The World Association for Online Education (WAOE) was cited as a model for collaboration in the paper STRATEGIES FOR WEB BASED INSTRUCTION IN DISTANCE EDUCATION, by K. Narayanan, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi, India, presented at the International Conference on Learning and Teaching Online, held in January 2001 at the South China Normal University, Guangzhou. The following is quoted from URL: http://ltol.scnu.edu.cn/fullpaper/303-f.html


Various patterns of collaboration can be envisaged. The range from individuals voluntarily sharing resources to institutionalized collaboration in course and credit sharing.

In a paper by Nick Bowskill, Steve McCarty and others titled "Cultural Sensitivity in Voluntary Virtual Professional Development Communities" published in Sept 2000 issue of IJOL, reference is made to the World Association for Online Education ( WAOE), as under:- [i.e., quotes from the paper:]

The WAOE is a voluntary mutually supportive virtual organisation that seeks to promote and develop a cross-cultural view of learning within virtual environments. Respect and sensitivity to difference is at the heart of the activities of WAOE in recognition of the highly distributed and optional nature of the membership. The WAOE came into being as a non-profit public benefit corporation registered in the State of California as a result of private initiative. Membership of WAOE spans five continents without being dominated by any geographical region. The WAOE is mostly a virtual association serving the needs of academics and educators concerned with turning on line education into a professional discipline. The WAOE focuses on combining dedication to online learning with social and cultural exchange.

The objectives and purposes of the WAOE explicitly promote humanistic ethics and global collaboration ( emphasis added) in online education specifically.

i) To maintain a global perspective as a world organisation, supporting multilingualism and multiculturalism in online education, preserving human rights to diversity and mutual respect despite differences, and encouraging inter cultural sensitivity and world reconciliation through intercultural communication among global citizens.

ii) To be as inclusive as possible in scope serving the aspirations of all members and working for equitable access to on line education and membership.

The reference to WAOE has been made to highlight voluntary collaboration for offering professional development courses online, with a concern for multilingualism and multiculturalism in online education. The success of the WAOE as a voluntary organisation would suggest that similar organisations with like objectives be multiplied for deeper collaboration amongst educationists for offering online courses of study, training or professional development.


Items i and ii above are from WAOE's Bylaws. The other authors of our paper for IJOL (the Indian Journal of Open Learning. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Open University) and their current posts are Dr. Kinshuk (Massey University, New Zealand), Robert Luke (University of Toronto, Canada) and Kate Hand (United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Geneva, Switzerland). Since that was a paper journal, it was a surprise to see it extensively quoted on the Web, and in China.

Steve McCarty / Kagawa, Japan / 13 March 2001 / e-mail: waoe@waoe.org
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