A NEW DIMENSION IN INTERNATIONALISATION OF THE CURRICULUM - A “VIRTUAL OVERSEAS CLASSROOM” VIA VIDEO CONFERENCING TECHNOLOGY AND A COMPARATIVE INDIGENOUS RIGHTS COURSE EXPERIENCE
1 University of Queensland (AUSTRALIA)
2 University of Auckland (AUSTRALIA)
3 University of Waikato School of Law (NEW ZEALAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:We are part of a team of legal academics who deliver an internationally comparative Indigenous rights course to students in Canada, the United States, Aoteroa/New Zealand and Australia simultaneously via videotele conference (VTC) system. Our course exemplifies the Internationalisation of Teaching and Learning and through the innovative use of technology to create a “virtual overseas classroom” for our students. Students are directly exposed to the knowledge and perspectives of international experts and students, without having to leave their home University. The course broadens students’ international and global perspectives and prepares them for sustainable careers in the field, both nationally and internationally. The international Universities involved include: University of Waikato, University of Auckland and Wellington University (Aotearoa/New Zealand), University of Ottawa and University of Saskatchewan (Canada), University of Oklahoma (USA), University of Queensland and Monash University (Australia).
The course comprises weekly seminars, with instructors presenting PowerPoint presentations, audiovisual material via high definition video cameras, and facilitating discussion by audio activated automatic transferring between the screens of the participating universities as needed. The change over from expensive ISDN lines to Internet Protocol based videoconferencing along with the acquisition of a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), or bridge, by several of the partner universities has allowed a growing number of Universities to become involved since the course began in 2001.
The aim of our presentation is to enable other educators to consider the suitability of videoconferencing courses for international and comparative areas of study, and to learn from the authors’ experiences of the benefits and difficulties involved in this teaching mode.
Our presentation will introduce and review the experience of video-conference teaching in a comparative Indigenous law course as a key dimension in the internationalisation of the curriculum. This presentation will focus on the following significant aspects of this course:
(i) The dynamics and logistics of teaching and delivering a video-conferencing course to a number of global sites, including:
• The origins and development of this course,
• The logistics and dynamics of teaching an international video link course (including scheduling of classes in different time zones and IT support, programming, currency and expertise in law in the different jurisdictions and how to deal with failures of technology),
• The course web site for both students and the teaching team, and
• Student responses to this form of teaching.
(ii) The role of video-conferencing teaching across borders in promoting internationalisation of the curriculum and making knowledge work internationally, including:
• The incorporation of global/international themes in the course (including why an internationally comparative Indigenous course experience is relevant to student learning),
• The ways in which our course prepares students to work or study in international settings, and
• How the course promotes cultural awareness and responsible global citizenship.
Keywords: Virtual overseas classroom.