A Guide to Quality in Post-Traditional Online Higher Education in Chinese and English versions, developed with the investment of authoritative American educational institutions and jointly created by international higher education experts and online learning experts, were launched synchronously. The Chinese version of the book was published by the Open University of China (OUC, aka China Central Radio and TV University, CCRTVU) Press in cooperation with DeTao Master Heritures.
It was translated by the six OUC teachers of Liu Zhanrong, Shi Yunzhi, Chang Fengyan, Han Yanhui, Li Xiaohe and Fan Rongrong and Chen Qing, a teacher from the Research Centre of Distance Education, School of Educational Technology, Beijing Normal University did the review.
A Guide to Quality in Post-Traditional Online Higher Education is developed with the investment of Academic Partnerships of the United States. It was edited by Professor Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic and Sir John Daniel, authoritative experts of international higher education and compiled by Neil Butcher and Sarah Hoosen. It is another excellent book that discusses the quality of informal online learning after A Guide to Quality in Online Learning.
In 2013, Academic Partnership published at the same time A Guide to Quality in Online Learning in Chinese and English versions, which was compiled by Neil Butcher and Merridy Wilson-Strydom and edited by Professor Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic and Sir John Daniel. A Guide to Quality in Online Learning focuses on formal online courses or programmes that can be certificated. In recent years, more and more different elements or post-traditional elements are emerging in higher education. They include new types of informal short-term certificate courses, new types of ways of certification, increasingly more ways to obtain intelligent resources and various flexible teaching and learning methods. However post-traditional higher education (PTHE) exhibits salient features of openness and flexibility, which complicates the quality guarantee, because, traditionally the ways of guaranteeing quality are especially designed for teaching and learning with stronger structural framework. In addition, against the major MOOC background environment of extensive media attention, many readers hope to keep a guide discussing the quality of informal online learning.
A Guide to Quality in Post-Traditional Online Higher Education is based on the environment of post-traditional higher education and cites relevant cases. By exploring and analyzing various new types of open forms, it aims to help individuals and institutions who adopt the post-traditional education approaches to understand the major issues they need to consider in guaranteeing quality. The guide book has provided a road map for the problems incurred in the concepts of open and post-traditional online higher education. Explanation is given about their meanings to evaluate their influence on institutions, and suggestions are also made about what the institutions can do to avoid the cost of quality while embracing still wider openness and stronger innovation.
The structure of “solutions to frequently asked questions” is taken as a simple way to elaborate the central points in A Guide to Quality in Post-Traditional Online Higher Education. The target readers are university decision-makers, teaching and academic personnel, government decision-makers, funding agencies and researchers.
On this occasion, Neil Butcher acted as one of the major writers once again and completed the writing of the guide with the help of Sarah Hoosen. Though both of them were born in Africa, they have a global view, know well the diversity of technological infrastructure throughout the world and are able to quote and prove fully cases of post-traditional education in different countries. They both stress that it is still too early to stipulate excellent practical models for the quality guarantee of new types of higher education because this domain is experiencing great changes. However, we hope that the guide book will be able to encourage individuals or institutions to commit themselves positively to the open cause, to make theoretical and practical explorations and to ensure that learners can benefit from these chances.
Both Chinese and English versions are available for readers free of charge. The Chinese version is published in the website of the OUC and others. Readers can also get access to them on the websites of the OUC (CCRTVU) Press and DeTao Master Heritures.
By Li Ruiqi, the OUC