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Reflections on creating an international virtual benchmarking model for authentic e-learning: Crossing boundaries and breaking down barriers PROCEEDINGS

, Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences, Finland ; , HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland ; , Murdoch University, Australia ; , Hanyang Cyber University, Korea (South)

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-76-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA

Abstract

International virtual teamwork offers new opportunities for the professional development of teachers. In this paper, we examine the initial experiences in an ongoing international virtual benchmarking project coordinated by the Finnish Online University of Applied Sciences. What challenges does an international context present for project construction and collaboration? Data from five countries, in the form of participant reflections and researchers’ observations, were analysed according to four types of barriers: language, time, technical and mental barriers. Initial data indicates that trust is an essential starting point, as there is neither time nor possibilities to build mutual trust by traditional means. Organisational confidentiality issues, however, can complicate the situation. The project introduces ‘collision’ as a method of professional development, in which not only physical and organisational borders are crossed, but also mental barriers, as skills and competencies needed in global learning environments are acquired.

Citation

Leppisaari, I., Vainio, L., Herrington, J. & Im, Y. (2009). Reflections on creating an international virtual benchmarking model for authentic e-learning: Crossing boundaries and breaking down barriers. In T. Bastiaens, J. Dron & C. Xin (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2009--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 950-959). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Slides