For the past few years, I had always wondered if I could survive in China with the level of Chinese I had learned and grown up with. Working abroad in Beijing was an excellent opportunity to test it out. Mandarin was the primary workplace language, and outside of work, I was also able to test out my fluency as I lived, ate, and traveled in China. I worked primarily at Tsinghua University but also had the chance to visit production headquarters in Suzhou and travel to Hangzhou as well.
At work, I researched how to apply a MOOC platform towards professional training for China's high-speed rail industry. I gave presentations in Mandarin to the Easyway team about American MOOC platforms (Coursera, Udacity, edX, etc) and the advantages of different methods of video production. During Easyway's transition to the TopU platform, I designed front-end icons and banners and conducted market research on various learning management systems (Sakai, moodle, dokeos).
With the potential to reach over 3 million (and growing) high-speed technicians in China, I believe what I worked on will be the first step in using online education for vocational training in other industries as well.
I also kept a photoblog!