As I was reading Mohamad Ally’s article I came across the term globalization. “Because of globalization, information is not location-specific, and with the increasing use of telecommunication, technologies experts and learners from around the world can share and review information.” (Ally, 2008) These concepts of globalization and online learning struck my curiosity and I wanted to know more about them. I work at a tribal college. The knowledge that we teach is place-based knowledge. The history and culture that is taught through the Native Studies program and foundational courses for all programs of study is based on Lummi history and culture. We also have extended campus sites at Northwest Indian College in neighboring tribal communities. The history and culture taught at these sites is also place-based to their tribal communities.
So the idea of globalization struck my curiosity because it seemed to be the opposite direction from where we are going. And I wanted to know the perspectives around this concept. I found an article written by Kirk St. Amant titled, Online Education in an Age of Globalization: Foundational Perspectives and Practices for Technical Communication Instructors and Trainers. The article discusses the interest in online education and how it is increasing all around the world. It also discusses the development of the courses and best practices for delivery.
Though there is much interest in online education around the world due to decreased funding for brick and mortar universities, the areas of study seem to be limited. When looking at a global context, there are only so many areas of study that apply. This article mainly discusses business. Business is an area that does have its own language that has spread throughout the world. Students from Korea can take the same classes in business with students from America and their knowledge will be relevant no matter where they decide to look for work. For the purposes of offering online programs in business, I see value in global online learning. There can be positive attributes and negative attributes to globalizing education. One positive attribute is that students could take classes from anywhere and work anywhere. Their degree and expertise would most likely be recognized at any of the countries that accept those online degrees. One negative attribute is that when you are learning about business in the world, there is very little room for specialization.
When I first heard this concept of globalization I instantly wanted to know if it would be in conflict with place-based learning. But I now see they are two very different concepts of learning and really they are both based on student interest. A person who would like to know more about their identity and focus their academic career on their home community would want a place-based education. A person who hopes to move away from home and would like an opportunity to work anywhere could choose a global online educational system.
Ally, M. (2008). Foundations for Educational Theory for Online Learning. In Andersen, T., & Elloumi, F. (Eds.). The Theory and Practice of Online Learning (2nd ed). (pp. 15-44). Athabasca, AB, Canada: Athabasca University.
St. Amant, K. (2007). Online Education in an Age of Globalization: Foundational Perspectives and Practices for Technical Communication Instructors and Trainers. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16, 13-30.