An investigation of China’s national online excellent courses based on encounter theory

Beibei Zhang
South China Normal University
Guangzhou, China

China’s State Quality Resource-sharing course is one of the two projects about the construction of national open courses, which aim to promote the application of high-quality resources and improve the quality of higher education. Using a web-based survey and evaluation, this paper investigates the construction of national online excellent courses in the field of educational technology on the following five dimensions, viz. welcoming encounter, directing encounter, strategic encounter, ethical framing encounter and personal narrative encounter. The national online excellent courses are almost in stable continuous improvement after nearly a decade of development.

Through data analysis, it was found that these kind of courses provide learners with a wealth of teaching resources, but the guidance, learning activities and technical support services are developed unevenly. An online learning environment where the different stakeholders are experiencing different people has the potential for conflicting or frustrating encounters — and the imbalance in the encounters experienced by each of the stakeholders can have an impact on the overall quality of the teaching and learning environment. It is argued that the most effective state for consistent and successful online teaching and learning experiences is where all stakeholders (in terms of their roles for a particular course) are at the same level of personal narrative encounters, and in harmony. So the educational resources on the website, to some extent, should be identified and scientific classification should be carried out. Also, some departments should actively implement resource standardization, update resource production tools and enhance resource sharing platforms. This interactive experience can help learners to use the resources better and offer advice and suggestions on how to optimize the structure and update it into a state resource-sharing course.