J. Service Science & Management, 2010, 3: 173-179
doi:10.4236/jssm.2010.31022 Published Online March 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jssm)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Construction of National High-Quality Courses
for LIS in China
Changping Hu, Xueqin Zhao
School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Email: zxqwhu@yahoo.com.cn
Received November 11th, 2009; revised December 26th, 2009; accepted January 28th, 2010.
The paper first introduces the background of Martin Trow’s theory of how to develop mass higher education and then
brings up the necessity of Chinese course teaching reform. It introduces the current situation of the construction of the
National High-quality Courses (NHCs) in China. And taking the practice of Wuhan University’s library and informa-
tion science (LIS) course teaching as an example, the paper also discusses the implementation of this project, focusing
on two aspects: a new system of LIS course teaching and network platform construction. The paper concludes by rec-
ommending that, for successful LIS NHCs, it is necessary to transform our educational ideology, strengthen our inno-
vation, and set up a more beneficial teaching environment for innovation cultivation.
Keywords: Mass Higher Educatio n, Course Teaching, National High-Quality Courses, Creative Capability
1. Introduction
Based on his research on the development of higher
education in America, the well-known American educa-
tional sociologist Martin Trow argued that: higher educa-
tion systems that enrolled up to 15 percent of the col-
lege-age population were best described as elite systems;
systems that enrolled between 15 and 40 percent of the
age group were mass systems; and those that enrolled
more than 40 percent were universal systems [1]. This
theory has drawn widespread attention all over th e world,
and many countries have attempted accelerating the de-
velopment of higher education and stepping into the
mass phase as soon as possible.
Alongside educational change run concern with and
the study of innovation . Rogers (199 5) has no ted that “no
other field of behavior science research represents more
effort by more scholars in more disciplines in more na-
tions” [2]. In an article discussing the work of UNESCO
in supporting the development of library schools, Keresz-
tesi (1982) was especially concerned with the prevalence
of Western influence on the LIS curriculum [3]. An arti-
cle by Ballard (1980), a prof essor at North Carolina Cen-
tral University School of Library Science, felt that a core
curriculum for library science should be developed and
adopted by developing countries which would include
courses that respond to the particular conditions of these
low-income countries and not be carbon copies of curric-
ula of developed countries [4].
By 2007, when the gross enrollment ratio reached
23%, Chinese higher education stepped into mass edu-
cation phase [5]. As a country whose development was
relatively late and was impelled by external factors,
China is exploring its own way of developing higher
education. Thus we don’t necessarily have to judge the
massification course of Chinese higher education strict-
ly according to the traditional criterion (15%). Although
many aspects of Chinese higher education (e.g. gross
enrollment ratio, educational modal diversity, admission
and management, curriculum organization, etc.) have
shown some characteristics of massification, its devel-
opment follows a radical path and lacks sufficient re-
source preparation, which makes course construction, can
not meet the mass higher education standard badly.
In recent years, the Ministry of Education has succes-
sively constructed the NHCs from 2003 to 2010 in the
whole country to implement the high er education quality
2. Review of NHCs Construction in China
The development of National High-quality Courses
Construction is using following formats: unprompted
school construction, autonomous regions and munici-
palities recommendation, the Ministry of Education
evaluation, honorary title conferring, and finally con-
struction fees assistance. Since China’s reform and
open, especially in recent years, state and municipal
Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
education bureaus and the colleges are increasing funds
for the investments of High-quality Courses Construc-
tion. Since 2003, the Ministry of Education is actualiz-
ing “Higher education teaching quality and teaching
reform project” and improving the performance of these
several aspects: teaching contents reform and moderniza-
tion, management system of high-quality course, and
courses system reorganization. These successions of mea-
sures have enhanced the teaching quality and research
level and created new opportunities of educating high-
ability students who have innovation spirit and practice
ability [6].
By the end of December 2009, among 6,469 courses
at 959 colleges and universities (distributed over 31
provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities di-
rectly under the State Council) which are required to
undergo evaluation. Of those, 2212 were certified as
NHCs at 819 colleges and universities. With the 4.43-
billion-Yuan investment (2.21 billionfrom colleges and
universities, 1.11 billion from governments at various
levels and 1.11 billion from colleges and universities
levels), these qualified NHCs should consolidate their
achievements after evaluation, continue strengthening
their construction, deepen the course teaching reform
and further enhance their teaching level and working
capability (Table 1).
NHCs is not only a significant criterion to evalu ate the
teaching level but also an important aspect reflecting the
overall strength of colleges and universities. Therefore,
Wuhan University has paid high attention to and con-
ducted unified planning for the construction and realiza-
tion of its NHCs. In addition to the construction of basic
course system already accomplished over the years, Wu-
han University is determined to quicken its NHCs con-
struction and make some of them meet the requirements
of the provincial standard, with some qualified under
national standards. A batch of college-level demonstra-
tion courses are to be established and an course teaching
demonstration system at the national, provincial and col-
lege levels is to be progressively formed. To accomplish
these assignments, we should modernize our ideas, deepen
our understanding, and improve the course teaching
Table 1. NHCs from 2003–2009 in China [713]
Year Courses applied Courses gained
2003 467 127
2004 720 249
2005 940 258
2006 980 358
2007 1102 411
2008 1172 400
2009 1195 409
contents and methods, and found new systems. Further-
more, we should pay attention to staff building and es-
tablish an effective management and operating system.
3. Constructions of NHCs for LIS
Along with the rapid development of digitalization and
network technology, information resources are being
digitalized continuously and transmitted to all corners of
the world through the Internet. Consequently a global-
ized and highly effective information transmission sys-
tem is taking shape and changing the pattern which peo-
ple follow in producing, transmitting and applying in-
formation. All these have brought unprecedented chal-
lenges as well as developing opportunities to LIS educa-
tion. As LIS is a multi-disciplinary intersection, its pro-
fessional knowledge and skills are widely recommended
in this digitalized network era and the innovational re-
form of LIS education has become a significant subject
energetically probed all over the world. Like any other
disciplines of higher education, the essential aim of LIS
education is to cultivate high-quality synthetic talents.
Therefore the whole of LIS teaching should be brought
into the scope of course teaching, level upon level and
step by step, so that the teaching service system can be
reformed in the end.
3.1 Methods to Found NHCs for LIS in Wuhan
The School of Information Management (SIM) of Wuhan
University is an institution for information management
education and research which h as the longest history and
the grandest scale in China. It grew out of the college of
library science (established by the American scholar
Mary E. Wood in 1920) of Boone University in Wuchang
and then was developed as Boone Library School in 1929.
In 1953, Boone Library School was merged into Wuhan
University and renamed as the department of library sci-
ence (for college students). The department for under-
graduates was then established in 1956. After being ap-
proved by the Ministry of Education, the School of Li-
brary and Information Science came into being in 1984,
and then it was renamed as SIM in 2001 [14].
The school have library science, information manage-
ment and information systems (whose precursor was the
scientific and technological information specialty which
had not been founded before 1978 in China), archivi-
stics science (professors were recruited in 1934 and in
1940, when the archivistics specialty was founded, but it
ceased in 1947 and rebuilt in 1984) and electronic com-
merce (founded in 2001).
Form 2003–2009, there are 21 NHCS in LIS subject which
belong to 16 high colleges and universities (see Table 2).
Wuhan University has 6 courses that received the honor,
which is the firs t place in Chinese Colleagues of LIS subject.
Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Table 2. NHCs of LIS subject (2003–2009)
Subject NHCs Colleges
Introduction to Bibliography Wuhan University
Foundations of Information Management Wuhan University
Electronic File Management Wuhan University
Information Service and User Study Wuhan University
Information Metrology Wuhan University
Information Re so u rce Construction Wuhan University
Introduction to Library Science Peking University
Introduction to Archival Scienc e Renmin University of China
Information Management Science Hefei University of Technology
Computer Network National university of Defense Technology
Database system and Application Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics
Management Information System Xiamen University of Technology
Information Systems Analysis an d D es ig n Liaoning University
Introduction to Decision Support System Donghua University
Management Information Systems Analysis and Design Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Documentations Heilongjiang University
Information Retrieval and Utilization Shandong University of Technology
Information Re so u rce Sharing Sun Yat-sen University
Science of Archives Management Guangxi University for N ationalities
Archival Science Shanghai University
Document Retrieval Central South University
3.2 Course Teaching Reform Based on Core
Course Integration
The core courses of Library science, Archives science
and Information management science will be integrated
with the development trend of the subject integration. In
our school, we reform in 5 NHCs which named as Intro-
duction to Bibliography, Foundations of Information
Management, Electronic File Management, Information
Service and User Stud y, Information Resource Con struc-
tion and Information Metrology in order to realize the
core course reform of LIS. In the open environment, we
try to construct the new teaching system of core course
that can adapt to the new requirements. The teaching
reform has laid equal stress on both classical and modern,
essential and frontier theories. It has been updated
closely by following the disciplin e’s development to cre-
ate a bigger space and to get a raise in synthesis, design,
and research so that course teaching, scientific research,
projects and social application practice can be closely
integrated, furthering reciprocity and establishing a
skillful, personalized, diversified and modernized course
teaching system.
The course reform should also fully be brought into
playing the supporting role of the two national key disci-
plines of library science and information science as well
as the following organizations: the research center of
information resources; the cultivation center for senior
publication talents of the Press and Publication Admini-
stration unit; the senior research center of intellectual
property rights; the research center for science evaluation
in China; the Chinese e-commerce research and devel-
opment center; the Institute of Library and Information
Science; the Institute of Publication, the Institute of
Digital Libraries; the Institute of Study on Complete
Collection in Four Treasuries; and the Institute of Elec-
tronic Document and Go vernment In formatio n. Scientific
research methods and achievements and scientific think-
ing patterns should be organically integrated into ex-
perimental teaching, and parts of the social science,
Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
natural science, base and horizontal projects (between
2005 and 2009) undertaken by tutors have been divided
into smaller research subjects (see Table 3) for students
to choose freely. From 2005 to 2009, teachers of SIM
have altogether implemented 120 social science, natural
science, base and horizontal projects, with the project
funds of 12,600,000 Yuan. The laboratory is open to all
the students and accepts some of them to participate in
the research, which offers beneficial support for them to
independently accomplish their spare-time scientific re-
search. The close integration of class teaching, scientific
research and experimental teaching has greatly promoted
the experimental teaching reform and the implementation
of innovative education and improved the quality of
composite talent cultivation. Meanwhile, the teachers
have undertaken the teaching reform projects by Hubei
Province and Wuhan University, which promote the de-
velopment of teaching reform for LIS (see Table 4).
Table 3. Projects and subprojects undertaken by tutors (2005–2009)
Projects Classification Tutors Sub-projects Students
Research of Experimental Teaching Sys-
tems on LIS Shuguang
Research of Basic Experimental
Teaching on LIS WuHan University
teaching reform projectsXiangxing
Shen Resear c h o n E xp e rimental Teaching
Web-Platform of LIS Ji Liu
Research of Tourism Informa tion Se rvices
based on Mobile Internet Han
Construction of Information
Service Systems and Security
Systems for a Country based on
The Key National Funds
of Social Sciences Changping
Hu Optimization for IT Project Management Yan Tang
Research of Value Chain and Payoff Model
in M-Commerce Rong Sun
Research of Knowledge
Information Service Systems for
a Country based on Innovation
The Key project for
Philesophy and Social
Science of Ministry of
Hu Research of Current Touri sm Networking
Situation and its Prospect in Our Country Jingyun
Research of Regional Tourism Information
Resources Development based on W e b2 .0 Lei Wang
Research of User-oriented
Information Integration and
The National Funds of
Natural Sciences Changping
Hu Marketing Program Design based on Mo-
bile Platform Lin Chen
Research of Digital Information
Resource Plan, Management
and Usage
The Key project for
Philosophy and Social
Science of Ministry of
Ma Information Economic Analyse on Pricing
Strategy in E-commerce Jingzhi
Promotive Government
Strategies for Public Access to
Information Reso urce
The National Funds of
Natural Sciences Xincai
Wang Applied Research on E-governme nt Con-
struction combined with WEB2.0 Qiang
Research on Barrier of the Users for Li-
brary Accession Woruo
Zhao Empirical Research of
Libraries’ Approaches to
The National Funds of
Social Sciences Chuanfu
Chen Research of Development Model for
Community Libraries in a Harmonious
Society Ying Yu
Research of National Strategies
for Chinese Culture Dig i t a l
Resources Preservation
The National Funds of
Natural Sciences Jiazhen
Liu Study on the Publicity and Secrecy for
Archives Information Kui Ye
Research of Information
Resource Development and its
Technology Implements in
The Key project of
Sciences of Chief
Research Center
Ministry of Education
Wang Evaluation and Analysis for Chinese Gov-
ernment Websites Services Yuyu
Research of Information
Resources Configuatio n Theory
and Model
The Key project of
Sciences of Chief
Research Center
Ministry of Education
Cha Study on Information Organization for
Network Products Based on Ontology Xuan
Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Table 4. Teaching reform projects undertaken by tutors (2005–2009)
Projects Classification Tutors Fund
Construction and Realization of o pening
teaching system for Information Management
Wuhan University teaching reform
projects Changping
Hu 10,000 2007–2009
Research of Whole Process Teaching Reform
for Inform ati on Management discipline Projects for teaching reform of
Hubei Province Changping
Hu 30,000 2008–2010
Construction and Research of Basic
Experimental Teaching for LIS Projects for teaching reform of
Hubei Province Xiangxing
Shen 30,000 2005–2007
Development and Research for web class of
document information service Projects for teaching reform of
Hubei Province Lin Yuan 30,000 2002–2005
Research of Structure Adjustme nt for
Specialty Archival Science Wuhan University teaching reform
projects Jiazhen Liu 10,000 2002–2006
Research and Design of multimedia courseware
for Library Science basic class Wuhan University teaching reform
projects Chuanfu
Chen 10,000 2004–2008
Research and Practice of innovation for tea c hi n g
management mode in school of information
Wuhan University teaching reform
projects Xincai
Wang 10,000 2006–2007
Employability Training and Class System
Construction for students in information
Projects for teaching reform of
Hubei Province Yikun Xia 30,000 2006–2007
Construction and Development for Ar chiv al
Science based on first key discipline Projects for teaching reform of
Hubei Province Hai Yan 30,000 2007–2008
Such a system has step-by-step guided students to
form scientific thinking patterns and understand the es-
sential contents of information obtainment, organization,
transmission and application. It also has enlightened stu-
dents’ innovation awareness, discovered students’ poten-
tial for self-innovation, and stimulated students’ interest
in participating in class teaching and scientific research.
As a result, students positively carry out spare-time sci-
entific research and science and technology practica dur-
ing their summer vacation, which has greatly expanded
the space of class teaching. Between 2005 and 2009,
students published nearly 150 academic papers during
their schooling.
3.3 Construction of Information Web Site for NHCs
The School has established an LIS gigabyte network
center to connect all the teaching and scientific research
organizations and teaching laboratories together. A wire-
less network covers the whole LIS building. In addition
to the teaching management, the courses website con-
structions mainly apply to assist with class teaching.
Students can accomplish selecting courses online and
consulting abundant online teaching information, such as
syllabi, courseware and course scores through the web-
site. It can facilitate students’ preview and review and
can also supply a communication platform between
teachers and students (see Table 5).
The use of web information technology can support
the teaching of “equal opportunities for interaction”, so
that more democratic classroom, learners can participate
in the teaching content to the formulation and evaluation.
Began in March 2007, “Information Services and User
Study “course conducted a curriculum network to sup-
port teaching, research and practice, has achieved an
full-assisted online teaching, students and teachers to
achieve the open web-based interaction. Course website
collection class teaching, extra-courser research and so-
cial practice in one of the open and interactive, empha-
sizing teacher-student interaction, students and student
exchanges between the units of interaction and practice,
the main body of the students as a teaching and attach
importance to the participation of students in teaching
effect. Such as class discussion site set up the module,
students who log on the forum will issue a timely reflec-
tion, teachers can answer questions to achieve the inter-
action with the students [15].
4. Conclusions
Founding the NHCs for LIS is a systematic project rather
than merely a kind of conditional construction. Firstly,
Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Table 5. Web site resources of LIS NHCs
Columns Introductions to each column
Teacher A brief introduction to the course teachers.
Brief introduction A brief introduction to the course Credit.
Teaching syllabi Syllabi for the courses.
Textbook Textbooks for the courses.
teaching Power Point of all the courses teachers.
Research Project Projects that undertaken by teachers.
Academic Result Teachers teaching papers published statis-
tical tables.
Students’ papers Papers that students published after the
Practices out of
A brief introduction to the practices out of
class. Relative practice results and excel-
lent. Practice reports are also available
Teaching news News for course teaching.
Examinations and
tests General methods of tests for tests courses.
Teaching video Teaching video for the cou r se .
List bibliographies of all the excellence
courses and links of some relative websites
for learning. Provi d e c ommonly-
used software downloads for students.
Teaching blog Provide students a platform to discuss
together and thus promote their enthusiasm
for study.
we have the obligation of transforming our modes of
thinking, further deepen course teaching reform, and
promote the transition of education towards the qual-
ity-oriented type so as to create a more beneficial course
teaching environment for cultivating innovation ability.
Second, besides the hardware construction, we should
pay more attention to the software to strive to construct
the course teaching center as a high-level course teaching
base with real and demonstrative functions, cultivate
innovative cross-century talents and make a contribution
to the improvement of LIS higher education quality.
The American education system lays more emphasis
on freedom, dialectical thinking, and student-centered
pedagogy, while China’s education system lays more
stress on well-knit, highly disciplined, and top-down
pedagogy. Since these two kinds of systems can’t com-
pletely be mixed together, what we could do is to pro-
foundly understand the American education system and
enhance our course teaching reform to improve LIS
higher education quality an d thus cultivate more creative
talents for China.
5. Acknowledgment
The paper is the research result of the projects for teach-
ing reform of Hubei Province “Research of Whole Proc-
ess Teaching Reform for Information Management disci-
pline” (No. 2008004).
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Construction of National High-Quality Courses for LIS in China
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