October 30, 2013

Shared Courses

The immersive experience in the Telepresence rooms throughout the 4-VA system provided one of first collaborative efforts between campuses at the inception of the program.  Using this technology, Mason students are able to take classes offered at other schools while Mason faculty teach classes which are delivered to students enrolled at 4-VA partner universities. 

Teaching Korean, With a Twist

As a long-time instructor in the Korean language Dae Yong Kim has faced his share of teaching challenges – early in his career at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center in Monterrey, Calif. and later, at a New York City high school.  So, when he arrived on the Mason campus two years ago, he quickly settled into a more predictable routine.  That, he thought, would change when he was asked to teach Korean not only to his students on the Mason campus, but also to students on the campus at James Madison University, a 4-VA partner school 116 miles to the southwest, via the 4-VA Telepresence Room.

Shared courses, like the one that Kim would go on to teach, are one of the pillars of the 4-VA partner institutions.  “The ability to offer shared courses like Korean is an important goal for reducing faculty costs and expanding course opportunities for our students,” explains Mason’s 4-VA Campus Coordinator Janette Muir.

After getting a feel for the room and the dynamics, Kim realized he had to make some modifications in his teaching style and in the class materials. “I spent a lot of time thinking up how to change the classroom to make it interesting and challenging,” explains Kim.

“I quickly recognized I had to make some changes in everything from the font size on my PowerPoint slides to how I engage my students, especially the ones at JMU,” said Kim.  So Kim got to work, enlarging the font and minimizing the content on the slides.

His next step was to change his style, “You can’t do lecture style teaching in the Telepresence Room, I have to engage the class.  I decided that I had to focus on the JMU students, because I’ve already got the attention of my students here. But they can’t spend one hour and 15 minutes staring at the monitor.  Now, I do more group activities like have the students interview their peers and then we all analyze the interview as a class.”

Kim’s next hurdle was to figure out how to handle quizzes — the backbone of a language class, to ensure that students are retaining their vocabulary. But conducting such quizzes, fairly, 100+ miles away would be difficult.  To overcome this, Kim gives each of the students at JMU different vocab tests and each choose their correct answers amongst responses provided.  Once a student selects the right answer, they record it in a notebook.  When they complete their notebook response sheet, the student takes a picture of page and emails it to Kim.  Kim monitors his phone throughout the allotted quiz time to ensure that he has received each student’s quiz.

After concluding his first year in the Telepresence Room, teaching a class in the 2018 Fall Semester and the 2019 Spring Semester, Kim is impressed with the results.

“I honestly thought students would drop the class after one or two sessions, I thought they’d find it too difficult to follow,” says Kim.  But the students proved him wrong.  They all stayed engaged and worked hard throughout the course.  What’s more, Kim reports, “As an experienced Korean teacher, I know what their proficiency level should be at the end of the semester and what they need to do to achieve that level.  I was surprised to see that there was not a drop off in proficiency at all!”

Fall 2019

HEBR 101-V01 – Elementary Hebrew 1
CRN: 81987
TR 2:00 – 3:15 p.m., Merten 3001
(Taught by Virginia Tech and shared with Mason)
Instructor: Ester Hallerman

Spring 2019


KORE 102-V01 – Intermediate Korean

CRN: 22210
TR 10:30 – 11:45 a.m., Merten 3001
(Taught by Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Dae Yong Kim

KORE 102-V02 – Intermediate Korean
CRN: 22195
TR 12:00 – 1:15 p.m., Merten 3001
(Taught by Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Dae Yong Kim

PERS 210-V01 – Intermediate Persian
CRN: 20623
MW 9:00 – 10:15 a.m., Engineering 2903
(Taught by Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Maziar Valamotamed

PERS 330 – V03 – Advanced Persian I
CRN: 18756
MW 10:30 – 11:45 a.m., Engineering 2903
(Taught by Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Maziar Valamotamed

 

Fall 2018

 

PERS 110 – V02 – Elementary Persian
6 credits
(Taught at Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Maziar Valamotamed

PERS 202 – V01 – Intermediate Persian II
3 credits
(Taught at Mason and shared with James Madison University)
Instructor: Maziar Valamotamed

FREN 391 – V01 – French for the Business World ***new course offering
3 credits
(offered by Old Dominion University)
Instructor: Peter Schulman

HIST 535 – V01/635- V01 – France’s Decolonized Legacy
3 credits
(offered by Old Dominion University)
Instructor: Peter Schulman

KORE 101 – VO1 Elementary Korean
3 credits
Taught at Mason and shared with James Madison and Virginia Tech students
Instructor: Dae Yong Kim