Transnational Education
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Thoughts, research, current events, and instructional models -- for accredited degree programs delivered internationally

Monday, July 07, 2003

GVU's Pedagogy Begs Scrutiny

It's been a few weeks since the announcement of the opening of the Global Virtual University (GVU) and still no media coverage in sight. This still surprises me, though maybe there are reasons why this landmark UN initiative remains widely unreported outside of Norway.

Perhaps, as GVU's home page mentions, the audience that this university is focused on attracting is the "developing world." Yet, I have yet to find any commentary coming from the "developing world" on this matter either. In my last post, I reasoned that this might be because the the loudest voices on the Web are a different demographic group. Still, I find it interesting that these loud voices, especially those in education, technology, and instructional technology are saying so little about it.

Tom recently asked why Creative Associates is so closed in their pedagogical approaches to systemic educational reform. He issued the challenge that CAII post their strategies or present them at a conference so instructional technologists and other educators could evaluate and discuss them. What CAII hasn't done, the GVU has.

Not only do they have links on their website to a number of documents under the unambiguous title "Pedagogy," a Google search led me to a paper written for the International Conference on Network Universities and e-Learning, which took place May 8-9, 2003 in Valencia, Spain. This 14-page paper contains greater depth and explanation of the GVU's pedagogical approach, complete with a dozen references from their research. This paper was presented at the conference by Åke Bjørke (UNU/GVU, Norway), Bodil Ask (Agder University College, Norway), and Debbie Heck (Griffith University, Australia).

The GVU is worth taking a second look. It may not be the broad educational change that is taking place in Iraq, and it may not have the financial backing of U21Global, but the lessons learned and the strategies employed in educating disparate cultural groups of people should be valuable for anyone in the field of transnational education.

posted by Mark at 8:55 AM | Link | Comments

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Tom Nickel
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Guangzhou, PRC
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