e-Learning Initiatives in China

Pedagogy, Policy and Culture


Edited by Helen Spencer-Oatey

ISBN : 978-962-209-867-1

Education Education in China: Reform and Diversity

August 2007

308 pages, 6″ x 9″, 19 tables

  • HK$395.00

Also available in Paperback HK$225.00

e-Learning Initiatives in China provides research and application insights into e-learning in China, in the light of two drives by the Chinese Ministry of Education: to implement curriculum reform and to promote quality and innovation in e-learning provision.

Educationalists throughout the world have their eyes on China, both as a market to understand and to enter, and as a major source of international students. In addition, educationalists are increasingly aware of the need to incorporate digital technology into their course provision and delivery. This book provides valuable insights into both of these elements. It includes ‘state-of-the-art’ reviews of e-learning in China, case study examples of e-learning design and development issues, and explores the collaboration challenges that British and Chinese teams experienced as they participated in a Sino-UK e-learning initiative, the eChina-UK Programme.

The book is written in a clear and accessible style. Section 1, Background, introduces the book and provides an overview of e-learning in higher education in China. Section 2, Designing and Delivering Online Courses in China, starts with a critical review of online courseware designs that are currently widespread in China, and then presents a series of case study examples which deal with important design and delivery issues. Section 3, Managing the Interplay between Pedagogy and Technology, explores ways in which new learning technologies can be exploited for pedagogic purposes. Section 4, Managing Collaboration Processes, discusses the issues that the project teams needed to manage effectively as they collaborated both internationally and professionally. The final section, Section 5, Addressing Policy Issues, deals with key e-learning policy issues, both within China and internationally.

The topic of e-learning, combined with the book’s emphasis on the interrelationship of policy and practice, and its international teamwork perspective, will appeal to education specialists and e-learning experts not only in Asia but also in many Western countries.

Helen Spencer-Oatey is Director of the Centre for English Language Teacher Education at the University of Warwick, and the UK manager of the eChina-UK Programme ( Her main research interests are in the interrelationships between language, culture and rapport management. She has published widely in the area of rapport management and intercultural interaction.

“A landmark in the analysis of international developments in e-learning. Required reading for anyone embarking on serious international collaboration in this field.” —Peter Goodyear, Professor of Education, University of Sydney

“This book is timely and important for universities as they increasingly recognise the value of collaboration with Chinese higher education. It provides information, insights, experience, and analysis. By bringing both British and Chinese scholars’ own work on e-learning and higher education to a wider audience, it will enable those collaborations to be well-grounded in a comprehensive mutual understanding.” —Diana Laurillard, Professor and Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies, Institute of Education, University of London

“This book provides a timely contribution to understanding current practice and future potential of partnerships in higher education in China. It will appeal to both practitioners and policy makers alike as it provides a unique perspective on specific cases of collaborative endeavour, while at the same time providing insight into the policy context in which the programme took place. Highly recommended.” —Svava Bjarnason, Director, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education

“This pioneering case study of an ambitious project of collaboration between major universities in China and Britain allows readers to explore multiple dimensions of the important new arena of e-learning, and to see them through contrasting cultural lenses.” —Ruth Hayhoe, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto