Recently, a delegation of seven persons from the Open University of China (OUC) visited Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Canada, Colorado State University Global Campus (CSU-Global Campus)and University of Maryland University College (UMUC)in the U.S. for scholarly exchange on topics such as credit transfer, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and online learning. The parties also discussed future collaboration and development plans.


Certificate-conferring ceremony after the completion of PLAR training

The OUC and TRU, currently working together to construct the OUC credit bank, met to discuss topics related to credit transfer, PLAR and credit banks. Both universities agreed to exchange visiting scholars, more actively publish academic exchange and research results, and push forward to the next phase of the OUC-TRU Joint Research Center's collaboration and development.

In recent years, the OUC and TRU have achieved fruitful results in PLAR research. In 2008, the two universities decided to conduct joint research on PLAR. In May 2008, PLAR experts from TRU attended a symposium on PLAR held by the OUC. In October 2009, the OUC organized the International PLAR Symposium in Beijing. In November 2010, the two universities established the "OUC-TRU Joint Research Center" and in November 2011, the Center held an international network seminar on the subject of learning outcome assessment and recognition.

The OUC and CSU-Global Campus, after in-depth discussion, reached the following cooperation intention: firstly, the two parties will conduct cooperative research on online learning, laying a basis for future cooperation of joint activities and programmes; secondly, CSU-Global Campus will offer OUC teaching and administrative staff a trial course; thirdly, the two parties will extend cooperation to areas including the development of course resources and curriculum, the management and supervision of the teaching process, the assessment of student learning outcomes, the Chinese language learning for foreign students and joint training of students.

UMUC presented its credit policy, how to reconcile the credit system with the academic year system, and experiences in implementing PLAR. UMUC noted that its PLAR implementation was based on standards from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a Chicago-based organization that researches and sets standards related to PLAR. The OUC and UMUC also discussed opportunities for collaboration in credit transfer, PLAR and related areas.

By Yin Shuangxu,the OUC