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Doctoral Students Participate in International Webinar

August 14, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Students in the Distance Education Cognate of Regent University’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program participated in an international webinar during their on-campus residency week in July. Entitled “Using Virtual Classrooms to Connect, Encourage, Engage, and Educate,” this online seminar featured representatives from the University of Adelaide (Australia), the University of London (England), and Regent’s School of Education.

The international webinar was coordinated by Dr. Jason D. Baker, author of Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education and Regent University School of Education faculty member and cognate advisor, and featured two guest speakers: Allan Carrington and Tim Neumann. Allan Carrington is an Instructional Designer with the Centre for Learning and Professional Development at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He has developed and conducted numerous live online conferences, called multiple venue presentations or webinars, with educational technology leaders from around the world. He visited Regent last year to discuss the use of podcasting in online learning. Tim Neumann is a Learning Technology Fellow and Research Officer with the London Knowledge Lab at the University of London and has also been active in the use of live online seminars to promote effective educational technology.

The focus of the webinar was the effective use of live online events to enhance the online learning experience. While the majority of university-level online learning is conducted asynchronously, there’s a growing interest in live or synchronous events as well as mobile learning technologies. This live online seminar enabled the Ed.D. students to learn from, and dialogue with, two international leaders in this emerging field. “My desire for our residency sessions was for our doctoral students to be exposed to leading research and practice in online and distance learning,” noted Dr. Baker. “Many of our students are already working as leaders in their fields and so they expect practical and insightful content.”

Doctoral students noted that the experience was both instructional and enjoyable. Randy Meredith, Ed.D. student and Director of Content and eLearning at Spring Arbor University, noted that participating in an interactive, international webinar provided a number of valuable experiences. These included, “the opportunity to engage a distance education expert from another country, providing an international perspective on distance education; first-hand experience using state of the art virtual classroom tools for learning and interaction; concrete examples of the potential of multiple venue presentations as an effective teaching and learning tool; and exposure to the challenges and possibilities inherent in synchronous learning activities.” Similarly, Betsey Noble, a member of Ed.D. Cohort 2004, said “It was exciting to learn from people so far away, to conquer the geographic distances, only left to deal with the different time zones and accents.”

The online seminar was the culmination of a week of the Distance Education Cognate students learning from leaders in the field. Guest speakers who engaged the students earlier in the week included the former vice president and dean of external studies at the Moody Bible Institute, a recent Regent graduate who works in the Navy’s education program, and a systems engineer from Apple Computer who demonstrated the new iTunesU program.

About Baker’s Guide

Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education (www.bakersguide.com) began in 1997 as an online listing of accredited Christian universities offering distance learning programs and has grown into the leading free online resource in the field. The website is authored by Jason D. Baker, Ph.D., an associate professor at Regent University who specializes in online and distance education and has both taught and taken classes online.