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Chinese digital media platforms to support Learning

The use of digital media to support learning in the UK is recognised as offering an important aspect of teaching and learning in HE with the growing use of learner forums, web based materials and social media in various forms. Indications are that this use of social media to create community and thereby support and enhance learning is little explored space in China, but one that is expected to grow through developments such as the ‘WeChat School’ (Wuhan College – founded by the founder of WeChat as the first not profit private university in China). This contrasts starkly with the current Chinese lifestyle where the use of mobile technology for everyday activities dominates and is highly sophisticated.

Warwick has led the UK wide research project ‘Standing Out and Fitting In’ focused on identifying the key challenges in enhancing the employability of UK educated Chinese students. One outcome of this project has been to create 2 pilot open source online learning modules which are designed to enhance the employability of UK educated Chinese students. The Prepare2GetAhead e-learning resource gives an introduction to career planning for students and provides a step-by-step approach to enable students to develop and create their own career plan. The resource aims to help students to make the most of their time at university and to explore options that interest them, as well as gain relevant skills and experiences. The Innovate2GetAhead e-learning resources provides students with an introduction to innovation skills and developing an innovative mind-set. It is aimed at all students, as the activities and case studies can be applied to students looking to go on and work for organisations; for students wishing to develop their own family business and for students looking to start or develop their own business. This resource includes an experimental use of Weibo social media link as a tool for online social learning.

This project aimed to extend the knowledge of innovative approaches to online learning for Chinese students by exploring a key aspect of social learning and the use of social media. Whilst most UK social media platforms are banned in China (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram), significant opportunities exist to engage with Chinese learners in a use of Chinese social media such as WeChat and Weibo. Please find the project report and a presentation to summarise the project. For further information please contact:

Chris Fenton, C.Fenton.2@warwick.ac.uk or Esther Perlaky, Esther.de-Perlaky@warwick.ac.uk

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