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

Monday, November 15, 2004

Back in the Blogosphere

I still think TNE rocks. And that it's integral to any healthy future for the planet.

I started this blog about a year and a half ago. I was directing a degree-granting program delivered internationally, which was and still is somewhat unusual among US universities. I had a lot to say then, about what we were doing and about other TNE information or perspectives I came across.

Then I stopped directing, and I didn't have much to say for a long time. Fortunately Mark jumped in and made some nice contributions. The flame didn't quite burn out.

Now I'm back. In a new position, with a new point of view and a new set of strategies -- and a focus on international delivery that is stronger than ever. I'll fill in specifics as we go.

What we're doing and what can be done is more interesting than job descriptions and institutional affiliations for the moment. What we're doing is implementing a simple but effective teaching and learning model that is realistic and do-able by anyone. It's not sophisticated. Any instructional designer could come up with this model in two minutes.

What's interesting about it is that we're doing it, and doing it internationally.

It has only three basic ingredients:

1) Archived, narrated PPTs, with a variety of visuals (not just bullet text) and the course instructor's spoken lectures, appropriately chunked

2) An active and engaging Discussion Forum

3) A weekly, scheduled one-hour videoconference with substantial two-way interaction

That's it.

Two of the components are time independent, for maximum convenience and learner control. Two of the components feature interaction -- student-to-student and student-to-instructor.

I'm not saying we have perfected even these simple activities, but we're growing slowly and learning fast. This semester, we are experimenting with a course involving students at universities in Taiwan and Korea. We are in southern California. Rosemead. University of the West.

Glad to be back.

Thanks, Mark


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Tom Nickel
TNE Lead Blogger
Guangzhou, PRC
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