Landing : Athabascau University

Internationalizing Athabasca

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By Terry Anderson January 30, 2012 - 7:56pm

I have been reading President Pannekoek's blogs on the Landing about his international trips and attempts to help Nepal found an Open University. I think these efforts are well and good but do little to push the international agenda for athabasca.

Robion Mason (a Canadian who worked for years at the OU -UK) wrote of three suggested ways to internationalize an open education curricula

"Mason (1998) recommends three approaches to globalizing education: beginning in areas of curriculum which have global content so all participants have an equal status and an equal contribution to make; trans-border consortia, where each partner contributes courses to the pool to avoid the trap of the dominant provider and the dependent receiver; and focusing not on exporting courses at all, but on developing resources and international contacts to enable one’s own students to become global citizens." From Gunnarwardeni (in press)

For the first solution, I don't think we have ever really targetted an international thrust to our curriculum, but given the importance of global business and culture, maybe we are oevrdue, to meet Mason's first solution

If we are fortunate, we may be able to develop an international consortia with Nepal and other countries to gain needed economy of scale for courses produced at Athabasca and internationaly. The second means also seems like a useful strategy, but one we have had had little result with in our first 30 years at AU. But I am hopeful!

The third, to create an international experience with international DE students, is an illusive goal as well, but one in which the Landing may play a critical role. What if we were to invite targeted students to contribute to groups, fora and resources to the landing- thereby creating possibilities for international networking and connections.

Technically this would be rather easy, but we need to get a critical mass of users (from AU) such that they would see a vibrant AU community to which they could join - without having to relocate.

I wonder how we would pilot such an exchange??



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