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The 8th OUC-KNOU-OUJ International Seminar Held at the OUC in Beijing

From 19th to 21st September, 2018, the 8th OUC-KNOU-OUJ International Seminar was held at headquarters of the Open University of China (OUC) in Beijing. This seminar has been held in turn by OUC, Korean National Open University (KNOU) and OUJ from 2009, and OUC hosted it this year.

The main theme of the seminar was “Online Teaching Development and Open University Innovation” and two delegates from each university totaling six speakers delivered lectures. OUJ President Shin Kisugi made a speech at the opening ceremony affirming the positive effect of this three-party seminar has brought about to us up until today.

Participants of the Seminar

In the first session, Professor Takiura made a speech titled “Potential of teaching a substantial writing component in a distance education university”. In the talk, he introduced his challenges on online lectures that Professor Takiura acts as the lead lecturer, where students can learn how to create sentences objectively, being provided with opportunities to submit writing assignments and receive feedbacks from writing tutors.

In the second session, Professor Kazuhiro Kato gave a speech under the title of “The role of simulation programs in online ecological study courses”. In his speech, he spoke about his challenges on how he developed the subjects including field survey which can hardly be replaced by online programs, by introducing the example of “Field exercise in ecology” that can partly substitute for field exercise using simulation programs. After their talks, many questions were thrown from other speakers and audiences.

All participants of the three-party seminar exchanged and shared information about online teaching and each university’s management concept, and also deepened mutual understanding, relationship and friendship.

With OUC President (Center) and KNOU President (Right)

2018 OUJ International Symposium (8 Sep. 2018)

OUJ held the international symposium at Tokyo Bunkyo Study Center. The theme of the symposium was “A New Era of OUJ: Challenges of Data/Evidence-based Education and Management” and about eighty participants including OUJ students, graduates and general citizens attended it.

In the first session, Dr. Abelardo Pardo delivered a lecture on the theme titled “From Data to Tangible Actions in Digital Education”. He introduced his challenges on the data based teaching and developed how institutions can extend the use of data to the areas such as personalised tutoring, promoting student engagement or curriculum structure. There arose lively questions from the audience after his talk.

In the second session, Dr. Li Kam Cheong had a speech on the theme titled “Innovation in Education: Disruption, Opportunities, and Challenges”. His speech discussed the opportunities and challenges ushered in by technology-mediated education, and examined how technologies have revolutionized learning modes, materials and space, followed by again lively questions from the participants.

In the final session, Vice President Masaya Iwanaga served as the moderator and held a discussion with the two keynote speakers. Several topics were discussed by throwing questions, for example, the importance to share students’ goal with tutors in order to adapt to diversified students, how to balance conservative education typified by face-to-face classes and innovative education, and how data analysis should be and how those analysis will be utilized in the future. Opinions and suggestions from the two speakers based on their rich experiences were very practical and informative for us. OUJ plans to continue holding international symposiums.

A Visit from Korean National Open University (KNOU)

On June 22nd, led by Prof. Lee Kyung Soo, nineteen students and graduates of KNOU visited the headquarters of OUJ. All of the visitors are the members of the Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Association, where Prof. Lee acts as a mentor. The association have been keeping a good relationship with Korean Language Association of OUJ Kanagawa Study Center for years.

After their arrival, the party received the guidance of the outline of OUJ, followed by the facility tour of the library, the master control room and the studio.

In the exchange meeting with OUJ faculty and staff, Vice President Iwanaga made the opening address and all the members of KNOU have introduced themselves in Japanese afterwards. The performance of a violin, a harmonica and a clarinet by the KNOU visitors and an OUJ student was also given to the audience.

Continuing on, Prof. Lee have made a presentation on the outline of KNOU, which was followed by the speech made by Ms. Nam Eun Hee on how hard she had pursued her study about Japanese language and culture at KNOU. She continued that at first she happened to start studying Japanese just as a hobby when turning sixty and now, she is still working hard to volunteer for Japanese people who wish to learn Korean using her Japanese skill.

At the exchange meeting, President Kisugi and Vice President Ikeda joined and had friendly conversations with KNOU members in a harmonious atmosphere.

On the following day, they visited OUJ Kanagawa Study Center and participated in exchange events and spent a fruitful time with OUJ students.

Hope this visit to OUJ was a good experience for them, and the friendly relationship between the two universities will continue in future.

Delegation from Federal University of Mato Grosso in Brazil

On April 6th 2018, the delegation consisting of five researchers of Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), accompanied with Prof. Onuki of Tokai University, visited OUJ for exchanging views on future collaborations between UFMT and OUJ.

UFMT is a federal university established in 1970 in Cuiabá, Brazil. It’s been developing the teacher training courses through distance education system domestically, and from 2009 to 2013, the university conducted the “Bachelor of Education Licensing Course for Brazilianes in Japan, jointly with Tokai University. Furthermore, an online course to learn multicultural education being open to three languages, Portuguese, English and Japanese, was launched from this April as a collaborative project of which Prof. Inamura and Prof. Nara of OUJ are the members.

In the morning, the introduction of OUJ was presented by Mr. Jin, Head of International Affairs Section, followed by information exchange between the two institutions, with various questions from the delegation with regard to OUJ’s learning system, students’ trend at OUJ like their occupations, age distribution and so forth.

Afterwards President Kisugi welcomed the delegation at luncheon meeting where the conversation was lively made around the table. The delegation then headed for the facility tour of Chiba Study Center, TV Studio and Master Control Room, showing great interest particularly to the equipment in the TV studio and sub control room and taking a lot of photos.

At the overall meeting, Prof. Anjos introduced UFMT to President Kisugi and Vice President Iwanaga and the possibilities on how the two institutions would be able to collaborate in the future were discussed.

Making this visit as a start, it is highly expected that the two universities would build friendship from now ahead.

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