Tourism and the Virtual Classroom in Hawai‘i and Singapore
This chapter examines a virtual or “borderless” classroom as experienced by instructors and students in an exchange between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) in the fall of 2001. The subject of the four-week exercise was tourism, and instructors on both sides of the Pacific agreed to use their respective environments as laboratories for teaching and learning. However, education is very much embedded in national cultures, a factor that increases the challenge of establishing international learning networks that involve “moving cultures.” The participants' experiences thus prompt questions such as: To what extent does a virtual classroom work to transcend the boundaries for which it is designed? In what ways do the exigencies of time, space, and human embodiment keep the virtual classroom moored to or in mimicry of face-to-face interaction? What kinds of learning take place in this virtual classroom? How does technology shape our expectations and the outcomes of the interaction?
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