A distributed learning environment for teaching international business: A systems approach to models for undergraduate instruction
Robert L. Filling, George Mason University, United States
George Mason University . Awarded
This dissertation contributes to the emerging pedagogy relative to international business and provides advocacy for the application of web-based, distributed learning environments at the community college level. The application of distributed learning (instructor, student, content distributed over time and place) and online instructional resources offers educators a tremendous tool to address international business, both in providing current information and, more importantly, in developing the skills of self-inquiry and assimilation of information into an understanding of global business operations. This dissertation presents representative course models for online asynchronous, online synchronous, hybrid, and supplemented classroom instruction, and provides planning considerations for the supporting instructional architecture and concept of operation that would need to exist at a college. The models incorporate public sector resources into a distributed learning environment. The study was a phased, qualitative research effort, including an initial policy analysis of current literature, followed by a faculty survey at a representative community college, and finally the application of this analysis. The study assimilated the results of policy analysis, surveys, and personal experience into course models for teaching international business. A distributed learning environment concept fundamentally takes a systems approach to learning. The learning environment is an integrated system of courses operating within the parameters of an instructional architecture. New web-based resources can be quickly incorporated into the system, new class formats to respond to student demands can be developed in a synchronized manner, and the learning curve of course design is accelerated by capturing the experiences from a network of participants in a distributed learning environment. This learning environment promotes the role of faculty as a learning facilitator. The material presented in the dissertation on the instructional architecture, quality assurance, instructional activities, and the four course models put forward a hierarchy of planning considerations that an institution could use in making the strategic decisions for configuring a distributed learning environment. This dissertation provides a perspective on realizing the true value added of a distributed learning environment using web-based resources to create learning opportunities in the subject of international business.
Filling, R.L. A distributed learning environment for teaching international business: A systems approach to models for undergraduate instruction. Ph.D. thesis, George Mason University.
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