Reflections on creating an international virtual benchmarking model for authentic e-learning: Crossing boundaries and breaking down barriers
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World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Oct 26, 2009 in Vancouver, Canada
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.
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 et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009 (pp. 950-959). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://www.editlib.org/p/32580.
© 2009 AACE