On November 24, 2011, the Annual Conference of the Open University of China (OUC) and Canadian Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Joint Research Center and International Seminar of Learning Outcome Assessment and Recognition opened via video conferencing with the OUC's two-way video conferencing room serving as the main venue. The primary purpose of the conference was to summarize this year's research work by the Joint Research Center and hold a discussion on the theme "Assessment and Recognition of Learning Outcome".
Recognition of learning outcome is a specific strategy that
turns the concept of lifelong learning into objectives and then into actions. The theme of the discussion focused on the assessment and recognition of learning outcome. This includes transfering results from non-formal and informal learning into formal learning credits that are commonly recognized, and allowing students to earn relevant credentials through the accumulation of such credits. It also includes credit transfer between schools.
The Joint Research Center has initially set up a "learning outcome toolkit", including document management, assessment criteria, methods of assessment and recognition, training packages, etc. The methods of assessment and recognition differ based on the type of learning: formal vs. non-formal and informal. Methods of assessing and recognizing the outcome of formal learning include credit equivalent substitution, mutual recognition of courses and differential credit transfer, while the methods for non-formal and informal learning include examination, certificate recognition, resume, face-to-face interview, assignment, etc. The toolkit has the characteristics of openness, convenience and ease of communication.
Zhang Shaogang, Deputy Secretary of Party Committee of the OUC, pointed out that the toolkit solved the problems of credit origin and the transfer of lifelong learning outcomes. The OUC Credit Recognition Center recognizes the above-mentioned learning outcomes, which will lay the foundation for the construction of an OUC credit bank and play an essential role in establishing a learning society for all.
Organizations participating in this year's conference: Thompson Rivers University (Canada), Beijing Normal University, the Open University of China and certain provincial Radio and TV Universities in China. Li Linshu, vice president of the OUC and director of the OUC Credit Recognition Center attended and spoke at the conference. Reporters from media outlets including China Education Daily and Guangming Daily also attended the meeting.
On November 15, 2010, the OUC and TRU established the OUC-TRU Joint Research Center, which is dedicated to international cooperative research on distance and lifelong learning.
(Wang Ying, Yin Shuang, the OUC)