Title

Multi-university Internet video-conferencing course provides novel approach to student-directed learning

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-12-2007

Abstract

Connecting graduate students with experts in a given discipline is vital to their success but has often been challenging because of logistics, costs, and scheduling. However, advances in Internet video conferencing now allow multiple parties to meet simultaneously and engage in real-time discussion.

Connecting graduate students with experts in a given discipline is vital to their success but has often been challenging because of logistics, costs, and scheduling. However, advances in Internet video conferencing now allow multiple parties to meet simultaneously and engage in real-time discussion.

This new technology allowed us to design a graduate-level seminar in which students were able to directly engage in scientific discussion with experts on volcano instability. Conducted under the auspices of the Earth Hazards (EHaz) Consortium, the spring 2007 Volcano Instability course connected nine previously disparate groups in a combined learning and cultural experience, and followed on from a similar class offered last year (Mann et al., 2006; Rose and Stix, 2006). Course participants (including guest speakers, students, and university professors) used Marratech Internet video conferencing software to meet twice weekly with the objective of promoting student-directed learning. Many universities can participate through this approach, allowing an advanced graduate class that normally contains 4–8 students on one campus to become a class of 50 or more dispersed over many campuses.

Publisher's Statement

© 2007 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1190/1.2794397

Publication Title

The Leading Edge