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Learning Can Be a Long Shot

Learning Can Be a Long Shot

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Learning Can Be a Long Shot

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  1. Learning Can Be a Long Shot A Comparison of Distance Education in And

  2. Outline • I. How it all Happened • II. Country Facts • III. Web-based Learning Skills • IV. Course Descriptions & Dates (3) • V. Student Feedback & Differences • VI. Conclusions • VII. Slide Show • VIII. Your thoughts FFT February 2004

  3. I. How it Happened • Sabbatical • Perused Fulbright Grants Page • Opening in Nepal • Received research/teaching grant for Nepal • 5 months: August – December • Sent email to the President of University of Iceland • U. of Iceland offered an instructor position for Jan – May • Applied for Senior Scholar Fulbright to Nepal for June and July FFT February 2004

  4. Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 10:59:52 -0800 (PST) From: Jeff Riskin <jeffriskin@yahoo.com> To: Karen Lemone <kal@cs.WPI.EDU> Subject: Nepal Hi, Karen, I don't like what I'm hearing in the news today; 127 police & soldiers killed by rebels in Nepal. Ongoing violence, etc, etc. Several stories can be accessed at Yahoo.com and/or your favorite news site. Why Nepal?!?!?! For this, you could go to Israel and be warm before you get blown up or Pakistan, climb some mountains and then get kidnapped! If you want to go far away, you'd love Australia; you might even get visitors. Cheers, Jeff FFT February 2004

  5. II. Country Facts • http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook • http://www.worldfactsandfigures.com/countries FFT February 2004

  6. Nepal: Slightly Larger than Arkansas Iceland: Slightly Smaller than Kentucky U.S.A: … Country Facts: SIZE FFT February 2004

  7. Nepal: 26.5 Million Iceland: 280 Thousand U.S.A: 290 Million Country Facts: Population FFT February 2004

  8. Nepal: Sub-Tropical Severe Winters Iceland: Temperate U.S.A: Mostly Moderate Country Facts: Climate FFT February 2004

  9. Nepal: None - Landlocked Iceland: Sealocked! U.S.A: Coastlines Country Facts: Maritime FFT February 2004

  10. Nepal: 70 m 8850 m Iceland: 0 2119 m U.S.A: -86 m 6194 m Country Facts: Elevation Extremes FFT February 2004

  11. Nepal: Quartz, H20, Hydropower, Timber, Beauty Iceland: Fish, Hydropower, Geothermal Power U.S.A: … Country Facts: Natural Resources FFT February 2004

  12. Nepal:Thunderstorms, Flooding, Landslides, Earthquakes, Maoist Terrorists Iceland: Earthquakes, Volcanoes U.S.A: … Country Facts: Hazards FFT February 2004

  13. Nepal:Deforestation, Contaminated water, Vehicular Emissons Iceland:Water Pollution?, Inadequate Wastewater Treatment? U.S.A:Air Pollution, Water Pollution… Current Environmental Issues FFT February 2004

  14. Nepal: 59 (Women: 58) Iceland: 80 U.S.A: 77 Country Facts: Life Expectancy FFT February 2004

  15. Nepal: 71 Iceland: 3.5 U.S.A: 7 Infant Mortalities/1000 Births FFT February 2004

  16. Nepal: Males: 41 % Females: 14 % Iceland: 100% U.S.A: 97% Literacy (15+ can read) FFT February 2004

  17. Nepal: One of the poorest, least-developed in the world Iceland: Capitalistic; Huge welfare system U.S.A: … Country Facts: Economy FFT February 2004

  18. Nepal: Tourism, Carpets, Textiles, Rice Iceland: Fish, Aluminum, Tourism U.S.A: Industrial Country Facts: Industries FFT February 2004

  19. Nepal: 47 % Iceland: 3 % U.S.A: 6 % Country Facts: Unemployment FFT February 2004

  20. Nepal: Poor; Few cell phones Iceland: Extensive, 248 thousand cell phones U.S.A: … Country Facts: Telephone System FFT February 2004

  21. Nepal: None (58 km narrow gauge) Iceland: None U.S.A: … Country Facts: Railways FFT February 2004

  22. Nepal: 35,000 Iceland: 144,000 U.S.A: 148 million Country Facts: Internet Users FFT February 2004

  23. III. Web-based Learning Background 1 • Charles Wedemeyer • 1960ish • Favored Independent Study over traditional correspondence study • Democracy in Education • Poor, Handicapped, Geographically Isolated • Learning Centers • New Technologies • Adult and Continuing Education • Ideas formed Basis for founding of British Open University FFT February 2004

  24. Web-based Learning Background 2 Theory of Transactional Distance Definition:Transactional Distance: Space of Potential Misunderstanding between the inputs of the instructor & those of the learner • Michael Moore & Greg Kearsley • Notion of geographical distance could be bridged using Technology • Both parties must seek to overcome communication gap • Three Variables 1. Interaction or Dialog • Little interaction increased transactional distancw 2. Course Structure and Layout • Need balance between “too little” and “too much” 3. Learner Autonomy • Student’s ability to direct learning without instructor supervision or intervention • More autonomy needed for larger transactional distance FFT February 2004

  25. Web-based Learning Background 3 • Insung Jung’s Theory on Web-based Instruction • Emphasize Pedagogy, not Technology • Communication • Between students and instructors • Between groups • Between individuals in class • Student Learning • Learning autonomy, but with student interactions • Both parties must seek to overcome communication gap • The Instructor • Encourage student communications • Stimulate interest in subject matter • Visual Factors important • Content expandable, adaptable FFT February 2004

  26. Web-based Learning Background 4 • Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Differences Model • Power Distance • Acceptance of unequal distribution of power • Uncertainty Avoidance • Degree of tolerance for deviation from the norm • Individualism • Includes gender equality • Maculinity • Assertiveness, materialism, self-centeredness • As opposed to: interdependence, quality of life, service FFT February 2004

  27. IV. Course Descriptions & Dates Audience : Grads Course : Compilers Mode : First 8 weeks in class; last 6 by distance learning Time Frame : October, 2002 –December 2003 Audience : Undergrads & Grads Course : Web programming Mode : ½ in-class ½ by distance learning Time Frame : January, 2003 – May 2003 FFT February 2004

  28. Essentially, the same course NEPAL NEPAL Courses (continued) Audience : Grads Course : Web Programming Mode : Distance - Learning Time Frame : June – July, 2003 Audience : Grads Course : Web Programming Mode : In-class Time Frame: June – July, 2003 Audience : Undergraduates Course : Web Programming Mode : Intensive (everyday, 5+ hrs) First 2 weeks in class; Last 2 by distance learning Time Frame : July, 2003 FFT February 2004

  29. Nepal Grads: Compiler Course In-Class1: Oct. – Dec Distance learning: Jan. – Feb. • Small Class • Background and Skills: Poor • Attitude: Good • Study Skills: Poor • Grades: Poor 1. Except for “bandh’s” FFT February 2004

  30. Nepal Grads: Compiler Course (contd..) • Difficult to Teach • Failing Grades • Inability to work Independently • Cheating • Introduced them to Course Management System (Bulletin Board) FFT February 2004

  31. Nepal Grads: Compiler Course (contd..) • Most submitted identical work • Most submitted poor work • Unable to continue the programming project • Group Postings! FFT February 2004

  32. Nepal Grads: Compiler Course (contd..) • Final Exam On-line • Department Chair Proctored • He let them cheat • Most failed • Grades: 1 A, 1 B, Rest C’s FFT February 2004

  33. V. Student Feedback & Differences Nepali Grads – Compiler Course Questionnaire Results FFT February 2004

  34. Feedback & Differences (contd..) Nepali Grads – Compiler Course Questionnaire Results FFT February 2004

  35. Feedback & Differences (contd..) Nepali Grads – Compiler Course Questionnaire Results FFT February 2004

  36. Feedback & Differences (contd..) • Other: • Liked the web-based material • Also wanted a text • Distance Learning Important for Nepal • They said: No Cultural Issues (!) Nepali Grads – Compiler Course Questionnaire Results FFT February 2004

  37. Online Behavioral Differences • At first, no bulletin board postings • They weren’t reading mine either • Posted as a group to the course bulletin board • See following email • Online content came from a published book • But since online, not considered adequate FFT February 2004

  38. Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 13:50:07 +0545 From: Rajesh Lal Nyachhyon <rajeshlal5@hotmail.com> To: kal@cs.wpi.edu Subject: lex file (rajesh) Parts/Attachments: 1 Shown 17 lines Text 2 OK 35 lines Text ---------------------------------------- Dear Karen Madam, I have saved the lex file in the Notepad....I did tried to save The input & outputs, but I couldn't. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. Love Rajesh. FFT February 2004

  39. Online Behavioral Differences • They did check grades constantly! • For distance learning part, 1, maybe 2 people did the assignments. Everyone else signed their name. • Unable to go out on the web to clarify material FFT February 2004

  40. Iceland Audience : Undergrads & Grads Course : Web Programming Mode : ½ in-class ½ by distance learning Time Frame : January, 2003 – May 2003 at 8 a.m.! • Large Class: 75 students • Easy, but unresponsive to teach • Rarely Posted to BB • Wide Age Range • Good backgrounds • (Too?) Independent • Little Cheating • Some worked hard, some didn’t FFT February 2004

  41. Iceland Results • 1/6 failed course • Many Low grades • In-class students did slightly better than Distance Learners • Most liked course • Most would take a Distance Learning Course (again) • Prided themselves on “Independence” FFT February 2004

  42. Essentially, the same course NEPAL NEPAL IV & V again: Back to Nepal Audience : WPI Grads (couple undergrads) Course : Web Programming Mode : Distance - Learning Time Frame: June – July, 2003 Audience : Same Grads Course : Web Programming Mode : In-class Time Frame : June – July, 2003 Audience : 3rd year Undergraduates Course : Web Programming Mode : Intensive (everyday, 5+ hrs) First 2 weeks in class; Last 2 by distance learning Time Frame : July, 2003 FFT February 2004

  43. Pre-Questionnaire WPI Students:Knew some or all of the material Nepali Grad Students:Knew none of the material WPI Students:Planned to spend an average of ~12 hours/week Nepali Grad Students:Planned to spend an average of ~6 hours/week WPI Students:2/14 had done distance learning Nepali Grad Students:6/9 claimed not to have done distance learning! FFT February 2004

  44. If Wishes were Horses… • Course: Programming + Project + Homeworks • I wanted the (Grad) Nepalis and the US students to work together. • Didn’t happen although they shared the Bulletin Board & Chat Room… FFT February 2004

  45. Results • US students mostly did well (A’s and B’s, 1 C, 1 Inc.) • Some excellent Projects • Appropriate Technology • Varying levels of Adaptive • No Cheating on Final? • Nepali grad students: Some did visually attractive projects • Little Technology • Only 1/9 did the Adaptive Part • Two students plagiarized on project • Did Poorly on Final • Nepali Undergrads: • Okay Projects • Okay Final (online, but proctored) • No major Issues FFT February 2004

  46. Questionnaire • US students • Mostly Content • Most (but not all) would take another distance learning course • Average Time Spent: 15+ hours/week • Nepali grad students: • Some didn’t think course appropriate to career goals • Think distance learning important for Nepal • Spent 10+ hours/week • Nepali Undergrads: • Similar answers to grads FFT February 2004

  47. VI. My Conclusions • U.S. • Distance Learning appropriate for many learning styles • Instructor must use communication tools • Theoretical Material must be animated for understanding • Iceland • Distance Learning appropriate for culture • Lack of communication skills impedes using tools • Nepali Grad students: • School needs to address attitude problem • Instructor must be aware of cultural issues • May not be appropriate for current generation • Lack of Independence impedes web-based learning • Nepali Undergrads: • ??? FFT February 2004