Global E-Courses Presented Using Off the Shelf Hardware and Software: Experience from Teaching Courses Overseas
Boncella, Robert J.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
The traditional "lecture to a classroom of students" paradigm is constrained by geography and is outdated in the age of globalization. Globalization creates the need to provide access to educational resources to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Most often these educational resources are non-interactive. They are in the form of text or pre-recorded video, or audio. The ability to design and implement interactive education experiences enhances the learning of the participants and providers. The ability to provide these educational experiences regardless of geography increases their utility. Using telecommunications technology and the Internet, the constraint of geography is easily overcome. Interactive distance lectures are nothing new in the university environment. However, with these types of courses there is an economic constraint determined by the equipment and facilities needed to provide an acceptable level of quality to the interactive session. In addition, there is a physical constraint in that the provider and participants need to be in specific locations. The provider needs to be in a studio-like facility to produce the near real-time interactive experience. The participants need to be in facility that is capable of receiving the presentation in its production format. Both the producer and participants need to have symmetric facilities. In a global education environment, an asymmetry of education facilities is more often the case than not, in particular, with regard to interactive media. We have developed a method that uses off the shelf technology to provide an inexpensive real time interactive educational experiences independent of specialized facilities and geography. What follows is a presentation of that method and the description of several global interactive courses that employ the method.