On – Line Student Insight in West Panels: A Cultural Perspective Chinese Students ‘ Views

Milania Silva


The purpose of this study was to examine Chinese students’ perceptions of online learning at asynchronous discussion boards at distance education programs in an American university. The study employed a phenomenological methodology to explore learners’ lived online experiences in order to obtain in-depth understanding of any possible cultural challenges. Six Chinese students voluntarily participated in the study. Interviews with students were the primary data source. Data analysis showed that participants’ cultural backgrounds indeed influenced their online discussions.

Video Conferencing Technology Interactive: Benefits And Challenges From Its Use In Caribbean Island State University College

Izabelle Howe


The aim of this evaluative study was to determine the benefits and challenges of employing interactive video conference technology (IVCT) at the local state University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) thus suggesting ways of improving its use as a teaching and learning tool at the local university college.  Participants’ responses were triangulated to gain an overall view of the benefits and challenges of employing IVCT. Interviews and questionnaire responses suggest that students and the institution benefited. Students had access to various courses without the added cost of travel and being away from jobs and family. While it was assumed that the institution experienced financial savings, this needs to be periodically scrutinized to ensure a balance between perceived savings and significant new expenditure. Challenges experienced include the fact that IVCT made additional demands on staff members. They had to change their modus operandi, manage the equipment and be sensitive to the camera and the students at the remote site while delivering a lesson. This study, however, brings into sharp focus the challenge faced by staff and institutions in dealing with ‘immature’ students, and the additional challenge of doing so at a distance.