On 24 December, 2018, an exhibition called "Excellent Student Work from the Online Traditional Chinese Landscape-Painting Class", a National Arts Fund project sponsored by the Open University of China (OUC), kicked off a one-week run at the OUC Wukesong Campus. OUC leaders attended, including Party Committee secretary and president Yang Zhijian, who expressed interest in the integration of the project with the credit-banking system, and was impressed by the work on display.
The "Construction of Moodle Platform for Appreciation and Creation of Traditional Chinese Landscape Paintings" project was the first National Arts Fund project of the OUC, officially approved in August 2017 and completed a year later. Supported by modern distance-education technology, the project incorporated both online and offline teaching, enabling adult beginners to master the basic techniques of traditional Chinese landscape painting within 63 days. 1,286 learners nationwide participated, with almost 60% passing. The online portions of the project were jointly organised and implemented by OUC headquarters, the Radio and TV Universities (RTVUs) in Harbin, Xi'an, Zhejiang, Chengdu, Inner Mongolia and Fujian, and the Ningbo Teaching Centre. 7-day offline classes were also offered in Hangzhou, Cixi and Harbin in order to consolidate the results of the online classes.
As part of the exhibition, 147 of the best student works were collected into an album and sent to participants. The exhibition showed the effectiveness of the OUC’s teaching model for distance art education.
In his preface to the exhibition, Yang Zhijian wrote that the completion of this project highlights non-degree education at the OUC, a good example of cooperation within and outside the system as well as of the integration of online and offline education.
Some faculty and staff also visited the show, and were astonished to learn that the works had been completed by beginners after two months of study. They expressed curiosity about the new distance-education programme, and a desire to take part in it themselves.
By Yang Ying, OUC