbooks cost too much, have struggled to purchase textbooks in the past, believe that the subscription plan helps students save money, and would like to see widespread adoption. With respect to the digital learning solution, the students found it easy to use, appreciated the integrated interactive features, believed the system helped them to learn more and stay on schedule, and were largely in agreement that they would like it adopted in more of their classes. When correlations, crosstabulations, and Chi-Square tests were conducted, students who indicated having the greatest financial concerns were stronger in their satisfaction with the unlimited e-book subscription plan and most likely to want to see a similar plan adopted in all of their courses. Recommendations for Practitioners: To better meet the needs of students, remove barriers to student success, and improve student learning outcomes, universities must play a role in delivering affordable student-centered course content. Recommendation for Researchers: E-book subscription services are a relatively new model and one that requires extensive exploration in order to examine the impact on student learning outcomes as well as perceived learner satisfaction. Impact on Society: The implications of this study are that the adoption of an unlimited e-book subscription that includes access to high-quality digital learning resources positions institutions of higher education well in the instance of a global pandemic or other catastrophic events that causes the sudden pivot to remote instruction. Additionally, such a system has both a positive impact on student achievement as well as perceived favorably by students. Further, the adoption of a low-cost subscription option is particularly beneficial to students who struggle financially. Future Research: It is the goal of the authors to partner with scholars at a broad range of institutions to further extend this line of inquiry.
... First, pedagogical revisions proved necessary; therefore, teachers had to adjust their teaching methods and act more creatively to keep their students involved at a time when every home became a classroom and, at times, multiple classrooms, providing a supportive learning environment. Second, the new situation underscored the need for flexibility and interactions between students and teachers and among students [12][13][14][15]. According to a survey conducted in 2020, nearly 90% of countries that responded to the COVID-19 pandemic supported teachers by emphasizing the importance of giving students feedback and maintaining continual communication with them [16]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The switch to online teaching that the global COVID-19 crisis necessitated has been discussed in many studies. Few papers, however, have investigated teachers' perceptions and the self-initiated changes they made due to such a transition. This study adopted a mixed methods design to determine the perceptions of teachers and the changes they made during the crisis. For this undertaking , a purposive snowball sampling of thirty in-service teachers in Israel was used. The study revealed that considerable changes were made in the participants' pedagogical practices, and there was a significant correlation between these changes and teachers' perceptions of their teaching profession. The changes essentially applied to two main categories: teaching goals and teaching strategies. In addition, the findings showed that the revised teaching goals and strategies were executed to the teachers' own volition and were consistent with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) pedagogy. To enhance the social-emotional competence and well-being of teachers and students, the researchers recommend elevating and enhancing the teaching profession by establishing SEL pedagogy in all schools, not only in times of crisis but as a policy empowered by advocacy.
... In the case of New Zealand University, after it was severely affected by seismic activity, the use of technology and the deployment of a Learning Management System with digital resources and audio and video recordings of lectures for students helped them to overcome the obstacles quickly and continue with the teaching process. Therefore, it remains of utmost importance in such difficult circumstances to ensure the availability of the following: (a) ICT (information and communication technologies) infrastructure, (b) digital learning tools and resources, (c) teaching methods, (d) services for teachers and students, and (e) cooperation between governments, companies, and educational institutions to offer online, face-to-face, or blended learning and to not interrupt classes and student learning (Huang et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
The primary objective of this paper is to analyse the weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities (SWOT matrix analysis) of online teaching and learning in educational institutions (primary, secondary, and higher education) in Ecuador during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative study of the descriptive documentary type was conducted, where the information obtained from virtual education in times of crisis and outbreaks was collected and analysed. It was found that educational centers at different levels of schooling still continued to use traditional teaching methods and processes subject to old procedures as a basis for their incursion into virtuality, although other establishments began to handle combined modalities such as blended and hybrid online (e-learning) modes of learning. In conclusion, the deadly coronavirus disease (SARS-COV-2) abruptly halted much human activity worldwide. This forced hesitant educational systems that still used traditional face-to-face teaching methods in classrooms to move and change to online learning in many regions, regardless of the socioeconomic level and demographics of the students. Aside from determining how to deal with the problems and challenges of virtual education during epidemics and natural disasters, it is clear that the number of technology-driven educational start-ups has increased significantly.
Article
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The purpose of this study is to explore K-12 teachers' awareness of open educational resources (OER) as well as their perceptions of its potential opportunities and challenges for teaching practices. Data were gathered from 99 online survey respondents and six interviewees in this study. Findings showed that teachers are aware of OER to a certain degree; however, a misunderstanding exists between digital educational content on the Internet and openly licensed content compatible with the OER definition. Lack of knowledge regarding licensing mechanisms of OER is a major issue among teachers. Whereas, teacher perceptions that the use of OER leads to the improvement in student performance is highly beneficial, the time required to search, select, edit, and apply OER was discovered as the greatest challenge to OER utilization. Results of this study can inform potential OER movement contributors, such as teacher professional development specialists, developers of OER repositories, and academics interested in OER.
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This report is one of a series within the HEA project ‘Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future’. It focuses on how e-learning, also known as technology-enhanced-learning, may support flexible pedagogies, and so encompasses a range of topics where technology can enable new choices for learners. Flexible learning focuses on giving students choice in the pace, place and mode of their learning, and all three aspects can be assisted and promoted through appropriate pedagogical practice, practice that can itself be supported and enhanced through e-learning. e-Learning is concerned with using computer technologies to support learning, whether that learning is local (on campus) or remote (at home or in the workplace). The use of technology throughout people’s lives and particularly in school, college and work environments means that learners expect to encounter technology; technology is no longer innately innovative or new. However, technology can enable new approaches as to how learning is delivered and assessed, and can make certain pedagogic approaches viable and scalable when considered for higher education that otherwise would not be. The broad set of technology applications to enable learner choice means this report considers a wide range of issues; topics include the move to blended learning, with choice given to the learner about when and where they learn; opportunities for personalised learning with the student finding their own pathway through learning material; and support for a wide range of devices and systems so that learners can choose their preferred platform. While learning technologies provide new opportunities, they can also create dilemmas for institutions, with fresh issues around collaborative learning, plagiarism and the resource implications of allowing such choices. From an institutional perspective, e-learning can offer new opportunities for flexibility in learning, with potential for new markets such as distant and part-time learners, and for more flexible schemes to accumulate credits before, during and after a traditional programme
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School closure is a non-pharmaceutical intervention that was considered in many national pandemic plans developed prior to the start of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic, and received considerable attention during the event. Here, we retrospectively review and compare national and local experiences with school closures in several countries during the A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic. Our intention is not to make a systematic review of country experiences; rather, it is to present the diversity of school closure experiences and provide examples from national and local perspectives. Data were gathered during and following a meeting, organized by the European Centres for Disease Control, on school closures held in October 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. A standard data collection form was developed and sent to all participants. The twelve participating countries and administrative regions (Bulgaria, China, France, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States) provided data. Our review highlights the very diverse national and local experiences on school closures during the A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic. The processes including who was in charge of making recommendations and who was in charge of making the decision to close, the school-based control strategies, the extent of school closures, the public health tradition of responses and expectations on school closure varied greatly between countries. Our review also discusses the many challenges associated with the implementation of this intervention and makes recommendations for further practical work in this area. The single most important factor to explain differences observed between countries may have been the different public health practises and public expectations concerning school closures and influenza in the selected countries.
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Flexible teaching and learning is not a new concept, but it is one that we, as educators, do not focus on enough. Designing and delivering innovative, exciting and relevant learning experiences is needed if we are to make our classes good learning experiences. Information systems (IS) educators deal with technology every day, yet we are sometimes the first ones to forget how to use it in the classroom. Educators must recognize the importance of increasing student control over and active participation in their own learning. This Special Issue of the "Journal of Information Systems Education" looks at flexible teaching and learning in the IS classroom. We present eight papers on flexible teaching and learning, dealing with both the face-to-face and online classroom environments. We hope that the ideas presented in these papers will foster your thinking in using flexible teaching techniques. In the end, flexible teaching and learning focuses on improving student learning, a goal that we all aspire to in our classrooms.
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How do we factor the variability of students into our instructional methods? All students are different, and yet there are many commonalties from student to student. Should students simply design their own education, an education that theoretically would be tailored to their needs? Should students be left to their own desires and needs, as Rousseau advocated in Emile in the late 1700s and as A. S. Neill advocated in Summerhill in the 1960s? Or are there ideas and methods that all students should simply endure for the good of the social system? We have learned quite a bit about accommodating the variability of students through research into instructional methods and learning styles. If we vary our methods, we have learned, we accommodate a wider range of learning styles than if we used one method consistently. Teaching methods are the complement of content, just as instruction is the complement of curriculum. Technology teachers tend to over-use projects and problems, ignoring the options and opportunities that the balance of teaching methods offers. In this time of global hazards and changes in our lives wrought by technology, it is essential that technology teachers maintain a refined sense of how to teach about controversial and sensitive technological issues. It is essential that technology teachers have a command over values clarification methods as well as demonstration and project methods. Given that technology teaching methods are often research-driven, twenty-two research methods are outlined in this chapter. Forty-one teaching methods are defined and five that are central to technology studies are explained in detail. The chapter concludes with detailed sections on the relationships among instructional methods, personalities, and learning styles.
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Online learning as a concept and as a keyword has consistently been a focus of education research for over two decades. In this paper, we present results from a systematic literature review for the definitions of online learning because the concept of online learning, though often defined, has a range of meanings attached to it. Authors and scholars use the term to mean very distinct, if not contradictory concepts. We conducted systematic literature for over the last 30 years (1988 to 2018) to investigate the number and content of definitions of online learning. We collected 46 definitions from 37 resources and conducted a content analysis on these sets of definitions. Content analysis of the collected definitions led to an understanding of the core elements for defining online learning, the confusion surrounding the terms and the synonyms used for online learning. An evolution of the definition of the concept of online learning was also mapped to the evolution of technology in the last three decades.
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Changes in the way we communicate in the age of social informatization has affected the way we live, work, and consequently, the traditional ways in which we learn. This transformation requires a new way of thinking about learning. The essential difference between learning in a traditional manner, called nibbled learning, and information-based learning, also called connected learning, lies in the different understandings of knowledge processing. Nibbled learning is the process by which the learners pass required tests according to standard requirements and a set order of knowledge units so as to comprehensively master the learning contents within a specified period of time. Connected learning, with the characteristics of autonomy, enquiry, and collaboration, has been widely piloted and adopted in informal learning and training. In order to understand and promote connected learning, we define a learning scenario as ''a comprehensive description of one or a series of learning events or learning activities'', which includes four elements: learning time, learning place, learning peers and learning activities. Five typical types of learning scenario are defined; classroom lectures, individual learning, inquiry learning, learning by doing, and work-based learning. The concept of an effective learning activity is introduced followed by a description of the five conditions that make up an effective learning activity; to start with authentic
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Increasing the options available to the learner as to when, how, where, with what materials, and what he or she learns is becoming increasingly important, not only for personal and educational reasons but also for economic motivations. Increasing the flexibility of training for persons already in the work force is seen as particularly appropriate, and telematics applications are expected to have particular value in facilitating more-flexible course delivery in training and workplace contexts. In this analysis we consider the concept “flexibility of training” in more detail, decomposing it into a series of, sometimes incompatible, dimensions and presenting some propositions as to likelihood of the different flexibility dimensions becoming implemented in practice. The study of flexibility relative to trans-national tele-learning is illustrated through its central role in the research component of the TeleScopia Project, sponsored by the Commission of the European Community.