An analysis of the functions of online education in K-12

Zhang Jian, Wen Fu-an and Ge Zi-gang
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing, China

China's distance education system has begun to enter a new stage, with networks as its basis. At the same time, a growing number of K-12 online schools have been set up. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the functions and features of some of these schools through case studies and interviews. The analysis shows that all the schools in the survey still focus on traditional teaching materials such as textbooks, with their students often feeling bewildered and lacking the initiative to develop their own study patterns. Also, the online teaching systems employed in these schools are not interactive and cannot offer individualized services to students. Moreover, these systems are low in interest and fail to provide a good study environment. This paper outlines these problems and suggests possible solutions, in the hope that it may offer the online schools some useful insights when the multimedia network teaching system is being designed.