On November 8, 2012, the Fifth Forum for Distance Education Teachers in China was held in Changsha, Hunan, with the theme of  “Building a New Learning Pattern: The

Role of Teachers”. Co-hosted by Distance Education in China and Hunan RTVU, the forum aims to encourage distance teachers to analyze teaching practices from an academic point of view and invited opinions on the role of teachers in light of the construction of a new learning pattern. 

12 teachers from Hunan RTVU and Yueyang Branch School, Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture Branch School and Changde Branch School gave keynote speeches centering on the major problems encountered during the construction of a new learning model and the changing roles and functions of teachers within this model. The speeches were based on the practical experience the 12 teachers have gained through processes such as online teaching, face-to-face teaching, practical teaching, case study-based teaching, tutoring, group learning and mobile learning.

Academic luminaries including Professor Huang Ronghuai, vice dean of the Faculty of Education and doctoral supervisor at Beijing Normal University, Professor Zhang Shaoxiong, director of the Academy of Education Studies of Central South University and standing associate editor-in-chief of Modern University Education, and Associate Professor Jiang Guozhen, vice dean of the OUC Experimental School gave valuable comments at the event. The experts spoke highly of the forum, which they believe will help to improve the professional skills, theoretical background and practical abilities of teachers.

Yan Bing, vice president of OUC and chief editor of Distance Education in China outlined three points in the end: 1. Education researches should especially focus on researches concerning learning and learners, which are in consistent with educational reform and development. Open and distance education and open universities should be in accordance with this tendency; 2. Construction of a new learning pattern should be the focus of personnel-training mode innovation in the area of open and distance education; 3. Distance teachers should develop their own academic characteristics and further thoughts should be given on teaching contents, methods, evaluation and criteria.

Forum for Distance Education Teachers in China:
Distance Education in China first organized the forum in November 2010. The purpose of the forum is to build an academic platform for teachers to share their views on distance education and help position “teaching scholarship” as the focus of research.

By Yu Minsheng