A Case Study of a Distance Degree Program in Vietnam: Examples from a Learner-Centered Approach to Distance Education

A Case Study of a Distance Degree Program in Vietnam: Examples from a Learner-Centered Approach to Distance Education

Kristy Beers Fägersten (Söderstorn University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4486-1.ch009
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Abstract

The English Department at Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden, participates in a distance-learning program with the Faculty of Education at Vietnam National University. Students who enroll in this program are teachers of English at secondary or tertiary institutions, and will study half time for two years to complete a Master’s degree in English Linguistics. The distance program, adapted specifically to accommodate the Vietnamese students in terms of cultural differences as well as inexperience with distance methodology, is characterized by three design features: testing, technical training, and fostering a community of learners. The design of the courses also reflects a learner-centered approach that addresses common problem areas in distance education by promoting interactivity. Central to the overall program is the maintenance of different channels of communication, reflecting an effort to support the students academically and socially, both as individuals and members of a learning community. In this way, the effects of physical and cultural distances are minimized.

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