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New Book from AACE: "A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning"
Monday, August 24, 2009
Recapping E-Learning in Asia Book, Special Journal Issue, and Las Vegas Event:
Sorry again for not posting for a week. I have been posting elsewhere. Details to come soon.

Good news! Last week I received a book in the mail. It was a "special" book. I have been waiting patiently in anticipation of it. But special it is! In fact, it was titled: "A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning." This book is a print-on-demand book. It also also a "special" issue of the most recent issue of the International Journal on E-Learning, volume 8, number 4. The digital format of the journal is out in the AACE library but not the printed version yet. Ironically, the book is already out in both versions. Here is the citation:

Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. (see or and

You can order the electronic copy or the printed version of the book from the AACE digital library. The printed version (which I am recommending to you) is only $15. I think the e-book is cheaper. Below is the book cover. It is pretty special I think. Hope you agree. Tom Reynolds and I have wanted to do a book together for 20 years now. Finally!

Note: this was also a special journal issue: Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). International Journal on E-Learning. 8(4). Special issue: A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning.

Some History or Overview:
This is not the first such review of e-learning in Asia. There was one over two years ago in the March 2007 special issue of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. That earlier issue was coordinated by my good friend Dr. Insung Jung from International Christian University in Japan. She titled that issue the “Changing Faces of Open and Distance Learning in Asia” (IRRODL, 8(1), 2007). In the opening article introducting that issue, Insung mentioned that, at that time, there were 70 universities within Asia dedicated to open access to education. And these were big ones. Really, really big ones! The supersized whoppers of the e-learning world. In fact, 7 of the 11 largest universities in the world were in Asia; each with over 100,000 students. Hence, why the world seemed to be tuning in to e-learning events in Asia. Much media as well as research attention.

Her special issue documented much e-learning attention and growth that was happening in Asia. In some coutries included in that issue, the governments and universities were experimenting with cross-border relationships and other unique partnerships. There were also places wherein the focus was on blended learning programs whicn combined self-study with online and face-to-face experiences as needed by the learner or dictated by the content. There was increasing focus on expanding access to content, greater course interactivity (i.e., less boring stuff), and customization and individualization of learning modules, courses, and programs. Of course, many digital divide issues remained as well as quality control, assessment, and plagiarism concerns.

E-Learning in Las Vegas (November, 2008):
As we read the articles in that issue, my colleagues, Tom Reynolds from National University in San Diego and Mimi Miyoung Lee from the University of Houston, and I were extremely impressed. Insung had gathered a highly unique group of people for her special issue. So excited by the vast changes happening in the Asia e-learning scene that Tom, Mimi, and I decided to conduct a special preconference session on e-learning in Asia at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education in Las Vegas on November 17, 2008.

The three of us were the program chairs for the conference. So, we at least knew who to talk to ( Further impetus came from the conference founder and director, Dr. Gary Marks, who was encouraging us to do so. He too was excited by what he saw happening in terms of Asia e-learning. We quickly replied to him, sure, why not...Las Vegas is a special place in which to try this out. So we went and searched for the best people we could find. We found a dozen shooting stars! They were making many brilliant waves in their respective countries.

With a few Web searches, emails, MSN chats, and Skype calls, we soon set up a preconference symposium on e-learning in Asia for the E-Learn 2008 Conference in Las Vegas. We got many fascinating people to join us. Unfortunately, Insung Jung, herself, was not available at that time. Gary gave us a complete day for the symposium. And at the end of the day, we had dinner and saw a fantastic show in Vegas called Le Reve. What fun! See below.

We designed the day so that the symposium addressed a range of issues related to e-learning throughout Asia. During the event, we had a dozen different people showcase their e-learning research and program innovations within 10 different Asian countries. The countries that were represented were China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Turkey. Unfortunately, the representative from an eleventh country, Indonesia, had to cancel at the last minute due to administrative responsibilities back home. A picture of the participants is below.

Tom, Mimi, and I acted as the moderators and coordinators of these presentations and ensuing interactions among the participants as well as session discussants. Mimi wrapped up the day with her reactions. Tom posted what was happening to the conference blog. And I made sure we tried to end the session on time. We also were helped by Dr. Tom Reeves from the University of Georgia who attended the morning session but had his own workshop in the afternoon. He gave a quite lively and fun recap of the morning presentations. Tom also wrote the ending chapter of the special issue. A special thanks to Tom!

We had so much fun at the conference symposium during the day as well as the events that unfolded that night and throughout the conference, that we decided to do the special journal issue mentioned above. And, as noted, that special issue has now become a book. The countries included in the special issue book and journal are: Japan (2 chapters), Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Turkey; in that order. (Sidenote: Mimi, as a Korean native, indirectly represented that country. Tom and I foolishly attempted to represent Nepal and Bhutan, respectively, but were not successful--I am joking.)

Such is digital scholarship in the 21st century. So much is possible and quickly. The special issue includes a wide range of topics, concerns, and opportunities. Areas discussed in the various chapters include the impact of e-learning on students, new requirements for instructors, models for e-learning adoption and implementation, and the ways in which the Web 2.0 and other technologies are used within Asia for e-learning (in particular, the Japan and Singapore chapters). Some chapters also address motivation and retention issues, institutionally-sponsored research, e-portfolios, assessment and evaluation, administration and management, and future trends. See below for the table of contents (with names of the participants and their respective countries noted).

Book/Journal Contents

Preface: A Special Passage Through Asia E-Learning p. 9 Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, and Thomas H. Reynolds

Opening Comments on E-Learning in Asia p. 17 Mimi Miyoung Lee

Digital Trends Among Japanese University Students: Podcasting and Wikis as Tools for Learning p. 23
Yayoi Anzai

From Competency List to Curriculum Implementation: A Case Study of Japan's First Online Master's Program for E-Learning Specialists Training p. 39 Katsuaki Suzuki

E-Learning in Supplemental Educational Systems in Taiwan: Present Status and Future Challenges p. 49 Ke Zhang and Jui-Long Hung

E-Learning in the Philippines: Trends, Directions, and Challenges p. 65 Melinda M. Dela Pena-Bandalaria

University 2.0: A View From Singapore p. 81 Daniel T. H. Tan, Chye Seng Lee, Lay Kock Chan, and Adrian Din How Lu

E-Learning in Malaysia: Moving Forward in Open Distance Learning p. 97 Zoraini Wati Abas

E-Learning Readiness in the Academic Sector of Thailand p. 109 Thanomporn Laohajaratsang

E-Learning in India p. 119 Sanjaya Mishra
Academic Social Networks Affecting the Adoption of E-Learning in Turkey p. 131 Siew Mee Barton, Brian Corbitt, and Lemai Nguyen
E-Learning in Asia: Just as Good Is Not Good Enough p. 147 Thomas C. Reeves

Countries for Special Issue (the passageway):
A map of the participating countries is below. Keep in mind that country selections were based on nominations and places or people with known innovations in e-learning. Our special passage through e-learning in Asia could have taken a much different route. We realize that a more northerly passage would have provided a much different view. We also know that a set of chapters from the same eight countries just 5 or 10 years from now would have vastly different issues, challenges, opportunities, and questions.

I hope you enjoy this special passage through Asia e-learning. Many of us will reconvene at the E-Learn conference in Vancouver in late October. If you are going, please let me know. Books will likely be on display.

Global Learn:
We will also get many people to talk about e-learning in Asia at the new conference we are helping create called Global Learn: Global Conference on Learning and Technology. Global Learn will be in Asia and the Pacific Rim region each April or May. The first one will be in Penang, Malaysia May 17-20, 2010. Here is the hotel (quiet, this is still a secret!). Hope to see you there. Perhaps you can be a contributor to this first ever type of event. I promise to bring a few copies of this book to pass out at my sessions. Of course, we will continue the conversation there. It should be highly interesting and exciting as broadband expands in Asia as does mobile learning and so much more. And that will certainly be special. See you at the Shangri-la!

Before Global Learn, please take some time and explore that special passage through Asia e-learning. You will meet many fantastic people from India, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan. Oh, ya, also some great scholars from Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. And very special friends from Australia doing research in Turkey. Smile.

Just $15 USD from AACE. Order direct.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 7:51 PM  
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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

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