Fifty educators from 25 universities and training institutes in eight countries, including FUNiX Online Education Vietnam, gathered to discuss how to build rewarding experiences in online education.
The international webinar on “Opportunities and challenges for universities in building online programs in COVID-19 pandemic” organised by FUNiX Online Education (FPT Corporation) has been a success with lots of ideas and initiatives shared by participants.
Professor Bas Baskaran, Pro Vice-Chancellor for International Research Partnership of Deakin University (Australia), said: "Online education will be the future of higher education," adding that online education would develop in parallel with traditional education.
Deakin University has a more than 40-year history of implementing distance learning programmes. As one of Australia’s leading universities, Deakin ranked in the top 10 globally for offering online courses on MOOC platforms. With practical experience, Professor Baskaran emphasised that online training was not only a replacement for traditional training during the COVID-19 period.
This point of view was agreed upon by educators from other countries such as Japan, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Jeroen Schedler from Rangsit University (Thailand) said it was important to distinguish between the concept of "interaction" in online and offline training modes as the two types were different. The educators also shared the idea that online education was an opportunity to open up more benefits for students such as online-offline (hybrid) programmes; or cross-border projects on online platforms where students in different countries could easily connect and learn together.
Professor Takako Ochi of Gunma University (Japan) focused on using online platforms to maintain interaction for students. Accordingly, Gunma University is trying to implement many online interactive activities for students such as the Smart campus to campus (SCC) programme in collaboration with FUNiX, which aims to bring all activities of student exchange and transnational education on an online platform.
The educators also discussed the most popular challenges of online education in delivering practical components, maintaining students’ motivation and communication between students and teachers.
Professor Bas Baskaran of Deakin University said it was important to clearly define the learning outcomes of each activity. “As long as the learning outcomes are achieved, online or offline is not a matter anymore. Technology can give great support if we think in the right way,” he said.
Director of FUNiX Global, Hoang Van Cuong said: "At FUNiX, online education is not just about forcing students to sit in front of laptops to watch video lectures and do assignments. It should be an ecosystem of many interactive activities on the cloud". Besides studying, FUNiX students participate in game shows, debates, and work on projects together in a fully online environment, which help them maintain a strong connection despite geographical distance.
In order to find more long-term solutions to innovate online training programmes, the webinar participants agreed to establish the Global Online Educators Community Network (GOEC), which is coordinated and operated by FUNiX. The community will be a place for innovative educators around the globe to share and discuss best practices in developing highly interactive online education programmes. — VNS
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