Teaching introductory information technology through English in China: Innovative approaches to information technology education

Haifei Huang, Dave Towey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The United International College (UIC) is a new Liberal Arts college in Southern China, whose goals include creating an innovative international education model for China that can contribute to the welfare of the nation and the world. All non-Computer Science major students in UIC are required to take an introductory Information technology (IT) course. This paper identifies some of the special challenges facing the design and delivery of such a course in the Mainland Chinese context, especially in an English medium of instruction institution. It traces the evolution of the course as UIC itself evolved from a pilot launch in 2005 with about 300 students, to the current full capacity 4, 000 undergraduates. As the course content departed more and more from similarly titled courses in Mainland China, resistance from both faculty and students was met, resulting in some fundamental changes in the course vision and design. The high student: staff ratio for the course also required some innovative steps to ensure not only that the fundamental course material was being absorbed, but also that the experience of becoming IT-literate was, as much as possible, an enjoyable one. The changing (academic) profile of the UIC student has also required that the course management team adapt: most students in 2005 had a weaker academic background, spoke Cantonese, and often had difficulties with English proficiency; new students in more recent years have stronger academic credentials, come from many different parts of Mainland China (and speak Putonghua rather than Cantonese), and have a comparatively high English proficiency. This paper also explains some of the various IT and multimedia tools adopted to enhance the learning experience for students, and discusses some of the fundamental delivery structure decisions that have resulted in the current IT1010 course. Directions for the future of the course, and the teaching of computer literacy to non-Computer Science students in general, are also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICEIT 2010 - 2010 International Conference on Educational and Information Technology, Proceedings
PagesV229-V233
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 International Conference on Educational and Information Technology, ICEIT 2010 - Chongqing, China
Duration: 17 Sep 201019 Sep 2010

Publication series

NameICEIT 2010 - 2010 International Conference on Educational and Information Technology, Proceedings
Volume2

Conference

Conference2010 International Conference on Educational and Information Technology, ICEIT 2010
Country/TerritoryChina
CityChongqing
Period17/09/1019/09/10

Keywords

  • Information technology
  • Technology in education
  • Technology-enhanced instruction
  • Undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Education

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