On October 23, 2015, in a letter released by the Finance Division of the Ministry of Education (MOE), it was announced that the project Construction of a Cloud Service Platform and Support System for Digital Learning Resources of the Open University of China (OUC) had won financial support from a special Ministry of Finance (MOF) fund created to support the development of the cultural industry. The amount of funding, valued at RMB 12 million, has been put in place.

In February 2015, the MOF issued  Notice on the Special Funds for the Development of the Cultural Industry in 2015. The Press & Media Group of the OUC, in an effort to better serve the Open Universities (OUs), in their reforming of the teaching models as related to the Integration of Six Networks across the entire system of OUs, and in combining efforts to link the strategic objectives of the digital transformation with the upgrading of the Press & Media Group, actively studied the spirit of the MOF's notice and put together an application for their project Construction of a Cloud Service Platform and Support System for Digital Learning Resources. In July 2015, after the experts’review, the project was chosen for inclusion in the supporting plan of the 2015 annual special funds for the development of the cultural industry by the MOF. On October 23, 2015, the MOE’s Finance Division released a letter and clarified the amount of funding for the project at RMB 12 million, which has already been put in place.

The project is committed to revitalizing the existing resources of the Press and Media Group and to creating a closed-loop system fully covering all aspects of production, from media resource R&D and integration of open scale resources to accurate resources feeds and learner support services, and then on to resource application feedback, with the purpose of forming a business model of sustainable development of the digital publishing of learning resources and cloud services, helping the group complete its own transformation and upgrading and realizing its strategic goal of serving the whole society and lifelong learning for all.

The content of the project is laid out in the following five aspects:

Firstly, to capitalize on the advantages of the technical and publishing units, to make use of Internet cloud storage and mobile Internet technology, to provide learners and educational and training institutions with a set of online services combining digital resource inquiry, booking, trading, download, intelligent feeding, distribution, and learning as one, to support offline learning and online information exchange and achieve the integration of digital learning resource services and traditional publishing with the use of the scan codes at mobile terminals, and reduce textbook piracy.

Secondly, to research and develop applications for trans-platform mobile terminals and achieve "one production for multi terminal purposes", to support users to learn anytime, anywhere, and to return their learning records, notes, and evaluation information to the cloud, so as to lay a foundation for big data analysis and intelligent feeding services.

Thirdly, to establish a collaborative editing system and integrate it with the existing resource database system so as to improve the efficiency of hybrid editing and publishing.

Fourthly, to vitalize the quality remnant resources, to achieve open scale resource integration, and make all media resource services available through the network, mobile terminals, and paper media.

Fifthly, to research and develop all media digital materials and supporting resources combining text, graphics, images, animation, audio, video, and other media forms and to form standards, specifications, and working process for the R&D of digital learning resource products.

The project conforms to Article III of Carrying out Digital Transformation and Upgrading of the News and Publishing Industry and Article VIII of Promoting the Integration and Development of Traditional Media and New Media within the key support of the special funds for the development of the cultural industry in 2015, and also keeps in line with the key support in the 2015 Project Application Guide for the Reform and Development Project Database of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. It is a critical application in the digital transformation and upgrading of the educational publishing enterprises as well as a key point for publishing products and services’ innovation in the era of mobile internet and big data.

By Luo Gang, Wang Sulan,OUC