Ball State to Launch Global Distance Education Program
Thanks to a Web-based videoconferencing system, Ball State University students and students from around the globe soon will experience seminars and classes that will create global classrooms. Ball State is testing a system called the Global Media Network with schools from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The interactive system allows students and faculty at various locations to interact in real time.
“This is a unique opportunity for our students to learn from faculty and students from other culturally diverse countries,” says Dr. Scott Olson, dean of the College for Communication, Information and Media. “The cost of sending every student and faculty member overseas or bringing their counterparts here would be expensive and time-consuming. This is a cost-effective way to improve learning.”
Interactive sessions could begin as early as this summer with the project being fully launched this fall. Most of the sessions will be group discussions allowing students and faculty to interact informally, according to Olson.
“The seminar model is the better, richer way for students to learn using distance education than just the lecture model alone. Our vision is that 10 students overseas and 10 students on our campus will have wonderful conversations about biology, nursing, journalism or management,” Olson says.
Colleges and universities expected to participate include the University of Calgary, Canada; University of Monterrey, Cuernavaca, Mexico; University of Mainz and ZDF-TV in Germany; University of Istanbul, Turkey; University of Hong Kong; Shanghai Teachers College, China; King Mongkut, Thailand; and University of Queensland, Australia.
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