News You Can Use

eLearn Magazine: A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning


New Issue of JALN released, featuring 2011 Best in Track Award Winners.


Creating an Institutional Culture that Embraces Accessibility and Supports Online Student Success  - By Kristen Betts, Director of Online and Blended Learning, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kristen Betts will be presenting “From Compliance to Culture: Building an Effective Infrastructure to Support Accessibility and Online Student Success” on October 11, 2012.


Online and On the Move - By Emily Boles, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Illinois, Springfield. Ray Schroeder will be presenting "Online and On the Move: Mobile Online Learning" on October 10, 2012.

Conference News

Today's Campus Highlights Sloan-C Annual Conference in Nov-Dec Issue

Missed the event? Purchase the full set of recordings now – 65+ sessions for just $119!

Download the Proceedings

View the pictures of the conference

Watch the keynote and plenary recordings:

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education
Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

Plenary Panel: Evolution or Revolution? What's Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Jeff Young (The Chronicle of Higher Education, US) - Panel Moderator
Jose Cruz (The Education Trust, US)
Alan Drimmer (University of Phoenix, US)
Jack Wilson (University of Massachusetts, US)

Plenary Address: Citizen Science - Authentic Participation in Research
Arfon Smith (Citizen Science-Adler Planetarium, US)

Press Release: October 9, 2012
Sonic Foundry Partners with the Sloan Consortium to Webcast International Conference on Online Learning

Best in Track Awards Winners Announced. Read the Press Release.

Call for Presentations for the 2013 conference will open in February 2013.

Check out last year's conference.


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Save the Dates

22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

The Virtual Dragon Awakes: Online Education At Southwest University in Chongqing, China

Todd Marshall (Spring Arbor University, US)
Session Information
October 11, 2012 - 4:30pm
Open, Global, Mobile
Session Type: 
Poster Session
Northern Hemisphere B/C/D
Session Duration: 
90 Minutes

This presentation explores online education in China through a case study of Southwest University in Chongqing, China and its developing partnership with Spring Arbor University.

Lead Presenter

Todd Marshall is Associate Professor of Communication and Dean of SAUonline at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan. He holds degrees in biblical studies (M.A./M.Div.), theology (Th.M), information science (M.S.L.I.S., M.Phil.), and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. He spent nine years in Ukraine serving as library director, IT director, executive director, academic dean, and professor at Ukraine at Kyiv Theological Seminary and REALIS. In Ukraine, he facilitated the online transition for the first U.S. accredited theology degree (ATS/Middle States) in the CIS and is known for his pioneering work in theological librarianship there. In 2006 he cofounded ServanTek, a nonprofit which consults on education, technology, and libraries in developing countries.


To many in the West, online education in China is still a mystery, like a virtual sleeping dragon. Over the past decade the sleeping dragon of online education has woken and it is growing rapidly. The initial government pilot of online education in 2000 began with 38 universities but has since grown to 68 universities which are working on a national level. This presentation will examine one case of this growing phenomenon, Southwest University (SWU) in Chongqing, China. In the past decade this face to face university has added more than 75,000 online students to its campus population of 55,000 students making it the leader in online education in China. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a case study of the history, models, and success of online education in China and share lessons which have global value and will familiarize the Sloan community with the current state of online education in China.

Online degree courses, distance learning, and adult education have been popular in China. Since 2000, there has been dramatic growth in both the number of students and universities who are taking advantage of this new educational medium. Online education is uniquely suitable to China due to the needs of rural populations, the provincial governance of education, and the enormous population growth of recent decades. Consequently, China has pioneered some unique approaches to online education which are specifically suited to its educational and cultural settings. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the history of online education in China and then illustrate Chinese innovation as demonstrated through a case study of Southwest University in Chongqing. This case reveals the model and ideology, resource allocation, quality control, teaching arrangements, pedagogical model, and standardization which have fostered this growth.