The OUC’s technical infrastructure can be described as a “cloud-network-terminal” configuration. One of the key tasks in constructing a digitized university is the construction of a distance education cloud platform through collaborative innovation with related IT companies. The platform centers around application systems for learning and management, and seamlessly integrates teaching, learning, management, research and support services. Supported by the Internet, mobile communication and satellite network technologies, the platform features high speed network connections between the headquarters, branches, colleges and learning centers. It provides for optimized allocation, clustering and transmission of resources, and supports multi-terminal access and large-scale user access. Backed by its powerful technical infrastructure, the university is also developing mobile learning terminals that draw on the advantages of tablet PCs and cell phones. These terminals will feature the embedded application of cloud learning to distance education, creating a digital learning environment that makes learning accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Furthermore, to meet the practical demands of open and distance education, the university is constructing cloud classrooms, mobile digital libraries, online laboratories and the Research and Development Centre for the Integration and Application of Digital Learning Technologies of the Ministry of Education. These facilities will promote education digitization and continuously improve teaching quality, research capacity and service level.

2. The “six-network integration” teaching model
The OUC is developing a new “six-network integration” model that will develop learners’ skills and competencies more effectively and achieve the seamless and deep integration of technology and education. “Six-network integration” refers to the integration of online core courses, online learning space, online teaching team, online learning support, online learning assessment and online teaching management. 
Online core courses. Using the latest technological tools, core courses in each programme are developed as online courses for web-based learning, otherwise known as MOOCs of the OUC. The OUC’s overall goal is to construct online courses for all compulsory subjects of all available programmes by 2015. Meanwhile, the large-scale production of “OUC five-minute courses” will satisfy the public’s growing demand for lifelong learning and meet the diversified, personalized and fragmented learning needs of different learners.
Online learning space. This is a student-centric online learning space featuring a course “supermarket”, bulletin board, assignments, practice tests, virtual experiments, score lookup, and examination appointments. The space supports online, autonomous learning and self-service management and knowledge management for all registered active students.
Online teaching teams. The interregional, inter-department teaching teams are organized by courses and provide learners with online guidance, assistance and encouragement. Tutors also engage in online scientific research, management and other activities.
Online learning support. A pilot distance reception system has been launched in an effort to develop a comprehensive, personalized service system that includes consultation, inquiry, course choice guidance, interactive teaching and learning, tracking and reminder functions in support of the needs of online learners.
Online learning assessment. The one-time final examination system is being reformed in favor of a web-based formative assessment system and digital question bank. This new assessment model combines formative assessment and summative examination.
Online teaching management. This is a new, web-based model of management that incorporates the characteristics of online learning and the tasks of online teaching management into a “one-stop” system that manages the entire process from admission to graduation.

3. Quality standards and quality assurance
Quality is our lifeblood. The core objective in the construction of the OUC is to improve the quality of learner formation in open and distance education through continuous reform and development.
The OUC is guided by a pluralistic approach to quality. This includes learning from the experiences and practices of various types of domestic and international universities, and establishing OUC quality standards for learner formation in accordance with the characteristics, orientation and mission of the university as well as practical conditions such as the students’ learning motivation and capacity. The key components of the educational process are determined based on these quality standards to form a “process guarantee”. If the quality standards for each teaching process are met, the overall goal of ensuring the quality of learner formation will be attained.
One of the key issues in ensuring the quality of learner formation is how to reform the models and methods used to develop learners’ skills and competencies. These reforms involve adjusting the curriculum structure and development direction of each programme, and refreshing and reforming teaching content so that it delivers the most valuable knowledge to the learners. Also required is deeper collaboration with industries and enterprises, and development of a “dual certification” programme that grants both a diploma and a professional certification. The examination system must be reformed into a learning assessment system dominated by formative assessment and supplemented by summative assessment and external or employer evaluation. Evaluations of programmes and courses, and follow-up surveys for learners are also needed. Finally, publication of an annual quality report is being considered in order to involve the general public in supervising the educational work of the university.

4. A grand vision
We look forward to building the OUC as a massive, cloud-based university unique to China that serves the entire nation with a robust infrastructure, flexible mechanisms and orderly operations.
We are excited to build the OUC as a new kind of university that will become an indispensable part of China’s higher education system as it pursues a path of “staggered development” with traditional universities, with both sides fully exhibiting their respective advantages.
And we are deeply honored to build the OUC as a public service platform with equal emphasis on degree education and non-degree education, one that collects and transmits quality educational resources, and promotes equal access to education and lifelong learning for all.
The dream lies far ahead of us and the road ahead will not be easy. However, we are convinced that with hard work and perseverance, we will make the dream come true!