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A Model for Global Distance Education Projects

A Model for Global Distance Education Projects
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Author(s): Cindy Beacham (West Virginia University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch208


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Globalization of education has become a major focus of many universities and programs over the past several years. Providing international experiences for students is a commitment institutions have made to help students embrace diversity more fully, and prepare more completely for current professional expectations (National On-Campus Report, 2004). Many organizations define international educational experiences as “study abroad” activities, and concentrate on recruiting students for exchange and travel-based programs. This approach, however, is beginning to change (Knight, 2004). Given the current uncertainty in many international settings, students and families are sometimes reluctant to commit to an abroad travel experience. Finances also factor into many student’s decisions about travel. Costs of higher education have risen substantially, and an overwhelming number of students are financing their education through loans requiring repayment upon graduation. Adding a semester or summer abroad to that debt is sometimes unmanageable for students. As a result, some schools are exploring different methods of providing international exposure without requiring students to travel (OECD, 2004). One such method is to create a collaborative experience modeled on an educational design charrette. This activity is typically faculty-driven, and requires that student groups solve a given problem in a limited amount of time and present their solution. For the purposes of a global experience, student teams are composed of diverse students, and the problem would be addressed through digital means. This paper provides a model for such an alternative global experience that can be used in conjunction with, or to replace a travel-based abroad experience.

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