Reflections on creating an international virtual benchmarking model for authentic e-learning: Crossing boundaries and breaking down barriers

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Authors

Irja Leppisaari, Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences, Finland ; Leena Vainio, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland ; Jan Herrington, Murdoch University, Australia ; Yeonwook Im, Hanyang Cyber University, Korea (South)

World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Oct 26, 2009 in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-76-1

Abstract

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.

Citation

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 August 29, 2014 from http://www.editlib.org/p/32580.


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