CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of experts from the United States, led by an Oregon State University professor, will represent a 60-member university consortium on a U.S. Department of Agriculture Science and Education exchange program to China this March.
The team was selected by the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC).
OSU's Dave King, department head for Extension and Experiment Station Communications, will lead the scientific and technical exchange team as they visit Beijing, Heibei and Yunnan March 16-31.
"China's rural areas are facing some of the same challenges as U.S. agriculture areas," said King. "There's a need for both to improve information access outside of urban centers."
The five-member team – made up of experts from the University of Maryland, University of Nebraska, University of Minnesota, and New Mexico State University – will meet with leaders from China's agricultural and educational sectors to explore collaborative ways to expand distance learning and digital library partnerships between the U.S. and China.
"China is rapidly growing as an international force in the creation of digital libraries for use in distance education," said Janet Poley, president of ADEC. "This exchange is an opportunity for both countries to learn more about improving approaches to Internet distance education in rural areas. We are hopeful it will develop into a longer collaborative relationship."
In 2006 several ADEC-member institutions in the U.S. hosted visits from Chinese distance learning experts from Heibei province, also organized by ADEC and the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. The U.S. team's visit is a follow-up opportunity to continue and expand the dialogue on collaborative opportunities.
Poley said King was asked to lead the scientific exchange team because of his extensive international experience in Mexico, Central America, Asia and Africa and his long-term involvement in the leadership of ADEC's programs promoting innovation in distance education.
Oregon State University has been a member of ADEC since it's inception in 1989. ADEC is a non-profit distance education consortium composed of 60 state universities and land-grant colleges that promote quality and innovation in distance education programs through the most appropriate information technologies available.