In this ITEL project, The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) in the School of Foreign Service (SFS) developed an online version of Global Trends in International Migration, the gateway course to the Certificate in International Migration Studies. The online program uses multi-media delivery of content, including videotaped lectures, oral lecture captures, written transcripts, and links to Georgetown-developed and open source videos; discussion boards and student journals to allow discussion of readings and lectures; individual and team presentations on chosen research topics; and periodic assessment of student learning through quizzes and examinations. Project investigator Susan Martin sought to address whether students would learn as much about global trends in international migration and be as satisfied in an online course as they do and are in the in-person version she has taught for years. Although Global Trends is a non-credit course in which students are not graded, there were a number of ways Martin assessed their learning, including analyzing student engagement in Knowledge Checks, online class discussions, and final papers and presentations.
I have learned that an online course works for delivering this content and works extremely well with a diverse, professional student body.
Preliminary findings suggest that students were learning a great deal. Several students had taken in-person course in the Certificate program and they noted they felt they had learned even more during the online course. The online discussion was lively, informative, and reflective and papers and presentations were, by and large, excellent.
Martin is integrating constructive feedback from students into future iterations of the course by looking at ways to streamline the requirements and provide options for those who do not have time to write a paper but would be able to do other summative activities. She is also considering how to overcome the challenge of downloading videos for students working in developing countries. The positive feedback and technological experience from this project has inspired Martin to integrate videos into regular classes and use Blackboard more effectively, with the hope to potentially creating an online version of her "Refugees and Displaced Persons" course. CNDLS has developed the second iteration of Global Trends, which launched in April 2015.
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