Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Answering Questions about e-Learning in Vietnam

After a rather icky day of traveling yesterday from Beijing to Hanoi, I awoke this morning to prepare for a meeting at the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). My friends Mr. Khanh and Mr. Hoang from Tra Vinh University (TVU) set up this meeting at MOET as a major step in the process to get official approval for the delivery of e-Learning programs in Vietnam by Minnesota Online.

MOET tightly controls all forms of education in Vietnam and without their approval we will not be able to move forward with the collaborative relationship between MnOnline and TVU and also between MnOnline and the VACC (Vietnam Association of Community Colleges). Today, the MOET group was led by Dr. Tran Van Nhung, Vice Minister. After brief introductions and welcomes, I made a presentation about Minneota Online emphasizing the student support services that are provided, as well as the types of degrees offered 100% online, and also placed a special emphasis upon the accreditation process in the USA for online degree programs.

It was very interesting to listen to their questions and concerns, since they all had a familiar ring to them. In particular, they are much the same concerns that have been raised constantly in the USA over the past 10-12 years. How do you know for sure who the learner is? Are there certain subjects that just can't be taught online? Isn't the quality of instruction/learning significantly lower than in F2F instruction?

By the end of the morning session, I believed that we had made significant progress towards a better understanding of what Minnesota Online can provide as well as how e-Learning can be provided in a high-quality, high-achieving manner. We'll wait to see what the outcome is as they decide whether to allow foreign countries to deliver e-Learning opportunities in Vietnam. My sense is that they will.

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