Asee peer logo

Lessons Learned from an Online Course Taught for Chinese Undergraduates

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Nontraditional Teaching Approaches

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Eugene Rutz University of Cincinnati

visit author page

Eugene Rutz is Academic Director in the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati. Responsibilities include oversight of eLearning initiatives, working with high schools on engineering coursework, and academic oversight of the Master of Engineering program. Eugene also teaches courses primarily helping engineering students to develop professional skills that complement their technical skills.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The College of Engineering & Applied Science at the ______ has a collaborative program with Chongqing University (CQU) wherein students at CQU get an undergraduate engineering degree both from CQU and ____. These students follow the curriculum of ___ and take half of their courses from CQU faculty and half their courses from ___ faculty. All courses are taught in English. Students from CQU spend their first three academic years at CQU and their last academic year at ____ . During the first three academic years, ___ typically sends faculty to CQU to teach the students. One course in the curriculum however, is normally taught at ___ in an online format; this course was also presented to CQU students in the same online format.

There are a variety of challenges to providing an online course to Chinese students beyond the typical challenges faced using this format. These students have limited data access so the amount of content they can get online is limited. The Chinese government prevents access to many web sites so some supporting material in the course may not be available to students. Cultural differences between US and Chinese students present a number of challenges, particularly as it relates to student – instructor relations, timeliness of communication, and expectations of interactions. In addition, online learning is generally viewed as far inferior to traditional teaching among Chinese academic institutions and students.

Course evaluations from CQU students and from traditional US undergraduates are presented. These evaluations include Likert scale responses to common questions and student comments on the efficacy of the course as well as their perception of course quality. Traditional US students have rated the course instructor and the course itself very highly; Chinese students give significantly lower scores in the same evaluation instrument.

The paper describes details of the course, implementation over two semesters as it was taught to CQU students, lessons learned in presenting an online course to Chinese undergraduate students, student evaluation comparison of Chinese students compared to US students and opportunities for improvement. Keywords: online, cultural issues, lessons learned

Rutz, E. (2017, June), Lessons Learned from an Online Course Taught for Chinese Undergraduates Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28619

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015