68 New Members Join During the Summer and Early Fall

It has been a busy time for membership in the past three months. Due to the great work of our country and language leaders in WAOE, as well as our membership chair, Arun Tripathi. As usual, we have members joining from around the world. During this three month period that included new members from previously unrepresented countries such as Botswana, Chile, Indonesia, Jordan, Namibia, Norway, Oman, Somalia, and Tunisia. WAOE now boasts members from 66 different countries. We are truly a worldwide organization.

 

Don't forget there are many opportunities to participate in WAOE. Most communication in WAOE is done through the many discussion lists we have set up. If you prefer to communicate in a language other than English, we have several language-specific lists. You can sign up yourself for any of these lists by clicking on the link below and sending an email. You don't need to fill in anything, just press SEND.

French German India Italian Japanese
Malay Portuguese Russian Spanish Turkish

This is also a good way for you to practice a new language as well. Please begin conversations here and converse with others in their language of choice.

 

Update on Mentoring Projects

There are now four mentoring projects involving WAOE members. These come from a wide region of need. As project development continues, we will provide further information and links here. All of these projects are in the initial stages of talking with the proposer, developing a scope of work, and providing initial research and discussion on the project needs and timelines. A brief summary of each project is below:

Project # Brief Description
1

Riggs Institute for Literacy - USA

Design a semester -long (at least 30 class hours) on line course to teach a multi-sensory, direct and Socratic English language arts method entitled "The Writing & Spelling Road to Reading & Thinking" to teachers, parents, paraprofessionals, professional tutors, college reading professors and literacy volunteers.

2

Virtual Think Tank for Africa - Canada

A virtual think tank that can draw upon the expertise and collaboration of scholars, advisors, policymakers, and expert trainers around the world regarding African educational issues. Most importantly, VTT would serve as a long-term teaching/training vehicle in the new, digital ways of conducting business or
government affairs for the long time to come. The VTT would be scalable so we can reduce/expand the scope of it very easily; this would allow the inclusion/exclusion of topics, etc. Would like to include access to Internet browsing of content, online conferencing, online policy paper discussions, online archives and libraries, etc.

3
Clinical Laboratory Science-Disease Case Study -

Transform a course in Clinical Laboratory Science traditionally conducted face -to-face instruction. The course content highlights selected topics derived from 7 core subjects required for preparation for the National Board examination and certification. Students enrolled in this class are also in clinical training at locations very distant from the campus. One of the requirements for the course is a Disease Case Study Presentation. Students are assigned to teams and they propose a topic of a particular case they observe in the clinical laboratory setting. Also wants assistance in various types of assessment and student feedback.

4

Society of Information and Computer Technology - India

Development of paramedical study centers in rural areas in collaboration with Dr. C.V. Raman University, Raipur. Looking for assistance with development of study materials and aids such as CDs and Online content and interactions. Course materials would include computer science, engineering, and health topics.

 

Update on the WAOE Online Course Development and Facilitation Training/Certification

Under the leadership of Sholom Gold, this effort got off to a great start with the assignment of topics, a WebCT course with sample materials, and the suggestion of rethinking the purpose of the two courses. As of this point the OEDC has:

  • Discussed who is doing which modules.
  • Discussed what a module is and what the teaching philosophy will be.
  • Discussed the audience and the purpose of certification in the course.
  • Discussed time line

In August, the plan to use MetaCollege as the platform was changed due to the high costs involved for each course. Other options are being evaluated including an open source platform and a basic framed environment with linked tools such as discussion board and chat.

The group is continuing to evaluate what the objectives of each course entail, the different audiences, and the mode of delivery. They are in the initial stages of development.


Member Profiles -- Fr. Benigno Beltran, SVD

Father Benigno Beltran, SVD, Parish Priest of the Parish of the Risen Christ has been working with the Smokey Mountain scavenger families under the Basic Christian Community (BCC) with the goal of people empowerment through total and integral development.

Smokey Mountain has been referred to as the largest dumpsite in the world and has been referred to as a national disgrace. When Father Beltran came to Smokey Mountain over 20 years ago, he saw a garbage heap almost 100 feet high, reeking of methane gas, constantly burning, and polluting the air and water. The dumpsite - ironically named for its resemblance to the Smokey Mountains in the United States - was a blight on the landscape and a shameful symbol of urban decay. It was also home to a squatter population of over 25,000 people surviving by picking through the garbage.

Under Fr. Beltran's tutelage, community members have turned from humiliating scavenging to better jobs, and converted the squatter settlement into something resembling a real neighborhood. The Smokey Mountain Resource Recovery Center processes almost a ton of compost per day from the community's kitchen waste. It likewise started production of liquid compost to sell. The Center has also entered into contracts with public and private schools to collect segregated waste for recovery of recyclable materials. Twenty tons of waste is collected daily from which the center. The recyclable materials recovery program alone supports at least 50 workers per day. The Center has also started propagation and marketing of ornamental plants and organic vegetables.

Once jobs were established and homes were being built, the next difficulty was education. Every year, almost 400 children complete nursery and kindergarten education. In 1992, the parish also started a collaborative effort with the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ (PUP) Open University Program to begin vocational technical training courses in Smokey Mountain PUP data reveal that 75 per cent of those who went through these courses are currently employed. Aside from these two programs, the parish also helps hundreds of students to enroll in elementary schools, high schools and colleges through its scholarship program. In 1993, Fr. Beltran initiated a linkage with the University of the Philippines in Diliman to start an adult literacy program in Smokey Mountain.

Though these strides in education were significant, in 1996 a National Housing Authority survey of residents of the Smokey Mountain temporary housing site revealed that only 10.7 per cent of the residents had completed high school education. Barely 10 per cent of the population had finished college or vocational-technical courses. It was determined that a non-formal education program that answers the pressing need for basic education was required to reach a massive number of people who have not completed high school. The Sandiwaan Center has undertaken this challenge.

The Sandiwaan Center, where Dr. Beltran is on the board of directors, teaches informal education classes in such skills as problem solving, critical thinking, numeracy, use of resources, communication, and self-development and sense of community. More than 1,000 people each year participate in these informal programs. These basic skills can then lead to further education in fully accredited courses that allow learners to pursue high school educations, vocational courses, and college.

Though the recycling and education efforts have been ongoing for many years, on February 14, 2003 the parish cooperative formally inaugurated the Smokey Mountain Recovery Center, its computer school and its livelihood center and it has achieved formal government recognition. A computer school was initiated by the BEing Human Foundation- Asia, Inc. to provide the opportunity for Smokey Mountain residents to be computer literate. The BEing Human Foundation likewise maintains 66 full scholarships nationwide. A computer server was donated to the school by Siemens.

Papyrus News Continues under Steve McCarty as Editor

Many of you, especially in fields related to ESL/EFL or linguistics, have heard of Dr. Mark Warschauer at the University of California. In fact, WAOE's Dr. Katherine Watson has reviewed his article on the digital divide in the August/September WAOE Electronic Bulletin (WEB). Mark maintained an e-mail distribution list called Papyrus News (PN), from when he was working on an EFL project in Egypt. Subscribers number about 1,500 from almost all countries of the world.

Due to the tragic loss of his only son with his Japanese wife, Mark was thinking of abandoning PN. I had occasionally contributed to PN, but I was astonished to be invited by Mark to take his place as the editor. I agreed to try and help continue this valuable service for global educators. Two or three times a week I plan to send out gathered Web resources, news articles, academic opportunities, and ideas on distance education and the topics Mark has indicated:

  • technology in education
  • literacy
  • language learning/use
  • human/social development
  • culture
  • equity.

I would very much appreciate the assistance of WAOE participants in sending me related resources, in a format like the following:

Call for Papers: Academic Exchange Quarterly, Spring 2004
Special Issue: Student Perceptions, Beliefs, or Attitudes
Editor: Panayiotis Zaphiris, Informatics, City University, London
http://www.higher-ed.org/AEQ/ontstu.htm

Especially language educators, kindly keep this in mind as you surf the Net and contact me with your resource information.

Some of you may also wish to subscribe to Papyrus News. :

Conversely, if some PN subscribers around the world join WAOE, it could increase the scope for the foreign language teaching interest group in WAOE that has been initiated by Luigi Macri of the Ministry of Education in Italy.

Collegially, Steve McCarty, Professor, Kagawa JC, Japan
News & Views:

MikSike Continues Work in Baltics

Miksike in Russian continues work with development of online tests and other activities for Russian-speaking children in regular schools (K-12). Miksike now carries out registration of new participants of the project. They are looking forward to seeing Russian speaking learners in other parts of the world in order to compare knowledge and be able to communicate effectively. Please contact Ljuda Kuzina if you speak Russian and would like to learn more about this project.

Ljudmila Kuzina
projektijuht
MIKSIKE po-russki
Betooni 9, 51014, Tartu, Eesti/Estonia
Tel: 372 742 2550
GSM: 372 55982806
Email: ljuda@miksike.ee
WWW: http://miksike.net (Russian)
http://www.miksike.ee (Eesti)
http://www.miksike.com (English)


If you have a conference you wish to advertise in the next newsletter, please send information to Maggie Lynch.

Upcoming Conferences

International Online Conference on Teaching Online in Higher Education
Theme: "Online Classes Go Mainstream" November 10-13, 2003

Topics include:

  • Institutional Infrastructure
  • Online Academic Programs
  • Student Support Services for Online Students
  • Assessment of Online Courses
  • Evaluation of Student Online Learning
  • Faculty Support for Online Teaching
  • Online Interaction with Students
  • Course Design Methods

Information Technology and Language Education: An International Conference
Rangsit University, Bangkok December 2 - 5, 2003

Sub-topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Language Instruction
  • Collaborative CALL projects
  • Computer-mediated Instruction
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Instruction
  • Web-based Language Instruction
  • Distance Language Instruction
  • Literature, Culture and Multimedia
  • Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning
  • Technology Enhanced Language Learning
  • CALL & Less commonly taught languages
  • CALL & New learning environments


2nd International Conference on Multimedia and ICTs in Education (m-ICTE2003)
Badajoz (Spain), December 3-6th 2003

CONFIRMED WORKSHOPS within m-ICTE2003

  • International Workshop on Multimedia and ICTs for Science Education and Public Communication
  • International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Education & Machine Learning
  • International Workshop on New Technologies for People with Special Needs
  • International Workshop on Educational Software Quality Assessment

The Australian Computers in Education Conference 2004 (ACEC2004)
July 5-8 2004, Adelaide, South Australia


CALL FOR PROPOSALS!!!

The theme of the ACEC2004 is: Research, Reform,.. Realize the Potential ¨ with the following sub-themes:

  • Leadership and change
  • Innovative pedagogical practices
  • Thinking skills Life long learning
  • ICT in learning areas
  • ICT in early childhood education
  • Indigenous learners and technology inclusivity and equity e-learning
  • Virtual learning communities
  • Learning agents IT/Computing studies
  • Information management
  • Networks and infrastructures

The Conference Organizing Committee is happy to consider proposals not within the sub-themes suggested above.


4th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2004)
August 30 - Sept 1, 2004
Joensuu, Finland

CALL FOR PAPERS!!!

Theme: "Crafting Learning Within Context"

For many years now, researchers and practitioners have advocated views of learning as happening within various forms of contexts such as those embodying problem-based, scenario-based, cognitive, meta-cognitive, social, linguistic, cultural, artifact, and authentic task elements. The conference theme focuses on the crafting of such learning experiences enabled or mediated by technology that enacts authentic contexts for the learning and doing to take place. We especially welcome papers that study the contextualization and the concretization of learning.

We invite submissions of for-peer-reviewed papers of original academic or industrial research on Advanced Learning Technologies that contribute to the future research agenda of Technology-Enhanced Learning.

The conference proceedings will be published by the IEEE Computer Society Press. All authors of accepted submissions will be required to complete IEEE Copyright Form.

Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit extended versions for a Special Issue of the Journal of Educational Technology & Society (ISSN 1436-4522).


Topics of Interest

  • Adaptivity in Learning Systems
  • Advanced uses of Multimedia and Hypermedia
  • Architecture of Context Aware Learning Technology Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence Tools for Contextual Learning
  • Building Learning Communities
  • Concretizing Technologies (e.g. Robotics) in Learning
  • Educational Modelling Languages
  • Educational Paradigms
  • Information Retrieval and Visualization Methods for Learning
  • Instructional Design Theories
  • Interactive Learning Systems
  • Learning Objects for Personalized Learning
  • Media for Learning in Multicultural Settings
  • Metadata for Learning Resources
  • Mobile Learning Applications
  • Participatory Simulations
  • Pedagogical and Organizational Frameworks
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning Applications
  • Socially Intelligent Agents
  • Technology-Facilitated Learning in Complex Domains
  • Virtual Spaces for Learning Communities

SITE 2004: Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 15th annual conference
Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March 1-6, 2004
SITE is a society of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

SITE is unique as the only organization which has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs. SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through conferences, books, projects, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE).


BOLDIC - The Baltic-Nordic Network for Exchange of Experiences in Open and Distance Learning
International Online Conference from October 27 to November 21, 2003.

The conference theme is: "Online Education and Learning Management Systems. Global E-learning in a Scandinavian Perspective. Baltic-Nordic Pedagogy in ODL." As part of the BOLDIC-project this conference will be organized to address issues that are relevant to the ODL field. The project partners from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway are responsible for the conference and invite participants from the open and distance learning community in other parts of the world to participate.


Have you read a good book regarding online education recently? Send a one or two paragraph review to the newsletter editor and share the information with others. Do you have experience with particular tools that help to enhance the online learning experience? Send a couple of paragraphs for those as well. In this section we will publish those reviews.


BOOKS AND ARTICLE REVIEWS
Reviews by Maggie McVay Lynch

Enhanced by Technology--Not Diminished by Diane Howard, McGraw-Hill Custom Publishing (2003)

This book, written for students who are undertaking some part of their education online, is a helpful guide on how to effectively use the tools of the Internet classroom. It begins with an introduction to the nature of technology today, and each subsequent chapter contains a combination of historical information, specific checklists for effective use of the technology, and personal anecdotes from Dr. Howard's experience. Chapters include: websites, e-mail, virtual groups/communities, distance education, videoconferences and audio conferences. There are also three appendices with handy reference material such as the glosssary of terms provided by Arun Tripathi, the section on copyrighting online materials, and even on threaded discussions, videostreams, webcasts, and even includes a section on e-job interviews.

Dr. Howard indicates that you may order the book or request an examination copy (complimentary teaching copy) by contacting McGraw-Hill at 1-800-338-3987 or request it online. Directly from McGraw-Hill the cost is about $25.

Design and Implementation of Web-Enabled Teaching Tools, Edited by Mary Hricko, Information Science Publishing (2003)

As the multifaceted environment of the Internet continues to evolve, Web accessibility has become a major issue in terms of providing effective communication to the public. Although Web accessibility guidelines exist, there are some academic institutions and areas of industry that have not developed guidelines to ensure that Web documents are accessible. This book contains a collection of articles contributed by instructional designers and web developers who are concerned about the myriad of issues regarding accessibility for those with a variety of disabilities from low-vision to blindness and motor skills difficulties. It is divided into five sections with each section containing two to three targeted articles.

  • The legal implications of web accessibility
  • Understanding web accessibility guidelines
  • Implementing web accessibility in distance education
  • Studies in application of web accessibility
  • Reference desk

If you are interested in making your web-based learning accessible to disabled populations, this is a great reference to have.

TOOLS

courseGenie by Connected Learning Ltd.

Though this is not free, it is a great tool for institutions with many faculty using Microsoft Word but little support for web design or building interactive exercises. I was fortunate enough to win a one year site license at a recent WebCT conference and I must say I've been impressed with its ease of use and implementation. The program provides a simple, consistent way of producing interactive and accessible courses. With courseGenie you can write a complete course as one Word document and automatically generate an online course including navigation, popups, hyperlinks, selftest questions, audio and video, with export to plain HTML, WebCT Content Module or IMS formats.

It really is simple to use. It uses the Microsoft Word template functions and with dialogue boxes steps you through selecting colors, interactions, quiz questions, etc. Then it uses a conversion routine to export to the above file types. If you do have an LMS such as WebCT or Blackboard you can import this content directly into the program. You can download a free trial and test it for yourself.


Do you have something for this section? Send your partnership requests to Maggie Lynch for inclusion in the next newsletter.

Need a Partner to Create an MBA Program

Fiona Townsend of Charles Dickens College in the UK is looking for a partner to help devise an MBA access course for foreign students.


Editorial Reviewers Needed

Looking for editorial reviewers for Encyclopedia of International Computer-based Learning, by 12/1/03. Contact member Gary Berg at California State University, Channel Islands if you are interested.


Partner for Online Medical Teachers Project

I'm working on a project which involves online design of a faculty development program for medical teachers in Pakistan as part of my D.Ed. program. It would be great if this program can be extended to other countries or a grant may be available. Contact member Dr. Zarrin Siddidqui.

Looking for Book Contributors

I am the editor of the book currently under development to be published by Idea Group Reference (an imprint of Idea Group Inc.) tentatively scheduled for release in Spring of 2005. The Encyclopedia of International Computer-Based Learning will be distributed worldwide among academic and professional institutions and will be instrumental in providing researchers, scholars, students and professionals access to the latest knowledge related to distance and computer-based learning. Contributions to this important publication will be made by scholars such as yourself throughout the world with notable expertise.

Guidelines for preparing your short piece and terms and definitions as well as a sample article and terms and definitions can be found on the main menu of this project. Please also feel free to distribute the call to others who may be interested. Contact Gary A. Berg, Ph.D., California State University Channel Islands.

 

Fellowship Programme 2004/2005 (deadline for applications: 15 January 2004)

The Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) offers five grants (EUR 1,000.- per month) for fellowships at the IAS- STS in Graz starting 1 October 2004, ending 30 June 2005.

The IAS-STS promotes the interdisciplinary investigation of the links and interactions between science, technology and society as well as research on the development and implementation of socially and environmentally sound technologies. The IAS-STS provides the necessary research infrastructure, while a number of guest lecturers and workshops foster an atmosphere of creativity and scholarly discussion.

The grants of the fellowship programme 2004/2005 are dedicated to projects investigating the following issues:

1. Gender - Technology - Environment

Women with their various interests, competencies and potentials play important parts in the process of shaping socially sound and environmentally friendly, sustainable technologies - be it as users and consumers, or as experts. Applications should focus on research in the field of women in traditionally male fields of engineering, on ways of creating cultures of success for women engineers (students, graduates), and on masculinity and the culture of engineering.

2. Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Genome Research and Biotechnology

A main focus of the grant scheme lies on the analysis of ethical, legal and social aspects of genome research. Research projects are expected to provide a better understanding of life sciences in concrete socio-cultural contexts of their fabrication, application and regulation. Researchers investigating risk issues are especially encouraged to apply.

3. Technology Studies and Sustainability

Grants will be awarded for research projects contributing to the issue of sustainable development from the perspective of social studies or the history of science and technology. Projects should aim at socio-economic aspects of environmental technologies or at strategies of environmental technology policy, such as user participation, strategic niche management or ecological product policy. We encourage both theoretical analysis and practically oriented case studies.

The grant application must be submitted together with an application for a fellowship to the IAS-STS. Prof. Arno Bamme, Director of the IAS-STS, decides on the awarding of fellowships and grants in consultation with the
Scientific Advisory Board.

Please note that it is also possible to apply for a fellowship without a grant or to apply for a short- term fellowship without grant (not longer than one month: Visiting Fellows). We also encourage senior scientists to apply as guest lecturers.

Closing date for applications is 15 January 2004.

For application forms and further information:
Please visit our website: www.sts.tu-graz.ac.at
Institute for Advanced Studies on Science,
Technology and Society (IAS-STS)
Attn. Guenter Getzinger
Kopernikusgasse 9
A-8010 Graz - Austria
E-mail: info@sts.tu-graz.ac.at



The Rewards of Effective Curriculum Design
for Online Learners

a guest article by Diane Howard, Ph.D.

The most significant catalyst for change in education has been the development of the World Wide Web. Consequently, there has been a major shift from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning. The teacher is no longer the primary source of information for the student who now has access to indefinite sources of information. The role of the teacher has moved from that of sage on the stage to that of guide on the side. The student no longer depends primarily on the perceptions of the teacher but develops his/her perceptions and constructs his/her learning from multiple sources. More than ever before students are being encouraged by effective online curriculum and instruction to be independent, life-long learners who are skillful in communication and collaboration.

Although strategies for teaching have changed, the process of developing curriculum for onsite and online learning is fundamentally the same. Curriculum is a plan for learning that includes targeting a student population, conducting a needs assessment, and writing a mission statement. It includes developing goals, objectives, content, teaching strategies, and assessment tools. Alignment is critical in curriculum development from purpose and philosophy, to goals and objectives, to content and activities, and to assessment and evaluation. Working through a process of asking and answering who, what, where, why, when, how questions is essential in designing and developing curriculum.

Who are the students or the audience in online learning? Adult online students share the following characteristics: independent pursuit of continuing education, motivation, high expectations, self-discipline, older than average students, and a serious attitude toward learning (Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Many international online learners have a basic knowledge and use of the English language. (However, instructors need to write clearly, succinctly, and avoid sarcasm, analogies, cultural references, or language that can easily be misinterpreted.) The educational needs of online students are often for practical training through e-mediated instruction. They often are older, professional students whose schedules and/or locations do not permit easy access to on-site training.

A review of online educational literature reveals that most online courses Web sites include syllabi pages with course goals, objectives, requirements, procedures, policies, schedules, required materials, and contact information. They can also provide pages for announcements, resources, links, message board, digital drop boxes, and student pages. Online instructors function more as facilitators or moderators than as traditional teachers Collison et al (2000). Student learning is active, "authentic," and more than passive memorization and reciting (Howard, 2002). Rubrics that outline how individual and group postings, assignments, and papers are to be evaluated are usually available on online course Web sites.

A review of online educational courses also reveals that in many online courses student inquiry is at the center of learning, not the teacher. The instructor facilitates and moderates the course. The learning community is especially significant. Students participate in interactive, collaborative, participatory activities. Participants are involved in authentic learning, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, and online projects. Small classes are broken down into smaller groups. Students are required to be familiar with minimal technologies (Howard, 2002).

A review of online educational course models reveals that goals for online learning are demonstrable and objectives are measurable. Modules often include two major components: basic information with links to resources and activities, assignments, and discussion questions that students can complete in approximately thirty minutes or less. Rubrics that specifically outline how individual and group postings, assignments, and papers are to be assessed are usually available on online course Web sites.

In onsite and online teaching there is a tendency to develop learning activities prematurely. There is tendency to avoid mission statements and planning assessments until the end of the process. However, the order of the process of curriculum development is significant. The students must be identified, their needs should be assessed, and measurement evaluation ought to be considered early in the process. Goals, objectives, content, and teaching strategies should be carefully developed and aligned. Alignment is critical in curriculum development from purpose and philosophy, to goals and objectives, to content and activities, and to assessment and evaluation. Curriculum design involves working through a process of asking and answering who, what, where, why, when, how questions.

Effective online courses are often designed for small class sizes and are divided into smaller working groups. The instructor functions as a facilitator or moderator with a constructivist or inductive approach. In this process the student constructs his/her meaning as the instructor guides, facilitates, or moderates the learning. Student inquiry is at the center of the educational process. Students are often involved in interactive, collaborative, participatory project or problem-based learning. More than ever before students are being encouraged by effective online curriculum design to be independent, life-long learners who are skillful in communication and collaboration.

References


Collison, G. , Elbaum, B., Haavind, S ., Tinker, R. (2000) Facilitating online learning: Effective strategies for moderators. Madison: Atwood Publishing.

Howard, D. (2002) Enhanced by Technology, Not Diminished. McGraw-Hill.

Palloff, R, Pratt, K. (1999) Building learning communities in Cyberspace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Diane Howard
http://www.dianehoward.com


Thinking About Basics

Being invited to the University of Tsukuba Graduate School of Education for a
week-long practicum on Online Education Theory and Practice has set me to
thinking about the basics again. Not much can be taken for granted, since online education seems to be regarded in Japan as a sort of foreign import pending a consensus to adopt, reject or alter it for domestic purposes.

There are so many possibilities for a whole week with a computer classroom
available, so please contribute your suggestions to Views if you subscribe, or email directly to me.

Considering the situation in a non-Western country, some of the basics might be outlined as follows:

Space - Japan is compact with excellent transportation, but it is still a large country and people have to travel to any face-to-face meeting such as a class. Online education allows for various formats to overcome space by virtual
classes or universities, meetings or events.

Time - People in Japan are closely connected but busy. People can only be in one place at a time, and they lose time whenever they have to travel. Virtual classes or meetings are as close as the nearest networked computer and can be
synchronous or asynchronous.

Pace - With asynchronous learning as an alternative to, or in addition to the classroom, people can learn at their own pace, and have time to think over their class participation in electronic bulletin boards and the like.

People / Participation - The face-to-face class or event is confined to students and educators who are within commuting range. Online education opens up possibilities like virtual universities and online conferences where excellent
institutions could extend their reach and greater learning experiences are possible. Not only can student enrollments increase but experts can be brought into classes temporarily by the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously.

Technology / Affordability / Access - Broadband is widely available in countries like South Korea and Japan, increasingly in homes as prices of hardware and access have gone down. Internet-enabled mobile phones are
ubiquitous, but few Japanese sites are educational. There is a concept of m-learning, but not well-developed in specific approaches. People could and would spend the money and time online education requires if they perceived it as useful to them and enough of a priority compared to other means of success or self-advancement.

Documentation / Evaluation - The "show me state" is in many countries where people want to look under the hood of a new technology, evaluate its worth, or make sure it is not a Trojan Horse for something else. So they ask questions
or make demands of online education in areas that go unquestioned in classroom or lecture hall education. However, there is more documentation available in online classes and more accumulation of evidence for evaluation and
accountability. So when, for example, Japanese professors see features like student tracking in learning management systems, they are duly impressed.

Culture - How, for example, does the notion of face affect distance learning? In situations such as maintaining sales relationships, where Westerners would use a distance technology such as the telephone, because it is the content
that matters, Japanese will go in a group to a client's office, apparently because the form is at least as important to them as their content. It seems to reflect a non-Western society that places greater importance than Western society in face-to-face relationships. They might be more inclined to teleconferencing or other AV technologies that simulate face-to-face meetings. Browser or Web-based educational experiences may then be unconvincing or difficult to sell as full-
fledged education for credit or degrees. However, when more brand-name universities stake their reputations on virtual programs to extend their reach, then the merits of online education may receive more recognition.

Again, if you can think of other basics or factors relevant to the theory or practice of online education, please post to Views or privately to my email.

In the Japanese context perhaps some preliminary conclusions can be drawn. Online education is embraced all over the world, insofar as learners and educators have access to the Web, according to my survey findings and the research of others. Online education may be perceived in Japan as less necessary and less attractive than in most other cultures. But online education has the universal appeal of overcoming time, space, ignorance and other human limitations. It also opens educational opportunities to those other than the elite (which may not please those with vested interests in the
status quo). So, as in other countries, the acceptance of online education should be a matter of discovering what it makes possible: greater learning and wider networking.

The graphic below, made with several programs, is planned to assist graduate students at the University of Tsukuba in brainstorming with some key concepts and the distinctions between them. Of course there are other key technical
terms that could help clarify what online education and related concepts mean, but how about the following, say, as part of a PowerPoint presentation projected onto a large screen?

These concepts and questions are just meant for brainstorming, so please guess or speculate when you are not sure. Among the questions that could be asked (please criticize these or suggest other key questions):

What is online education? (Hint: What is the "line" in "online" and "offline"?)

What is e-learning? What is the difference between e-learning and online education?

What is the difference between distance education and online education?

What is the difference between face-to-face (f2f) and offline?

Which is better, teleconferencing or online education? (Hint: better for whom?)

Again, after clarifying the above distinctions, what is online education?

What other questions should be raised instead of, or in addition to, the above ones?

Can you discuss the meaning of some of the other concepts illustrated above? For example, what is the difference between Web-based education and WBT?

What are some other key concepts related to online education? For example, how is "distributed education" defined? Please let others know by posting to Views or privately to my email.

Thank you.

Collegially, Steve McCarty, Professor, Kagawa JC, Japan
President, World Association for Online Education (NPO)
http://www.waoe.org/president



Troubleshooting the WAOE Website, Discussion Boards, and List-Servs

Because WAOE is a virtual organization, members are dependent on using their computer to see information and participate in all aspects of this organization. In this section the Webmaster will answer questions about the WAOE site or discuss common problems that members may experience. With the large variety of software and hardware used today, most often the problem is resolved with a configuration change. Send your questions to Maggie Lynch. She will try to answer you within two days to immediately resolve your problem. If your question is a common one, she may then use your question (anonymously) in this column so that other members can benefit as well.

Q. Depending on what computer I use, sometimes I can't see all the buttons at the top of the WAOE main page. Why does this happen? I'm using the same browser and software on both computers.

A. The WAOE site is optimally designed for a computer with resolution set to 1024x780. Some people choose to set their resolution differently because they like the larger font size. Also, some people have older computers (older than 5 years) that don't go this high. If you cannot see all the buttons at the top of the page, such as the "Members Only" button then you need to use the scroll bar on the right. (see arrow in picture below). If you scroll down you will see the rest of the buttons.

If you would like to check or change the resolution on your browser, here are the instructions for any Windows-based machines.(Resolution refers to the sharpness of screen fonts and images)

  1. Go to the "Control Panel." (Usually accessed from the START button).
  2. Select "Display."
  3. Click on the "settings" tab.
  4. Change the "screen resolution" by clicking and dragging the small green marker. The resolution that all WAOE screens are designed or is the one shown on the right (1024 by 768 pixels).
  5. Click the OK button to make your changes appear immediately.

If you move the slider to the left the resolution goes down but the size of the fonts is bigger. If you move the slider to the right, the resolution goes up but the size of the fonts is smaller.

Q. I know you sent me my password for the members-only site but I've lost it. What should I do? Also, can I change it to something that is easier to remember?

A. If you have forgotten your password, contact Maggie McVay Lynch and she will send it to you again. We are working on a program that allows you to select your own password, but that program is not yet available. In the meantime, if you find your password too difficult to remember, you can request a different one by writing Maggie and telling her what you would like your password to be. She will then enter it into the password encryption system for you.

Q. I tried to access the WebBoard with my members-only username and password but it didn't work. Why doesn't the same information work everywhere on the site?

A. The WebBoard is run on a different server than the main site and so it has different rules for usernames and password. As much as possible, we've tried to keep things similar. First, the WebBoard is for members only. Second, it is set up using your email name (as given when you become a member) as your username. The password for everyone is "waoe." If you have a problem accessing it, then please contact Michael Warner.