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Global Communications in a Graduate Course on Online Education at the University of Tsukuba - page 4 / 30





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soon after this course. According to course needs and how the instructor had perceived their strengths, HorizonLive was selected for audioconferences and mainly the voice BBS of Wimba. The Portland WebCT was to serve for chats, text discussion, course e-mail, Web documents by the instructor as the designer, and participants’ home pages, including those of mentors to increase familiarity.

Furthermore, preparations included gathering the registered students’ names and e-mail addresses to send to Oregon and South Australia so that students could be given user names and passwords to log into the course venues. The graduate students were also sent a message with the URL for the class home page on the open Web with links to articles and resources on online education for study before, during and after the one-week course.

The following graphic charts the various elements that were arranged for at no cost, with nearly every element working reliably as planned. To some extent it may provide a model of a global class achievable today.

Chart 1: Elements of the Online Education course

As can be seen, there are people and technologies in various venues and countries. Functions and applications listed were ones that were used in this course. They are classified as is customary in online education according to whether activities are synchronous (in real time) or not. Classroom activities are similarly classified. Toward the upper right corner the items under “Study” are not necessarily in the password-protected Portland WebCT environment but are available on the open Web, set up before the course. While the elements of the course fit together on this chart, behind each venue there were people, either learning or supporting

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