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Global Communications in a Graduate Course on Online Education at the University of Tsukuba - page 26 / 30

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APACALL Book II

of online learning textbooks such as McVay-Lynch (2004), who had conducted the earlier online presentation] in America was peppered with questions all the students had accumulated in this class. Concerning the actual situation of online education, roles of teachers and students, Maggie patiently answered one question after another, undeterred by our Japanese-accented English. It was palpably felt that she was a leader in this field. Later Prof. McCarty left a lasting impression by pointing out how the Japanese word [Chinese characters] for human beings literally stressed the relationships between people, and that he similarly found relationships the essence of the connectivity in online education. 11:00-15:00 [End of the Course] Students worked independently on their final reports and, although some struggled with computer glitches, submitted them [attached to e-mail messages as MS Word files including screen shots]. A photo of the students with the instructor was taken [with a digital camera], commemorating five satisfying days of the intensive course. Impressions Audioconferencing, where a number of human beings could talk to each other in close to real time across the ocean, was an experience even more enjoyable than expected. Even so, slight time lags and noise, and not being able to see the expression of one’s interlocutors, made it feel like a more difficult activity for the learner that the usual f2f communication. Even so it was undeniably superb practical training in listening and speaking. Having had almost no prior knowledge of online education, this intensive course was very useful for grasping the big picture. Particularly for junior and senior high school students in Japan who have hardly any opportunity to use English outside of class, online education holds superb potential. It is a most suitable place for activating and actually using what is learned in class. Education through the Internet had seemed to be something personal and closed off from others, but it turns out to be surprisingly interactive. It is useful in expanding the individual’s narrow world. Provision of online education opportunities in Japan, with students participating unreservedly, is to be anticipated. We close this report by thanking the organizer Prof. Iwasaki as well as Prof. McCarty for the superb course.

Appendix 3: The students’ original report on the course and their impressions

Theory and Practice of Online Education

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