On the afternoon of Nov.4th 2015, the International Conference with the theme “The Capacity Building of Open Universities in the Globalization Era” was successfully held at the main campus of SOU. The conference was co-organized by Shanghai Open University and UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning. More than 200 participants from 13 countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa attended the conference.
The conference focused on the exploration of educational reforms and the latest achievement in online distance education of SOU. Participants shared their prior experience and shared their views and thoughts about MOOCs, flipped classroom, building capacity of staff in research through open and distance education, learning support services, and management services, etc..
During the conference, Prof. Gu Xiaomin, Vice President of SOU, delivered a keynote speech on the topic “An Exploration of Teaching Reform Oriented by Students’ Competence”. Prof. Gu mentioned about the needs of social and economic development of the nation, and the needs of learners in SOU. She introduced the concept of ‘T-shaped Talent’(talents who have both a wide basic knowledge of the specialty and the command of professional technical skills), the transitions from systematic way to personalized way of cultivation in teaching, and the shift in concerns from the results to the progress in teaching. She mentioned that SOU cared about the upgrade of learners’ competences, learners’ career development, and the improvement of learners’ personal qualities. Tens of thousands of working professional acquired professional skills through studying in SOU, and more importantly, they have improved self-confidence, enhanced the sense of responsibility of being a citizen, and upgraded the competences of both lifelong learning and working.
The Conference featured prominent speakers from academic sectors of open universities all over the world. Keynote speakers David James (Open University, UK) spoke on Online Distance Learning in the Post-MOOC World, Rotimi Ogidan (African Council for Distance Education) delivered keynote speech on Building Capacity of Staff in Research through Open and Distance Education to achieve the Education We Want in the 21st Century and Peter van Rosmalen (Open University of the Netherlands) delivered keynote speech on Scalable Support for (Open) Online Education. Speakers Wu Jinfan (SOU East Pudong Branch), Emilie Remond (University of Poitiers), Zhang Yongzhong (College of Information Science and Engineering, SOU), and Ginta Ginting (University of Terbuka) made presentations on An Exploration on Flipped Classroom: How to Innovate Teachers’ Teaching Method, The Role of Teachers in Online Distance Learning, The Transformation and Construction of Student-centered Teaching and Service Capability, and Universitas Terbuka Towards the World Class Open and Distance Learning University: the role of learning culture and knowledge management as an important determinant for Study Program Performance respectively.
The conference also received media attention. Tencent and Thepaper News published special report while 163 News and ChinaIRN have forwarded relevant information. Mobile media have also forwarded the related information about the conference.