The Rise of Mass-scale Digital Education: Sino-Swiss Perspectives

In this webinar speakers will introduce us to the future of education – a future increasingly shifting from offline to online.

Event Details


March 12, 2020, 16:00 - 17:00 China Time (GMT+8)


Free, RSVP required

As the digital economy is reshaping our reality what used to be offline increasingly shifts to the realm of bytes and bits. Even education – commonly associated with brick-and-mortar facilities and picturesque sprawling campuses – is being affected by this trend. Fueled by a growing online population and a hyper-competitive education system, digital education is on the rise and bound to become even more important in the future. Be it AI-powered apps correcting the English pronunciation of its users or cloud-based classrooms hosting millions of Chinese kids during the outbreak of COVID-19, digital education comes in many forms and is very much a reality already.

In this webinar – which could itself be considered digital education – we take a deep dive into this topic and explore its implications from a Swiss as well as Chinese perspective. Dr. Patrick Jermann, director of the Center for Digital Education at EPFL, will talk about “Campus Analytics: Mapping MOOC Data to On-Campus Education”. MOOC is short for Massive Open Online Courses. As implied in the name, these courses are characterized by being open and accessible to anybody with an internet connection. They not only provide participants with filmed lectures, but also allow for some degree of interaction, for example in associated forums or via social media. A noted expert when it comes to actually creating such courses, Dr. Jermann will explore the implications of MOOC for traditional offline lectures.

Prof. Yongkang Su of Shanghai Jiao Tong University will talk about the phenomenon of Massive Open Online Courses from a Chinese perspective. Prof. Su is the Director of the popular CNMOOC platform, which is geared towards university education and operates more than 500 online courses. Blending digital education with traditional teaching methods it puts forward the so called “MOOC + SPOC + local teacher” model to promote teaching reform in universities. His presentation “A New Era for Online Education in China” will discuss the seminal shifts occurring in the education sector and highlight its potential for the future.

The webinar will be moderated by Dr. Garif Yalak, a distinguished expert in digital education. As the Head of Digital Transformation Healthcare and Education, Country Digital Acceleration Switzerland, he collaborates with international teams to develop business opportunities in the field of healthcare and education and he helps customers to implement long-term digitization strategies.

Event Rundown

16:00 Webinar Starts




by Dr. Garif Yalak, Head of Digital Transformation Healthcare and Education, Country Digital Acceleration Switzerland

16:10-16:30 Presentation

by Dr. Patrick Jermann, Director at the Center for Digital Education, EPFL

16:30-16:50 Presentation

by Prof. Yongkang Su, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

16:50-17:00 Q&A

About the Speakers

Dr. Patrick Jermann
Director of the Center for Digital Education at EPFL

Dr. Jermann has been a researcher in learning sciences for 15 years after having received a PhD in psychology from the University of Geneva. In 2013 he became the executive director of the Center for Digital Education at EPFL, where he built the team that created 120 MOOCs and attracted more than 2 million learners worldwide. His current projects include the Swiss MOOC Service, a national MOOC platform for Swiss universities; the EPFL Learning Companion, an online tool for students to assess their learning skills; as well as Noto, a centralised Jupyter Notebooks facility for education and Campus Analytics.

Prof. Yongkang Su
Operation Director of CNMOOC at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Prof. Su is the Assistant Dean of the MOOCs Institute of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Operation Director of CNMOOC, one of the most popular and reputable MOOCs in China. He is also the Secretary general of the Greater China MOOC Symposium Steering Committee and a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan and Purdue University. Prof. Su has a wealth of experience in MOOC design and has given lectures on how to modify courses to provide a better and more integrated learning experience.

Dr. Garif Yalak
Head of Digital Transformation Healthcare and Education, Country Digital Acceleration Switzerland

Dr. Garif Yalak obtained a B.Sc. in Bioinformatics and a M.Sc. in Biomedicine in Germany as well as a Ph.D. at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He subsequently moved to the US to continue research and teaching activities in bioinformatics and biomedicine at Harvard University. He has received several awards by the Swiss National Science Foundation and Harvard University. Dr. Yalak holds multiple executive education certifications from Harvard Business and Kenndey School in the domains of leadership and business.

Event organized by swissnex China in collaboration with EPFL and Shanghai Jiao Tong Universities: