National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning (NERCEL) is based on andsupported by Central China Normal University (CCNU). In 2009, it was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST), in 2013 it passed the acceptance of the MOST with distinction and became China’s only national-level research base in the field of educational informatization.
Oriented by the original technological and integrated innovations, NERCEL is to serve theinformatizationand modernization of China's education system, to promote the standardization of educational information technology and products,and to enhance the technological innovationcapability, scientific research achievements as well asindustrialization transformationlevelin the field of educational informatization.
The main research fields of NERCEL are, learning mechanism under the information environment, educational technology environment, big data analysis and application in education, educational intelligent agent, and special education assisted by information technology.
There are more than 70full-time teaching and research personnel inNERCEL, including 39 senior professional titles. Among the academic team, there are 2Academicians, 1 national awardeeof“New Century one-hundred-million-talent Project”, 1special expertfor “Thousand Talents Program”, 1awardee of“Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University”, 5awardeesof “ChuTian Scholars Program” (a province-level talent program), and 1awardeesof “New Century High-Level Talents Project in Hubei Province”.
NERCELhas been committed tothe training of high-level talents in the field of educational informatization. There are 3 doctoral programs in educational information technology, educational technology, management science and engineering, and 6 master’s programs in educational technology, computer application technology, communication and information systems, management science and engineering, educational information technology, and modern educational technology.It establishesa post-doctoral research station based on NERCEL’s industrialization base.
Due tothe research foundation and outstanding contributionsin the field of digital learning, a number of innovative research bases/labs rely on the construction of NERCELto form aresearch basegroup with a certain scale and influence, like, the “Educational Informatization Strategic Research Base of the Ministry of Education(Central China)”, the“Educational Digital Media and Visualization” Discipline Innovation Introduction Base(of State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs P. R. China), the“Future Classroom Equipment” Research Center for Basic Education (of the Ministry of Education), and the “Educational Informatization Collaborative Innovation Center”. In recent years, NERCEL hasundertakenand completed more than 100 provincial/ministerial-level or above research projects, has received more than 170 million yuan research funding, and has earned many scientific and technological achievements with independent intellectual property rights, such as cloud-terminal integrated classroom teaching environment, education cloud resource service platform, and intelligence-assisted learning technology,etc. Additionally, NERCEL has won a number of awards, including for example 1 Second PrizeofNationalTeachingAchievements, 2 First Prizes and 1 Second Prize ofScientific and Technological Progress Award in Hubei Province, and one First prize ofHubei Province teaching achievements. Furthermore, it was authorized 63 national patents (43 invention patents included), obtained 248 software copyrights, published 62 academic books and more than 500 papers (over 70 papers are cited by SCI/SSCI), formulated 8 strategic plans and submitted 23 standards.
On January 23rdof 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission officially approved the establishment of National Engineering Laboratory for Educational Big Data (NELEBD), with CCNU being as a lead unit. So far,China's first national engineering laboratory for education industry, specializing in education big data research and application innovation officially settled in CCNU, achieving zero breakthrough in National Engineering Laboratory.NELEBD extends the research fields of NERCEL, realizes the full chain coverageof the research platform and research directionin the field of education informatization, and further highlights and maintainsthe leading position of NERCEL in the field of education informationization. NELEBD will focus on educational big data applied technology research and technical engineering experiments, mainly involving the integration of data technology, data science and education. NELEBD’s mission is to become the domestic leading and international first-class platform for educational big data theory research, engineering experiment, education management service, and specialized talents training. NELEBD plays a key role in improving the quality of education in China,promoting education equity and the ability to educate and manage, and assisting the comprehensive realization of China's education modernization.
Adhering to the development concept of “Education, Technology, Innovation and Future”, NERCEL has successively established four industrialization bases, such asWuhan Huada National Digital Learning Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. By means of the deep integration of education and technology,with the aim of serving China's education informationization and modernization,NERCELwill carry out digital education product(including itspilot, engineering, industrialization and promotion and application), build advancedsmartclassrooms,traindigital teachers, and lead future education.