Welcome to the renewed WAOE Electronic Bulletin!
This is a monthly newsletter to keep members informed of WAOE progress, member accomplishments, reviews of information and tools important to online education, and many other types of information that may be shared each month by the membership.
The newsletter has been out of commission for the past two years due to the great number of changes that have been occurring in WAOE. As with all new, struggling organizations WAOE has been undergoing growth pangs. Members have moved to new institutions and found themselves having to concentrate on new jobs. Happily, many new members have joined and have begun important worldwide efforts to bring quality online education to new populations.
Check back here each month to see the changes. Contribute your stories, ideas, questions and help to keep this newsletter current and meeting your needs.
Multicultural and Multilingual Projects
WAOE's commitment to multilingualism and multiculturalism is progressing. WAOE Coordinating Committee officers in Turkey, Russia and Italy have been working on adding WAOE sites in the language of each of their countries. As these sites become available they will be linked to the WAOE site. You can already view the Turkish site developed by Bunyamin Atici and hosted by the University of Firat. The Italian site is also now available, developed by Luigi Macri. As this newsletter was being prepared, Boris Sedunov is also hard at work on the Russian site. The Moscow State University of Business Administration, thanks to Prof. Sedunov, will bel hosting the site. The planned Website will provide information on Russia, with pedagogical value for students, and an opportunity for WAOE members interested in the Russian region to interact with their university. We look forward to hearing more about this in the near future and linking it to the WAOE main page.
WAOE welcomes additional site development by members. If your language does not use Romanized characters it can still be displayed or uploaded to WAOE's site, such as the Japanese site developed by Keiko Schneider. If you have an interest in developing a country site or being a country leader please contact Steve McCarty. Also, if you want to use any of the templates used by the main WAOE site to translate into your language, contact Maggie McVay Lynch and she will provide you with the webpage templates. If you do not feel comfortable developing a complete website, you may also forward translated files to Maggie McVay Lynch with a note as to where they would go and she will generate the pages and post them for you on the WAOE server. There are many opportunities for you to help make WAOE a worldwide language and culture conscious organization.
Online Educator Development Committee (OEDC ) Plans Teacher Certification Course
Sholom Gold, chair of OEDC, has been leading an effort for WAOE certification of higher education online instructors. The plan is to offer the course through Metacollege, a learning management system (like WebCT or Blackboard). WAOE is paying a monthly fee so that members can experience such a learning management system.
Participants who complete the WAOE teacher certification course will be given special, password-protected access to a site where they can download the raw content for their own courses and faculty development if they wish. While the development is in the initial stages, the current plan is to offer the course over a 6-8 week timeframe. Throughout the learning process, participants will be assessed and be required to work with each other and share information, concerns, and progress. A final project will allow participants to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of online teaching and learning. Some of the topics planned for the course incudes:
Each topic will include lecture notes and/or audio and slides, required
and supplementary readings, short fact-based quizzes, discussion board
options, and other online interactive activities. Only those students
who pass the course and complete the final project will be entitled to
New WAOE Website and Member-to-Member Networking
By now, you have probably been wandering around the new WAOE main website. One of the major changes in functionality of the site is the availability of the member-to-member networking section which you can access via the button in the upper right corner of your screen. Here you can learn about our many members all around the world. Check to see who else is in your country or who else has similar interests. Read brief biographies, add to your own information, and look for partners on an interesting project, or research you wish to pursue.
The members-only section requires you to have a specific Username and Password. This allows you to not only access the information in the members-only section, but it also allows you to submit additions or changes to your own information. If you have not received a username and password, please contact Maggie McVay Lynch.
Also, if you have suggestions on how to improve the WAOE website, be sure to send an email to Maggie so that she can pass the suggestions to the Ring managing group for possible inclusion in future website revisions. It is the goal of WAOE to offer current and pertinent information on online education and any suggestions as to a better means for doing this is appreciated.
Dr. Howard earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Communication at the University of Texas. Recently, she added additional training specific to online education when she completed requirements for a Post-Doctoral Administrative Certification in Distance Learning at the Texas A&M Center for Distance Learning Research..
Like many members in WAOE, Diane has interests aside from online education. She has performed as a lyric soprano solist in concerts, musicals, telecasts, and operas with parts ranging from Ruth in the Pirate's of Penzance to the soprano solist in Rutters The Magnificat, as well as a great variety of other parts. She also has an abiding interest and scholarly publications in the field of autobiographical writing and performing.
Dr. Howard is a facilitator in the Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU)
Masters of Education Online (MEDOL)
program. She is a published
author and online
writer, editor, instructor,
and a professor with Indiana
Wesleyan University's online Master's of Education program. She reviews
educational technology plans, grant applications, Web services, and distance
education.. She serves as a professional consultant in on-site and distance
communicating/presenting/communicating and in autobiographical writing/presenting.
Dr. Howard serves in educational research, curriculum development, and
program delivery for BellNET
(Bell County Network for Educational Technology). She and her students
are currently involved in a BellNet, peer-mentoring
project with a state, national, and international network, for which
Dr. Howard and her students have designed an innovative Web
site. They also serve school districts and colleges with distance
education programming, especially via videoconferencing.. On this Web
site Dr. Howard publishes resources
and tips in effective, distance communication and in.autobiographical
Diane's committment to WAOE's essential goals can be summarized in her own statement: "I am committed to developing and supporting role models, especially in marginalized populations, such as minorities, females, and/or the physically challenged. I was a founder and president of Combridge, Inc., a non-profit, educational support organization. I am especially involved with historical, ethnic, and minority issues in technological, distance communication research, presenting, writing, and publishing.
ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
Six WAOE officers have collaborated on two chapters for the forthcoming International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments with University of Toronto editors and commissioned by Kluwer Academic Publishers in the Netherlands. Nick Bowskill (UK), Robert Luke (Canada) and Steve Mc_Carty (Japan) contributed the chapter "Global Virtual Organizations for Online Educator Empowerment" in the "History and Conceptual Foundations" section. Steve McCarty (Japan), Asif Daya (in Florida, from Nairobi), Boris Sedunov (Russia), Begum Ibrahim (Malaysia), and Ramesh Sharma (India)contributed the chapter "Global Online Education" in the "Research and Case Studies" section.
An eloquent and inspiring passage from John
Afele, from Ghana, will appear in the forthcoming book
Global Peace Through The Global University System to be distributed
at the UNESCO Conference on Teaching and Learning for Intercultural Understanding,
Human Rights and a Culture of Peace in Finland, June 2003. Some of the
book is freely
available online already. John also released another book this year
through Idea Group Publishing, Digital Bridges: Developing Countries
in the Knowledge Economy. See a brief description below in the Books
Dr. Maggie McVay Lynch,
in Oregon USA, has published a chapter entitled "Developing an
effective online orientation course to prepare students for success in
a web-based learning environment" in Electronic Learning Communities
and Practices, Edited by Sorel Reisman. Information Age Publishing.
Electronic Learning Communities: Current Issues and Best Practices. Edited by Sorel Reismann. Greenwhich, CT: Information Age Publishing. (2003) ISBN#1-931576-96-3
Many practitioners believe that for an unforgettable learning experience, instructors and students learning at a distance must function together as a community. They must all have a shared set of learning objectives and they must actively participate in the instruction. Of course, for effective communication all must have a common vocabulary. This book recognizes the need for a reference text that focuses on best practices in this field. It contains 14 chapters, each a single repository of expertise and g uidance for researchers and practitioners. The chapters contain timeless information, and singly or in groups represent many of the most compelling topics in the field such as the e-volution of graded projects, hybrid courses as learning communities, building communities beyond the course level, spanning the digital divide, preparing faculty, promoting intellectual development online, exclusion in international online learning communities, and many more.
Digital Bridges: Developing Countries in the Knowledge Economy. by John Afele. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing. (2003) ISBN#1-59140-039-2
Globalization and global equity are built on the premise of peace. The causes of many divisions and tensions in human communities lie in the imagined or real gain of financial or material assets of some elements of the community to be at the expense of others. The global community however lacks clear definitions and methods of stability, whether political, economic, or social. Digital Bridges: Developing Countriesin the Knowledge Economy provides insight into the methods and theories behind the globalization of information technologies.
In this section we highlight tools that are free or very inexpensive that online educators might find helpful when developing their course materials and interactions.
Looking for a free discussion board with all the bells in whistles? If so, check into InVision Board. This board runs with PHP and provides all the database and user-friendly sophistication you might need. They do require you to "license" it but the cost of the license is free. You also have the ability to change the color scheme, include your own logo and many other customizing features -- all of this without having to deal with advertising. Invision Board is a professional forum system that has been built from the ground up with speed and security in mind, taking advantage of object oriented code, highly-optimized SQL queries, and the fast PHP engine. A comprehensive administration control panel is included to help you keep your board running smoothly. Moderators will also enjoy the full range of options available to them via built-in tools and moderators control panel. Members will appreciate the ability to subscribe to topics, send private messages, and perform a host of other options through the user control panel.
Looking for a quick, easy, and free way to add
interaction to your online courses? The program Hot Potatoes, produced
Software, Inc., was designed to allow teachers to make interactive,
Web-based exercises that can be accessed by students at any Internet-capable
computer terminal with a standard Web browser. Hot Potatoes uses both
to make the Web-based exercises. Instead, teachers use the program's exercise
templates to create exercises on Web pages which then can be uploaded
to a server where students access them. Hot Potatoes can create six different
types of Web-based exercises: multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching,
jumbled words, crossword puzzles, and text entry of multiple words or
phrases. Each exercise can stand alone or can be linked to other exercises
to form a sequence of tasks. Students can correct their own work based
on the clues and feedback set up in advance by the teacher. Hot Potatoes
also allows the teacher to specify an email address to which scores are
The purpose is to conduct a grant supported international research on e-learning or web-based learning. Ideally, the collaborator should be from a university (professor or research specialist) or research institute, with experience in e-learning design and development/research, familiar with the e-learning development and general trends in that particular country. If you are interested, please email your Vitae to Greg Wang.
Asia-Pacific Course Reviews and Marketing Assistance Needed for Non-Profit - Rob Raab, a WAOE member in Thailand, is looking for members' assistance in reviewing and commenting on the professional agricultural courses offered in their institute, and on their pedagogical approach. He is also needing help to make more qualified individuals aware of the learning opportunities APRTC makes available. APRTC does have a scholarship program for agricultural professional working in a developing countries who are unable to pay the tuition or the courses. Rob's introduction of APRTC, its mission and progress are below.
"By way of introduction, the Asia-Pacific
Regional Technology Centre (APRTC) is an independent, non-profit organization
dedicated to improving the welfare and knowledge of rural communities
and the promotion of sustainable natural resource management. agLe@rn
is our main tool for achieving these
WAOE's President Steve McCarty, in deference to my years of making mistakes
in distance education, has asked me to share those mistakes-and perhaps
a few insights they've generated-with you as a columnist here. I'm happy
to do that. What I ask in return is dialog, debate, discussion, agreement,
dissent: the kind of encounter that makes for thinking, if not always
So: I've stumbled and fumbled and taken positions and retracted
them and was sure of my ground and had it dug out from under me in all
the genres of distance education, from correspondence education to radio
to tv and, as head of The Electronic University Network, online and Internet
education. In some twenty years of teaching online, and helping colleges
come online, I've held and discarded strong opinions on what makes for
good teaching and learning online.
I've also met with young and old students in search of a PhD. in education in grad courses that I've taught, and these comments on what I'm calling "the spirit and framework" of preparing teachers for online teaching is heavily influence by those experiences.
So: my hope is that these will begin a discussion on the general setting and spirit with which WAOE approaches the matter of helping in the preparation of online teachers-which often means helping experienced face-to-face teachers make the transition.
These comments are prompted by a belief that many dozens of institutions are offering courses and certificates to prepare online practitioners, but few, if any, of these courses are grounded in a recognition of the restraints that shape the opportunities and limitations faced by the new online teacher, or restraints that are a reflection of the discipline to be taught, or the pedagogical experience and commitments of the new online teacher.
A few preliminary observations:
The first is a reflection on the lead story in the May 9 issue of the US publication "The Chronicle of Higher Education." It is titled "Bigger is Better," and deals with highly successful face-to-face courses enrolling 1,700 or more students.
Observation: a course in online education should help such teachers move their courses online intact, not attempt to convince them and their sponsoring universities that what they are doing is wrong and needs to be reshaped to become acceptable online education.
The second observation is that the course will--we hope-- attract practitioners of distance education from many nations of the world.
If this is so, must we not begin by recognizing the cultures and subcultures that will impinge on the nature of online education, and help the new online practitioner respond to those shaping forces?
The choice of a philosophy or theory or pedagogy of distance education is often--perhaps most often--not determined by the individual teacher. It may be chosen by a Ministry of Education, or the college or school authorities, or by departmental decisions.
That is: the individual teacher may believe, as I do, that a constructivist, collaborative, learner-centered pedagogy, using tools designed to support this pedagogy, is what should be practiced. He or she, however, may not be in a position to make that decision. The authorities may decide that there should be 1,000 or 100,000 students in the class, as influential personages such as Sir John Daniel recommend, and that the course should be designed around such mass instruction plus small groups assigned to online tutors.
If the graduate of our WAOE course is not prepared to cope with such a decision he or she is not in a position to be a leader in that situation.
So: here are some suggestions for a diversified approach as WAOE develops a teacher education curriculum:
The course might be organized around what I'll call--temporarily!--"scenes of instruction."
The large group instructed by lectures is one such "scene."
The large group augmented by small groups--"learning communities," etc.--is another "scene."
The "class" of 30-50 might be another "scene."
The small group "seminar" is still another "scene."
The one-on-one "tutorial" is still another "scene."
Thus: rather than beginning with theory or philosophy, and choosing, say, constructivism, the student of our online course should be aware that the institution or organization he/she joins may favor any one of these "scenes," and that the student should be familiar with and be able to cope with all of them.
This might mean visiting and reporting on examples of all of these scenes now online; experiencing them.
It might mean learning about tools for creating instruction in all of them: practicing, that is, the online lecture, with appropriate tools; practicing the "learning community"; the seminar, etc.
Having as part of the course links to a wide variety of current practices around the world; exposure and practice with a wide variety of tools and techniques; and a reading list that includes studying open universities and online programs around the world would make the program unique, and appropriate to WAOE's mission.
That might mean, then, that we--WAOE--develop agreements with distance learning institutions in all of the continents of the world that would allow students in WAOE teacher preparation courses to learn how those institutions operate, their philosophies and commitments and "scenes of instruction" so that they know-for examples-how Britain's Open University differs in style of work from, say, Thomas Edison College in New Jersey, USA.
Graduates of such a program, WAOE could announce, will be equipped to work in any and all possible setting and frameworks for online education, to teach in them and provide leadership.
What we want, I hope, is a framework for our work in online education that recognizes WAOE's unique mission. "Scenes of instruction" are not of course the same as "cultures," but the idea begins to get at "culture" through the notion of alternate pedagogies.
If this direction is at all of interest, I would be glad to help with
If you have missed any announcements that were sent by e-mail, check
of the waoe-views discussion list and waoe-news
distribution list. For more personal stories including photos of some
WAOE officers, see our informal new Weblog
or blog. Members are invited to contribute to the blog by e-mail to
The archives for each site can be accessed from the Communications section
of the WAOE site. Or you may directly bookmark the following archives.
Q. I am subscribed to the WAOE lists of "Views," "News," and "Member." However, I don't seem to be receiving any messages.
A. There are several reasons this might be happening. In each case, it is likely that we received back a bounced email for you. This frequently happens with members who do not think to update WAOE with email address changes.
First, perhaps we have an old email from you that is no longer working and you have been dropped from the subscription list. Send an email to Sam Eneman, our listserv manager, to verify your subscription.
Second, we have several members (particularly those with Yahoo accounts) where we repeatedly get messages such as "account is over quota" or "mailbox is full." This means that you must regularly delete old emails from your mailbox in order to make space for new ones. If you do not do this, no one will be able to send you mail.
Third, many individuals and organizations are using email filtering software now. Some of this is used to filter out spam (the bane of electronic mail) and some is used simply to limit the number of listserv email users may receive in an organization. This software works by following a set of rules. Your installation may have a default set of rules or you may have selected the rules to follow. One of the common rules is not to accept any email that lists more than 50 people in the header. Another rule is not to accept any email that has transited through more than 3 nodes.
All three of the above-mentioned lists have over 200 names and they are growing. Also, if you have your mail forwarded to an alias or another email site, WAOE emails my quickly transit through more than 3 nodes. In addition, some countries around the world have a network system that frequently shifts mail packets among multiple nodes.
There are two ways to resolve this dilemma:
You can find each archive as follows:
MEMBER - http://www.lists.pdx.edu/waoe-member
Q. I am a member of WAOE but I can't access the "members-only" section on the new website. It asks me for a username and password. What does it want?
A. A new feature for WAOE members is the ability to network with other members. In this section we store information about member's interests, their email contact, current research, work on books and articles, and many other special projects. Because it is only for WAOE members, you must have your membership verified and be issued a WAOE username and password.
From May 30th to June 1st all members who had completed the "member update form" were sent a WAOE Username and Password specific to them. If you did not receive one, it is possible that you have not yet completed the "member upate form" or that the email we have on record for you was not working during this time. If you have completed the form and you believe your email was correct, please contact Maggie Lynch directly, and she will verify your membership status and send you your WAOE username and password.
Q. I reviewed my membership information in the "members-only" section and want to change some of it or add additional information. How do I do this?
A. We have not yet created the program that allows immediate update of the database. However, you can send an email to the webmaster with the new information and she will make the changes within about seven days. We hope to have automatic member update forms sometime in the Fall.
Q. I subscribed to the Japanese discussion list but I can't see the Japanese characters.
A. You will need to install the Japanese fonts for your computer. If you are in Japan you probably automatically installed the Japanese fonts. However, if you are in another country you have a different default language. If you have a Windows operating system, you can install several different language sets from your Windows Operating System CD. If you are running Windows XP, when you attempt to access a site with another language font, it will prompt you to install the language by putting your CD in the drive. Then it will automatically install the fonts for you. Perhaps a MAC user can let me know about language font installation and I will publish that here next month.
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