International Education - Kay Lehmann, Moderator : LUSENET : WiredDiscussion : One Thread

* International Education: Will online learning change our world? In what way? If we have students in our class from all over the world, what is the optimum number for a class size?

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2001


I found the institutions you described in Four Case Studies of "Transformed" Teaching, inspirational. I got into online education thinking that opportunities would be explosive. Seems to be the case.

I am particularly interested in the Masters in Ed. Tech that UBC and ITESM has created. Are the instructors you hired for this program permanent faculty at the two institutions or mainly adjunct? No doubt you'll recruit heavily from the ranks of the program itself as they do here at Hayward. Will your international staff have to be multilingual, or is their sufficient translating technology in place to facilitate sophisticated communication between single language speakers?

Have many of your students taken advantage of the transfer opportunities to join the Athabaska program? (From what I can see Athabaska offers one of the few programs similar in scope to the Online Teaching and Learning Program here at Hayward. I may have a chance to take some of their courses through Western Governors University where I am also a student.)

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2001

Another good question, Kay!

Yes, online learning will change our world. We are developing a joint masters in educational technology aimed at school teachers and higher education teachers around the world. The program will be available both in English and Spanish, through our partnership with a Mexican university. We anticipate somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 students a year eventually in the program. We will do this through a total of approximately 20 courses from which students can choose (roughly 50 to 100 students per course), with each course having sections of about 20 students and one instructor. This will require 60-100 instructors across the two institutions. One feature of the program is to compare issues in using technology in schools, colleges and universities that are similar across cultures and educational sectors and those that are different.

This program is the follow-up to our very successful post-graduate certificate in distributed learning which has over 1200 students from 30 different countries participating.

I am sure we will see many other international online educational initiatives developing, in a wide variety of formats.

I am sure we will see many other glo

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2001

Dr. Bates,

Interesting that you would take a very large class and divide it into manageable chunks... We discussed this topic early in this class. Twenty does seem like a good, workable class size. How would this affect instructor involvement and pay? Would you have one course syllabus and call those who manage each section "facilitators"? Would you pay less (or more) if this were the case than the author of the course? What kind of flexibility would you allow instructors who are in charge of each section? Using this discussion forum that you have so graciously agreed to as an example, would you allow only one of the sections to do this or would it have to be available to all 100 students?

Thanks, Pat

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2001

Dr Bates:

As online learning spreads around the globe, hundreds of thousands of miles from originating institutions, the maintenance of effective communication in some sort of continuum between students and instructor/facilitator is going to become even more of a challenge. Most obviously this impinges on making arrangements for synchronous chats at times most convenient for a widely dispersed student body but it also (in my experience) directly affects even the flow of asynchronous teamwork and/or threaded discussions involving the whole class. I am keen to discover any thoughts you might have on this matter although I realise that any attempted resolution of this issue is probably always going to be something of a compromise.

Many thanks, Geoff Goolnik

P.S. My interest in this matter is explained by the fact that I am based in Scotland - some five to eight hours away from the rest of the class! :)

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2001

Dr. Bates,

This is an interesting question. Will online learning change our world. I am looking at how online learning will help countries and people deal with issues of poverty, hunger, homelessness, etc. Do you feel that we should provide access to be inclusive of all, or rather focus on those who have the capabilty of online learning?

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2001

Dear Class,

While Beth directed her question to Dr. Bates (and I hope he answers)

regarding providing access to all - I have a comment: I believe the

focus should be on those who have the capability for reasonable

success in an online environment. Online education is not for

everyone - this medium is really for the highly motivated, highly

discipline independent learner. What's so wonderful is that

motivated, discipline, independent learners can be found all over the


Patricia Guthrie

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2001

Dr. Bates,

It appears that although many universities in Canada deliver distance

education courses online, only a very few of them offer complete

degree programs. Is it due to government regulation? Is the situation

likely to change in the foreseeable future?

Thank you.

Stan Chow

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001

Dr. Bates, We had an interesting debate about the transferability of credits in this class over the last couple of weeks. What do you see will be the future of transfer credits as we globalize education and as life-long learners move in and out of higher education at will? Will North American colleges and universities be more accepting of credits earned from overseas institutions in the future? How will prestigious institutions protect their reputation if they accept a large number of credits from other institutions and then grant diplomas and degrees with their seal on them?

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001

I just wanted to second what Pat Guthrie said about motivated students. That is the primary market segment for online instruction at this time.

Online institutions need to develop a variety of online support systems to reduce the high drop out rate. We're all use to campus based support systems, but those for online education have not been fully developed and it will be trial and error until they are perfected.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001

I am really interested by the idea of global communities in the onlnie classroom. It is very easy to live a sheltered life. Many Americans are very used to thinking of ourselves as the center of the planet. I would love to see interaction between children form various countries. I think that htey would ask such interesting questions because they tend to be so open and honest. It is always interesting to compare notes with people from different situations. This would be an amazing learning experience

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001

Dr. Bates:

The most successful students in online education are the highly motivated learners that everyone wants in their class. Outside of the academic world, there are many private training providers preparing students who are less than "highly motivated"for entry level/technical occupations. Do you see online instruction as a viable delivery system or will face-to-face training remain the preferred method of delivering instruction ?

Thank You

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001

I have taught German for the past 15 years and it has been a real struggle to "internationalize" my classes. I have used foreign exchange students as often as I could. The availability of computers in the classroom certainly improved the chances for more frequent international communication. However, it has been a constant battle getting permission to open up the firewalls and permit e-mailing during class times. I would love to be able to be a facilitator in the classrooms here and have the students receiving instruction from foreign countries. Imagine the type of interaction that could take place! There seems to be a real hesitancy on the part of traditional classroom adminstrators to loosen up on the local control of the classroom--which I understand to a certain degree. I think for language instruction, online international programs would give self motivated students terrific opportunities. Providing these online international classes would certainly change the meaning of "public" high school. I would think that 16 would be the limit for one high school class unit. The distant learning program that I am involved with now screens students that are allowed to join the class. Even though they are active learners, they still need a lot of guidance and reassurance, and thus, more of the instructors time.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

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