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Summer Courses as a Platform for International Collaboration in Chinese Higher Education: An Exploration of Students’ Learning Experiences

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Conference

2015 ASEE International Forum

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 14, 2015

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks - Session II

Tagged Topic

International Forum

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

19.33.1 - 19.33.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17156

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

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Qunqun Liu Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Qunqun Liu is a graduate student at the Graduate School of Education in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She obtained a B.S. in public administration from China Agricultural University. Her current interest focuses on the cognitive development of engineering graduate and undergraduate students, the assessment of teaching and learning in graduate education.

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Jiabin Zhu Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Jiabin Zhu is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her primary research interests relate to the assessment of teaching and learning in engineering, cognitive development of graduate and undergraduate students, and global engineering. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University in 2013.

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Hu Yu Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Yu Hu is a graduate student at the Graduate School of Education in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She obtained a B.S. in biotechnology from Hebei Normal University. Her current interest focuses on the cognitive development of engineering graduate and undergraduate students, the assessment of teaching and learning in graduate education.

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BO YANG Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Bo Yang is an Assistant Researcher at the Graduate School of Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her primary research interest is in cognitive development of graduate and undergraduate students and in paticular how this influences their academic and career success.She obtained her Msc in Management from the University of Edinburgh in 2012.

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Chen Bing Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Mr. Bing Chen is an assistant research fellow at the Graduate School, and a S.J.D. candidate of the Leo KoGuan law school of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His research interests include law education, graduate education and Chinese higher education reform.

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Abstract

Summer Courses as a Platform for International Collaboration in Chinese Higher Education: An Exploration of Students’ Learning ExperiencesGlobalization demands engineering talents to live up to the challenges from industryupgrading and development (Jesiek, Borrego & Beddoes, 2010; Gereffi et al., 2008).Countries like United States and Germany have already taken concrete steps torestructure their engineering education systems in order to stay competitive in theglobal talent pool.China, as the largest producer of engineering graduates in the world, has beenencountering many challenges in the field of engineering education and undergoing aseries of engineering education reforms. One of the major problems lies in theoversupply of unqualified engineers and the undersupply of high-quality engineers(Gereffi et al, 2008). Considering the challenges facing Chinese engineeringeducation, the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE) carried out the “Education andTraining Programs of Excellent Engineers” (ETPEE) in 2010. The main objective isto produce a large number of innovative engineering talents with globalcompetitiveness so as to better meet the demand of transformation from labor-intensive economy to knowledge-intensive economy (Lin, 2012).In response to the ETPEE policy, many leading Universities in China have activelycarried out reforms in engineering education. Against this context, summer courseshave attracted increasing attention in China and emerged as a platform for educationalinnovation, in particular international educational collaboration, due to the flexibilityin time and the diversity in the organization and implementation of summer courses(Hong, Xuan & Zhang, 2010; Song & Lu, 2008).This study highlights four different engineering summer courses in a research-intensiveChinese university. To promote teaching and learning, all four courses have all invitedrenowned scholars from outside of the university to conduct the teaching. Here, in thisreport, we will first provide a background of the organization and implementation ofthese summer courses. Moreover, by assessing student engagement in the classroomand the instructors’ creation of a supportive learning environment, we aim to explorethe opportunities and challenges that are related to the international collaborationrelated to summer courses.A mixed-method study was conducted to understand students’ learning experiences inthese courses. Specifically, a questionnaire adapted from the National Survey of StudentEngagement instrument (NSSE website, 2014) was used to examine students’ level ofengagement. A survey designed in the context of the How-people-learn framework(Bransford, Brown and Cocking, 1999; xx, 2013) was used to assess different aspectsof the learning environment. Moreover, follow-up interviews were conducted to explorestudents’ learning experiences in these courses.Preliminary quantitative results implied active student engagement among thesecourses. Moreover, the learning environments in these engineering courses reflectedseveral dimensions of the HPL framework, such as the knowledge-centeredness and thecommunity-centeredness. However, instructors received lower scores in theassessment-centeredness items than items in other dimensions. Follow-up interviewsreflected multiple challenges and opportunities in students learning. These findingsprovide useful information as to the design and the further improvement of internationalcollaboration in these engineering courses in China. Suggestions are proposed for thesetypes of summer courses in particular related with the participation of invited facultymembers in the teaching process.ReferencesBrandsford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (1999). How people learn: Brain,mind, experience, and school. Washinton, DC: National Academy Press.Gereffi, G., Wadhwa, V., Rissing, B. & Ong, R. (2008) Getting the numbers right: internationalengineering education in the United States, China, and India, Journal of Engineering Education,97, 13-25.Jesiek, B.K., Borrego, M., & Beddoes, K. (2010). Advancing global capacity for engineeringeducation research (AGCEER): Relating research to practice, policy, and industry. Journal ofEngineering Education, 99(2), 107-119.Hong, D., Xuan, T., & Zhang, W. (2010). Enhance the internationalization of teaching &learning through summer schools: A case of Renmin University of China (in Chinese). ChinaUniversity Teaching, (2), 73-74.Lin, J. (2012). Outstanding engineers' training for the world. Research in Higher Education ofEngineering, (2), 1-15. Engineering Education, 97(2), 213-222.NSSE website, Retrieved on Jan 29, 2015, fromhttp://nsse.iub.edu/html/survey_instruments.cfmSong, X., & Lu, X. (2008). A Comparison of Practices in Summer Schools between Chineseand American Universities (in Chinese). Higher Education of Sciences, (5), 29-34.xx, 2013, Removed for blind review

Liu, Q., & Zhu, J., & Yu, H., & YANG, B., & Bing, C. (2015, June), Summer Courses as a Platform for International Collaboration in Chinese Higher Education: An Exploration of Students’ Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/17156

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