Volume #6, Issue #1

Date: November 1992

Jason Ohler, Director
Educational Technology Program
University of Alaska Southeast


In the industrial age, we go to school. In the information age, school can come to us. This is the message implicit in the media and movement of distance education.

Volume #6, Issue #1

Date: November 1992


Jason Ohler
Educational Technology Program Director
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Phone: 907-789-4538
Assistant Editor:
Ruth Ryan
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Technical Coordinator:
Paul J. Coffin
716 Taschereau
Ste. Therese, Quebec
J7E 4E1
Phone: 514-430-0995

Welcome to the last issue of the Online Chronicle for the year.

A combination of the recession and declining oil prices and oil production in Alaska have conspired to reduce the amount of time and staff my institution can devote to the Chronicle. It has been a struggle during the last few years to produce the Chronicle, and this year promises to be even more difficult. It is already November and the first issue is just going to press. Clearly something has to change.

So, it is time to take a year off to see if I can re-organize and return to produce a Chronicle that publishes with some regularity. If not, then it will be discontinued.

One possibility is for others from different institutions to help with production. I am very happy to consider this. Please email me with ideas.

Thank you for all of your support. 'Til next September, hopefully.


  1. International Connectivity : A Survey of Attitudes about Cultural and National Differences Encountered in Computer-Mediated Communication, by Ruth Ryan, JSRMR@Alaska.Bitnet

  2. Distance Education at "Conventional Universities by Michael Power, Michael_Power@ugar.uquebec.ca

  3. Three Major University Leaders Endorse "Global University" an excerpt from: The University of the World Newsletter from: Dr. Takeshi Utsumi

  4. Project: Grand & Everyday Challenges for Education Using Telecommunications in the Curriculum by Jim Levin, Jim-levin@uiuc.edu

  5. The Agricultural Satellite Corporation Three Years of Phenomenal Growth by Dr. Randall Bretz, ASAT001@UNLVM.UNL.EDU

  6. Announcements and Requests

    1. ANNOUNCEMENT: World Conference on Education Multimedia and Hypermedia

    2. AN OPEN INVITATION: Become A Founding Member Of The Consortium For School Networking

    3. ANNOUNCEMENT: The "Poland Now" Teleconference

    4. ANNOUNCEMENT: A New Distance Learning Course From Carnegie Mellon University

    5. CALL FOR PAPERS: "Simulation & Gaming"

    6. ANNOUNCEMENT: A Consortium for Network Publication of Refereed Research Journals RESEARCH JOURNALS

    7. REQUEST: Optel Screen Development

    8. REQUEST: Main$treet -- small business simulator

  7. DISTANCE EDitorial - Figuring Distance Education Credit Hours

  8. About the Chronicle


International Connectivity: A Survey Of Attitudes About Cultural And National Differences Encountered In Computer-Mediated Communication
by Ruth Ryan, JSRMR@Alaska.Bitnet

We live in a multi-national world, one with many languages, cultures, races, and nationalities. Yet, our nations are separated by geographical, political, and cultural differences.

In recent years, individuals all over the world have discovered computer-mediated communication (CMC) as a means of connecting with peers, colleagues, and family. CMC and the presence of international CMC networks pro-vide a collaborative atmosphere in which researchers in many fields can bridge the cultural and national differences that separate them. From their home or office computers, they link their minds with contemporaries across the city or across the globe. As the messages are sent and received, individuals are identified and recognized by their userid, and differences in nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, and physical ability are not known unless divulged.

Throughout several years of CMC practice, I have often wondered about the attitudes of other CMC users toward this communication medium that appears to disguise a person's appearance and cultural identity. At a time when conflict and unrest between nations results in late night bombing raids, unified national boycotts, and multi-nation world wars, I have often thought that communicating through a medium that diminishes differences between individuals is ideal. To resolve differences and share ideas that enhance the quality of life without prejudice and power struggles unrelated to the issue at hand would seemingly improve communications among nations at war. With today's technology and the availability of computer-mediated communication, the ability to interact without regard to skin color, ethnic background, or gender differences would seemingly facilitate conflict resolution through intelligent exchanges of points of view.

It was with such thoughts in mind that I came upon a central question for this study:

to what extent are cultural and national differences evident and considered significant by users of the online environment?

In July, 1992, I developed and distributed a survey to a selection of BITNET discussion groups where topics focused on electronic communication. The sample group for this study consisted of international CMC users who participate in BITNET discussion groups.

Geographic location of the study participants revealed that a majority of them were in the U.S., which is not surprising considering that the Listservs operate on the BITNET system, which is largely a U.S. network. It is significant to note, however, that BITNET listserv members are strewn across the globe and are not simply neighbors using efficient technology. This widespread connectivity most likely reflects improved access to electronic media in further developed countries around the world.

A listing of nationalities represented in this study shows a diverse population of "emailers" who may or may not be living in their birth country or the country in which they claim citizenship, as illustrated by the difference between 64% U.S. residents vs. 45% American. Ninety percent of the respondents are Caucasians, and 45% are American; however, the range of other ethnic backgrounds indicates the broad reach that electronic mail provides to those who wish to communicate outside their geographic and national boundaries.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents are male, and 82% have graduate degrees or degrees or has completed some graduate school. Forty-three percent are involved in higher education (student or faculty), and another 31% hold a job in the computer field. These percentages very likely represent the upper-middle class segment of the world's societies who have access to computers and higher education. Probably excluded altogether, unfortunately, are people in less-developed third-world countries who are less likely to have access to higher education, much less a computer and other necessary electronic connections to communicate online.

An analysis of age data reveals a significant representation of young adults in the 19-30-year age group (31%). Of these, 47% are employed in the computer science field, 33% are students, and another 20% are working in their chosen profession. These figures perhaps represent the traditional-age college/graduate students and those just establishing a career. The largest percentage of respondents (53%) fall into the 31-49- year age group of whom 31% work in the computer science field. The other categories are as follows: Professors (25%), researchers (8%), teachers (7%), library science (7%), and a few professionals in other fields. Respondents fifty and older, the other predominant age group, are primarily professors (50%), computer scientists (14%), and teachers (14%).

Almost all of the respondents indicated active use of electronic mail (81% are online several times per day) and communicating with colleagues or peers as their most important purpose for being online. Interacting with friends seemed to be moderately important, but several respondents indicated that many of these friendships were established online as a by- product of academic or work-related interactions. Such active use of the electronic medium is perhaps the direct result of CMC's nearly instantaneous delivery of messages.

The availability of electronic networks reported by the respondents reveals the presence of a structure that facilitates electronic connectivity. This effort is impressive, as it suggests that organizations and commercial interests within the developed countries around the globe recognize the need for improved communication routes for their people and are working to facilitate such needs. In the information age, the electronic transfer of information virtually eliminates national boundaries. As one individual in Turkey commented, "CMC helps me feel as a world citizen."

With a CMC population consisting mainly of well-educated, professional, Caucasian people, issues of nationality and cultural orientation might seem relevant to the status of electronic mail users. Yet the overwhelming majority (90%) of the respondents indicated that it is not important that people they talk to online be of the same cultural origin or nationality. In response to the question about the importance of their cultural identity, only 25% indicated strong degrees of importance, while 75% indicated minimal or no importance. A closer examination of the responses shows that those outside the U.S. indicated a higher level of importance linked to their cultural identity than the U.S. residents (22% vs. the U.S. response of 14%.). This difference may be the result of the "melting pot" of nationalities and cultural backgrounds of the U.S. citizens.

In further support of the non-significance of cultural differences online, 70% of the respondents indicated that cultural differences present little or no impact to their interactions with others online. When examining only U.S. respondents' replies, a somewhat higher percentage indicated "no impact" compared to those outside the U.S. (41% U.S. vs. 31% outside U.S.). Perhaps the fact that BITNET is an electronic network of largely U.S. colleges and universities, and thus serves predominantly American users for whom English is the dominant language (and thus presents fewer cultural obstacles for Americans), accounts for this difference. Non- American discussion group participants are connected to BITNET via a gateway from their own network (e.g., JANet and EARN), and English may not be the dominant language on their own network.

When respondents were asked if they were aware of any differences in the ways they interact online with those of another culture or nationality compared to how they interact with those within their own culture, 40% said yes. Some attributed their perceptions to a desire or need to accommodate language differences. Others said they were more careful in the way they expressed themselves in order to avoid misunderstandings due to perceived cultural differences.

An awareness of one's own attitudes and behavior appears to be easier to discern and report than guessing about how others feel. When respondents were asked about their perceptions of the attitudes of others when interacting with them, the affirmative response was not as high; only 25% reported an awareness of national or cultural differences perceived by others, though some opinions were strong and strenuously expressed. Among the differences noted was an increase in formality in addressing others and the frequency of forming and acting on assumptions about characteristics of nationalities. Here, then, the differences that interfere with multicultural exchanges are due to differences in ability to express ideas in terms that are clearly understood or to interpret the ideas of others because of the language used to express them.

When the educational levels of respondents were compared to their attitudes about cultural differences in a collaborative/negotiative situation, a significant increase in the level of importance attributed to cultural differences was revealed among those with graduate degrees. Of those with graduate degrees, 21% responded that they felt their cultural origin was very important to their colleagues when involved in negotiation of a collaborative effort. To those without graduate degrees, their perceptions of impact by cultural origin were less pronounced--only 10% perceived their cultural origin to be important to their colleagues. One explanation for this difference may be that higher education employs a greater command of language; thus, differing abilities to express and clarify ideas are more apparent to this group.

Regardless of educational background, the majority of respondents (95%) indicated they had encountered differences in communication using computer- mediated communication as opposed to face-to-face or traditional print methods, and many offered comments to elaborate on their claim. Physical limitations in transmission of data was the most frequently mentioned difference. Many felt they encountered more sarcasm and personal attacks within the CMC environment, while others claimed to experience a greater freedom of expression and encountered more egalitarian attitudes. Some respondents spoke of anonymity and minimized status differences as unique to the online environment, and further noted that gender, race, and age differences are "clouded" online.

Eighty-nine percent of the respondents indicated that they had made some degree of adjustment to their interaction style online in order to communicate effectively. These figures indicate a definite willingness to accommodate differences in order to interact effectively.

The most important issue I sought to address in this study was the extent to which cultural and national differences are evident and considered significant by users of the online environment. Analysis of the data provided by international participants suggests that it is not the beliefs, customs, traditions, or practices unique to individual cultures or nationalities that most greatly influence connectivity among international emailers.

Rather, what seems to be most important is their ability to express their views, beliefs, and ideas in an effective manner. This is a language issue. While language is a significant component of each civilization, and thus a reflection of unique cultures, it is the ability to use language that appears to be the key to successful interaction in computer-mediated communication. In an electronic medium where language is the vehicle for connectivity, it seems to be essential that participants be skilled in using not only the most widely adopted language but also other lanuages as well. Individuals around the world may be, in many ways, more similar than they are different; yet, without written communication skills in a common language, those individuals' ideas hold less power and less influence in the online environment. Perhaps, in time, and with expanded access to computer-mediated communication tools, we might all feel "as world citizens."

For a complete copy of the study report, send your postal address to the author at JSRMR@Alaska.Bitnet.


Distance Education at "Conventional Universities"
by Michael Power

Those who are aware of the development of teaching at a distance from its earliest to its most contemporary form probably agree that the movement that began over a hundred years ago is far from over. From very basic correspondence courses put on the market by small private organizations to full multimedia-based instruction supplied by national distance universities, we have, more recently, moved into an era of interactive and spontaneous delivery systems being developed by just about every kind and size of organization imaginable.

I am particularly interested in the development of distance education in what is generally termed "conventional" universities. This is of course not new in countries like Australia where distance education seems to have always been within the scope of conventional university activity. But it does appear to be a relatively new trend in Canada where distance universities such as Athabasca and Tele-Universite have tended to supply the lion's share of distance courses. Burge (1991) mentions that some thirty universities in Canada offered courses at a distance in 1990. The Canadian Association of University Continuing Education (CAUCE) lists nearly forty. What may be common knowledge to some but not to all is that the new generation of distance teaching institutions will most likely be . conventional universities!!

Given adult educational needs, a drop in recruiting from within the usual ranks of high-school (or "collegial" in Quebec) graduates, given the age- old requirement for universities to "get the knowledge to the people" wherever they be and numerous other factors currently affecting higher education (such as the use of CMC), a boom in conventional university distance teaching has apparently begun and may soon account for (if it doesn't already) most DE activity in the country.

On the other hand, what do we actually know about how conventional universities organize, structure and develop distance education? Apparently not very much according to Kovel-Jarboe (in M.G. Moore, 1990) who states that very few studies actually exist on the subject. Most practices seem to be "home-grown" in response to pressure for "decentralizing" resources and course offerings. Since most of the research findings in distance education published in specialist journals seems to be carried on primarily by academics at distance "autonomous" universities, little in the way of day-to-day activities in a "distance teaching centre", or "extension unit", etc. within the precincts of a traditional university appears to be known.

Do distance educators in traditional universities base their practice on autonomous-university models? Are these models appropriate given the change in context? Do conventional university-based distance educators adjust these models to "fit" their needs? Are those involved trained distance educators or have they simply developed an interest in the field and responded as best they can to imperative needs with regard to expanding services and expanding enrollment? And is there one conventional university distance education model?

Not according to Medsker (1975) and Medsker and Edelstein (1977) in Kovel-Jarboe. They indicate that there are at least three general types of distance education organizations within conventional universities that correspond to the latter three categories in the Keegan & Rumble (1982) typology:

I am an educational technologist working at a conventional university (Universite du Quebec a Rimouski) that has developed what was initially a uni-departmental model of DE but which has recently been reorganized to become a multi-departmental model (as another department is currently getting involved). This "upbeat mood" in DE at the UQAR has led us to develop a research project on improving the process of mediation through increased use of interactive technology that best suits our needs.

As mentioned earlier, since we are not aware of much that has been published in Canada with regard to conventional university-based DE, and even less with regard to the specificity of small-scale mediation and tutoring systems within conventional universities, we would welcome input from fellow readers who are interested in this line of enquiry and would like to share experiences, insight and ideas.

Please e-mail Michael_Power@uqar.uquebec.ca or (if you can't get through, as it sometimes happens) try Mpower@chapparal.fse.ulaval

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an exerpt from: The University of the World NEWSLETTER
(January/March 1992, Vol. 5, No. 1)

Universities must develop a worldwide network in order to be "world- class" institutions, according to the leaders of three prominent academic institutions.

"The number one challenge is that the university community has to cope with increasing numbers of persons and increasing knowledge, but must maintain its excellence and sophistication," said Sir Richard Southwood, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University.
Southwood, who also teaches biology at the esteemed English institution, joined Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine and Wellesley President Nannerl Keohane to tell an Oxford alumni group in Cambridge, Massachusetts that social and political changes in the world dictate that universities expand or be left behind.

Southwood said political freedom in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Bloc nations will undoubtedly send a flood of students to the world's universities. He added that schools must handle "a great information overload" and rising costs in providing services, while preserving high standards.

The three university heads said universities around the world must adopt some strategies used by the business community to compete in a global market.

"I think universities should be working on networks, through exchanges of students and exchanges of information," Southwood said. (...)
Dr. James Grier Miller, UW's Chairman, also was invited to the seminar entitled "Global University: Challenges for the 21st Century," to discuss the history and present activities of the University of the World.
"I told them the idea of a global university is not just some fantasy about the future, but is becoming a reality," Dr. Miller said. He described the rapid growth of interest in the University of the World since its inception in 1981, saying the organization now is represented in 24 countries.
Though the three leaders of the other universities expressed surprise over the growth of distance education, each told Dr. Miller of their interest in the concept. "To me, this was an important event," Dr. Miller said. "All of these leaders were willing to consider the concept seriously." UW

"Global University" is a trade mark of GLOSAS/USA. Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, Chairman of GLOSAS/USA and President of Global University in the USA is a board member of the University of the World. Dr. James Grier Miller, Chairman of the University of the World is an executive advisor of GLOSAS/USA.


Project: Grand & Everyday Challenges for Education Using Telecommunications in the Curriculum
by Jim Levin

Want to involve students in real world problem solving activities?

Join in the Grand & Everyday Challenges for Education. Questions and problems and other challenges, both "grand" and everyday, will be posed by folks for whom these are real challenges. These will be sent electronically to interested school groups so that they can find ones relevant to their curriculum. They can then interact with the challenge posers and develop solutions. Groups of students and teachers will be able to form "tele- task forces" to work together over the network to solve challenges. Successful solutions will in some cases lead to a reward for the school group.

Goals: To develop students problem solving skills, especially working collaboratively with others, both locally and remotely. To have students learn skills and knowledge within a broader, more motivating context.

Grade levels: This project can involve students of any grade level or ability level. The ways in which students become involved can vary, but all are welcome to participate.

Duration: This project will run throughout the 1992-1993 school year. If you send us a list of what topics you'll be dealing with during which periods of the year, we'll send you those challenges that are related to those topics.

Content Area: All content areas can be involved.

Attached are some examples of how we plan to have this project work. If you're interested in participating in the Grand & Everyday Challenges for Education, send me a message and I'll add you to our electronic mail list and send you further information.

Project coordinator:
Jim Levin
University of Illinois
210 Education Building, 1310 S. 6th St., Champaign, IL 61820
FrEdMail address: jlevin@uiuced2.uiuc.fred.org
Internet address: jim-levin@uiuc.edu

Here are some examples of how the Grand & Everyday Challenges for Education can work:

Grand Challenges

A world class mathematician posts an unsolved theorem that's important to the progress of his work. A high school math class teacher selects that challenge and poses it to her students, who apply a new piece of visualization software to the problem and develop some promising new approaches which assist the mathematician in developing a new way to think about the theorem that allows an innovative solution.

A panel of ecological experts is concerned with the issue of how to increase the rate of recycling plastics. They are particularly concerned about the impact of "juice boxes", since they are a composite of plastic, paper, and aluminum. They post as a challenge how to deal with the problems raised for recycling of "juice boxes". Two elementary school classes choose to consider this challenge jointly. They interview their fellow classmates about what they like and dislike about juice boxes, they interview their parents about why they buy them, they observe the ways that they and their classmates use and dispose of them. They consider alternatives to juice boxes, and develop an alternative that they write up and submit to the ecological panel, which considers it, and includes it in their report to Congress. Congress changes regulations about the manufacture of such containers to encourage the more effective solution suggested by the elementary school class and refined by the panel.

A team of scientists developing state-of-the-art supercomputer-based models of tornados posts a description of a puzzling mismatch between their model and data from a set of recent tornados in Illinois. A middle school science class in Illinois examines aspects of the model though their network connection, accesses additional weather information about those tornados from their online state weather database, and formulates some new hypotheses to explain the anomalies. They communicate electronically with the team of scientists to clarify some aspects of the mismatch, and to get suggestions for ways to test those hypotheses by applying the model to additional tornado data. Then the class submits the surviving hypotheses back to the team of scientists for further investigation.

Everyday Challenges

A local park district is in the process of deciding where to locate a new playground structure. They'd like to conduct a survey to help them decide. They post their challenge, and a local elementary school teacher organizes her class to formulate the questions, collect the data, enter it into a statistical analysis program, and print out the results.

A university professor, as part of her research project, needs to know what middle school students think about advertising on Saturday morning TV. She posts the challenge, then several schools together take up the challenge, conducting the surveys, analyzing them, and sending a report and the data to the professor.

A local agency serving homeless people faces a shortage of child care workers. It posts the challenge. A group of schools contact the homeless shelters in their areas, and compile a list of different ways in which child care is provided. One approach, to work with a local retirement home to involve retired people as child care providers, is proposed as a s solution to the challenge. Details of how that solution works in another location are provided, along with some suggestions of modifications that would make the solution more effective in the challenge location.

Jim Levin, Jim-levin@uiuc.edu



by Dr. Randall Bretz

Three years ago representatives of 23 United States land grant institutions met in Chicago to discuss a satellite network to serve the changing needs of agricultural education across the United States. Irvin Omtvedt, Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Jack McBride, Educational Television Director both of the University of Nebraska, focused the meeting on the opportunity for the participating institutions to obtain a federal grant to construct the technological backbone for a nation-wide satellite network.

By October 1989 the Agricultural Satellite Corporation (AG*SAT) had been formally established by 27 land grant institutions with headquarters in Nebraska. The initial steps had been taken toward the development of a proposal to the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Meanwhile the institutions began to develop programming to be shared nationally via satellite, a formal administrative structure was established and AG*SAT began to take shape.

The Phase 1 proposal seeking Federal equipment support was submitted in January 1990 with a formal funding announcement in September. The initial grant to AG*SAT from PTFP was $735,000 which was matched by the participating institutions. This funding provided for construction of five satellite uplinks, 10 downlinks which can be converted to uplinks and 16 downlinks.

The land grant affiliates didn't wait for the Federal grant or construction. By November, 1990, programming began to flow via satellite to a national audience. Two trial programs in late 1990 led to an extremely active "pilot" year, 1991, which saw more than 70 extension programs and three credit courses totaling more than 300 hours of programming viewed 70,000 persons nationwide. These programs and courses had widely varied content and origination points. Such subjects as safe pesticide handling, food science, dairy waste management and absentee ownership issues were among the long list of programming shared via AG*SAT.

In January, 1991, a second equipment proposal went to the PTFP. The $500,000 Federal grant, awarded in September, has been matched with an equal amount by the affiliated institutions to provide six additional uplinks, a microwave connection to an uplink and eight downlinks. These facilities are complemented by existing transmit and receive equipment at many locations across the country making the Agricultural Satellite Corporation's network one of the largest and most flexible in the country.

In addition to the eleven uplinks and 30 downlinks purchased with Federal assistance, the institutions and Extension Centers own or have access to an estimated 10 uplinks and nearly 1,000 downlinks nationally.

Many significant events and activities mark the third anniversary of the AG*SAT:

It is clear that AG*SAT has met a real need within the agricultural education system. The dedication of the distance learning network and service in June, 1992, marked the beginning of a new era for affiliated institutions, the USDA and the service they provide to the agricultural sector of the economy.

For further information, including program listings, contact:

Dr. Randall Bretz
Assistant Director/Program Manager
Box 83111
Lincoln, NE 68501
voice: 402-472-3611
fax: 402-472-9060


Announcements, Requests, Reviews

A. ANNOUNCEMENT: World Conference on Education Multimedia and Hypermedia ED-MEDIA 93 -- World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia is an international conference sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). This annual conference serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the dissemination of information on the research, development, and applications of multimedia and hypermedia for all levels of education.

We invite you to participate in the ED-MEDIA 93 Conference by submitting proposals for papers, workshops, panels, and demonstrations/posters. All proposals are reviewed for inclusion in the conference program.

The Conference welcomes research, development and application proposal submissions on all topics related to multimedia and hypermedia for all disciplines and levels of education.

Conference History

The ED-MEDIA conference series ties together a number of strands of activities that have been present since about 1985. The two major ones are activities of AACE in the area of educational multimedia and hypermedia (one result of these activities is the new Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia) and the ICCAL Conference series. ICCAL, (International Conference on Computers and Learning), has been held as a major international symposium four times, in Calgary, CANADA (1987), Dallas, USA (1989), Hagen, GERMANY (1990), and in Wolfville, CANADA (1992).

Due to the increasing popularity of ICCAL, a yearly interval and a more solid organizational base was deemed necessary. Discussions between ICCAL and AACE have led to the creation of the ED-MEDIA conference series.

Thus, ED-MEDIA 93 is considered the fifth in a series of meetings, formerly called ICCAL. The stronger conference emphasis on multimedia and hypermedia reflects recent developments in the field.

ED-MEDIA 93 deadlines (postmark dates):
Submit proposals: October 15, 1992
Acceptance of Proposals: January 15, 1993
Receipt of Final Papers; March 1, 1993
Pre-Registration: May 15, 1993

For more information, contact:

P.O. Box 2966
Charlottesville, VA 22902 USA
E-mail: AACE@Virginia.Edu,
Phone: (804) 973-398
Fax: (804) 978-7449


You and your organization are invited to join a community of organizations, government agencies, corporations and individuals in an important leadership role for K-12 education -- as founding members of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Through computer networking, the Consortium will help educators and students access information and communications resources that will increase their productivity, professional competence, and opportunities for learning and collaborative work.

The Consortium advocates the following goals:

Benefits to members:
You will be part of a national leadership group for educational telecommunications; through the Consortium, you will have a voice in shaping policy in this area.

You will have access to information about the National Research and Education Network (NREN) and other educational telecommunications efforts through meetings, network services, documents and reports.

You will be able to reach a large community of individuals involved in every aspect of network technology and its application to K-12 education.

You will help advance the development of information and collaboration resources and tools for networking.

You will have early access to collaborative opportunities to develop new resources and services for educators.

The Consortium for School Networking is an institutional membership organization with individual affiliate members. There are three categories of members:
  1. Professional: Institutions and organizations from the public and private non-profit sectors with an interest in K-12 education are eligible for Professional membership. This includes, but is not limited to: all educational institutions, both public and private; libraries and museums; regional, state and national departments of education and other governmental agencies; education-related organizations such as research institutes; and telecommunications organizations and agencies.

  2. Business: Corporations, trade associations and other organizations from the for-profit sector with interests in K-12 education and networking are eligible to be business members.

  3. Individual affiliates: any individual interested in K-12 education not representing a professional or business member organization may join the Consortium as an individual affiliate.

Charter annual membership dues:
Professional member organizations:
Government agencies, state and regional networks$ 2,500
School districts, schools, postsecondary institutions, libraries, professional groups, non-profit organizations: $ 500
Business member organizations:
Small businesses (under $100,000 annual revenues): $ 500
Other business: $ 5,000
Individuals: $ 35

CoSN is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the District of Columbia. Application for 501 (c)(3) status has been made to the Internal Revenue Service.

Officers and Members of the Board of CoSN

Chair of the Board:
Connie Stout, Program Director, Texas Education Network
Vice-chair of the Board:
Gwen Solomon, Director, The School of the Future, New York, NY
Executive Director:
John Clement, Director, EDUCOM K-12 Networking Project
Art St. George, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Members of the Board:

Robert D. Carlitz,
Professor of Physics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA
Woody Kerkeslager,
Vice President - Government Affairs, AT&T, Basking Ridge NJ
Jim Luckett,
Executive Director, NYSERNet, Syracuse NY
Jan Meizel,
Network Manager -- Teacher, Davis Senior High School, Davis CA
Frank Odasz,
Director, Big Sky Telegraph, Western Montana College, Dillon MT
Paul Reese,
Teacher, Ralph Bunche School, New York NY
Bill Schmid,
Director, Florida Information Resource Network (FIRN), Tallahassee FL
Bob Tinker,
Chief Science Officer, TERC, Cambridge MA
Gary Watts,
Senior Director, National Center for Innovation (NCIN), National Education Association (NEA), Washington DC

To become a Charter Member of the Consortium for School Networking, return the form below to cosn@bitnic.bitnet or the Consortium at P.O.Box 65193, Washington, DC 20035-5193


Attention: Membership Committee -- Bobbi Kurshan, Chair

Please provide the information requested below and we will enroll you as a charter member and invoice you or your organization for the amount due.

For organizational members only:

Name of Organization:___________________________________

Name and title of Organizational Representative:_________________________________

Type of Organization -- Professional ( ) -- Business ( ) (please mark one only)

Description of Organization:_________________________________________



(In case of business member organization, please specify if last complete year's annual revenues are under $100,000, to qualify for "small business" membership dues.)

For individual affiliate members only:


Title and Organization for whom you work:__________________


(It is understood that affiliate membership does not imply that you represent this organization to CoSN)

For all member organizations and individual affiliate members:

Street Address:______________________________________

Apt. No.:____________________

City, State and Zip Code:_______________________________



Electronic mail address:_______________________________

We are trying to extend membership in the Consortium as broadly as possible. Please share this invitation with potentially interested colleagues and friends. Thank you.

Satellite Conference Between Poland and U.S.A.
May 11, 1992
Produced By Egret International

[reprinted from GLOSAS News]

In honor of the First National Entrepreneurship Forum in Poland, a satellite conference was broadcast from Poland to the United States, designed to bring together university faculty and business owners in the U.S. and Poland. Polish business owners have been chosen as model success stories who could share the problems they have overcome in developing a privately-owned business in the former communist country.

The teleconference was broadcast from 1:00 to 2:30 P.M. EST on Monday, May 11, 1992.

The Solidarity Economic Foundation organized the conference with assistance from Ohio State University. Polish Now teleconference was produced by Egret International and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. For further information please contact:

Egret International
Sally Lucke or Sandra McCourtney, Co-Directors
ph(s): 813-923-8533; 813-349-2460
Fax: 813-924-3215
Internet: Mccours@firnvx.firn.edu
Bitnet: Mccours@firnvx



The Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics at Carnegie Mellon University invites you to view "Ethical Issues in Professional Life: Multimedia Courseware" that is being aired nationally by Mind Extension University (ME/U) this fall. This program may serve your educational needs in various ways as:

"Ethical Issues in Professional Life" is designed to provide students with an understanding of and a framework for analyzing the many ethical issues, problems and dilemmas facing contemporary professionals. It consists of 14-half hour videos, an accompanying workbook and audio tapes.

Students will address ethical issues and dilemmas of professionals in medicine, law, business, engineering, journalism and media, public administration, accounting and the natural and the social sciences among others.

The video and audio segments showcase nationally known professionals and ethicists including: Hon. Lawton Chiles, Governor of Florida; Roger Boisjoly, space shuttle Challenger whistleblower; Talbot D'Alemberte, president, American Bar Association; Lisa Newton, director, Program in Applied Ethics, Fairfield University and project consultant for the PBS series "Ethics in America" and Manuel Velasquez, director, Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University and author of Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases.

The workbook serves as a course text with self-paced study questions and weekly assignments. Edited and condensed transcripts of the videos are also included in the workbook as well as suggestions for additional readings.

It has or will be used at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of South Florida and Eckerd College and may be accessed by satellite through Mind Extension University in the Fall of 1992.

Check your local cable listings for the Mind Extension University (ME/U) showing of "Ethical Issues in Professional Life" or ask your instructional technologist to receive the program in a downlink from ME/U. The program is scheduled to be aired starting on Monday, October 26, 1992 and following Mondays and Fridays at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

For more information on ordering workbooks and audio tapes contact

Peter Madsen, Executive Director
Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics
234 Smith Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 268-5703
FAX: (412) 268-6074
e-mail: pm2n+@andrew.cmu.edu.bitnet

E. CALL FOR PAPERS: "Simulation & Gaming"

"Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal of Theory, Design and Research" (Sage Publications) is the world's foremost journal devoted to computerized simulation, gaming, modeling, play, role-play and active, experiential learning and related methodologies in education, training and research.

The broad scope and inter-disciplinary nature of "Simulation & Gaming" is demonstrated by the variety of its readers and contributors, as well as its Editorial Board members, such as sociologists, political scientists, economists, psychologists and educators, as well as experts in environmental issues, international studies, management and business, policy and planning, decision making and conflict resolution, cognition, learning theory, communication, language learning, media, educational technologies and computing.

Manuscripts are welcome at any time. Before submitting a manuscript, potential authors should write for a copy of the Guide for Authors, enclosing a self-addressed, sticky label and $2 in stamps (in the USA only).

Write to

David Crookall, Editor S&G
Morgan Hall, Box 870244
U of AL
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA.

To subscribe, write to:
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road
Newbury Park, CA 91320, USA;
6 Bonhill Street
London EC2A 4PU, UK.

Gleason Sackman
BOX 5164, NDSU Computer Center
Fargo, ND 58105
Voice: (701)237-8109
Fax: (701)237-8541

SENDIT - NoDak's K-12 Telcom Network Bitnet:


The University of Manitoba has received funding commitments to organize and hold an international conference to promote the establishment of a consortium of universities and learned societies to sponsor computer network publication of refereed journals. The consortium would be a non- profit publishing cooperative intended to make use of the Internet as an important medium for the publication of scholarly research in any discipline.

Since the summer of 1991, an ad hoc group at the University of Manitoba has been developing the idea of the conference and the proposed consortium, and has been working on funding proposals since the Autumn of 1991. The conference is now tentatively slated for the Autumn of 1993 and will be held at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

We hope to enlist the interest and cooperation of major research universities and learned societies across North America and elsewhere. Over the next year or so, we will be communicating the vision behind the conference and consortium to the academic community.

This is the first advance notice, and we plan to provide updates with more specific information on the conference details as plans for it develop. As an analogy of sorts for the proposed consortium, in the traditional publishing of books and paper journals, Scholars Press (Atlanta, Georgia) is a unique example of such a cooperative, operating under several major U.S. learned societies (e.g., American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, American Philological Society), with a number of universities in the U.S. and Canada as sponsors of particular publication projects such as major monograph series.

It is an example of groups in the academic community taking collective responsibility to see that worthy scholarship gets published, without commercial considerations determining the question. The Internet is the major new medium for dissemination of research, and it is vital that the scholarly community, through its major institutions of universities and learned societies, become acquainted with the enormous potential of the Internet for scholarship.

Commercial companies are already devoting attention to developing computer network publication projects. It is imperative that the scholarly community not leave this major medium to be developed solely by commercial interests.

The basic aims are

  1. to make academic merit the sole consideration in the publication of journal-type research,
  2. to advance the idea that the academic community should have a hand in determining what gets published and how it is disseminated,
  3. to provide a major outlet of research publication that is not subject to the severe economic constraints of traditional paper-journal publishing ( soaring costs in some commercially attractive fields, very limited journal outlets for less commercially attractive fields),
  4. to make collective and considered use of the scholarly advantages of network publication (e.g., savings in production costs, speed up in publication and dissemination process),
  5. to provide an effective and low-cost means for universities and learned societies to play a greater role as disseminators of research information and not only as producers and consumers of research information.

Our initial objective at this point is to inform as many in the scholarly community as possible of the conference and the consortium proposal, and to solicit interest in these plans. Please contact us for more information, and to be kept informed on the progress in our planning. We also sincerely invite you to offer your ideas on things to be included in the conference, key people to inform and possibly invite to the conference, and any other matters relevant to the conference and consortium proposal.

For more information, and to express your interests in the conference and consortium, contact the convenor of the University of Manitoba ad hoc Committee on Electronic Journals:

Professor Larry W. Hurtado
Institute for the Humanities
108 Isbister Bldg.,
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2
Phone: (204) 474-9114
FAX (204) 275-5781
E-mail: hurtado@ccu.umanitoba

G. REQUEST: Optel Screen Development

This is my first contact with DISTED. I hope to be able to make contact with anyone doing or having done page development for Optel/Telewriter pages.

We at Fort Nelson Secondary are beginning a development project in support of students in remote communities enrolled in correspondence courses. As we get underway, we're keen to receive advice, caveats, and opinions. One of the first issues we'll have to deal with is that of copyright (generally, and in a Canadian context).

In anticipation...

H. REQUEST: Main$treet -- small business simulator

I have developed a "small business simulator" called "Main$treet$" for teaching small business management. It runs on MS-DOS pcs. I wonder if you can help me with one of the following:

  1. I was hoping to find a publisher for it. I am convinced from tests this summer that it will be beneficial to people in many countries and in many age groups. People in your list may know of an appropriate publisher.

  2. Having developed an effective user interface, I would like to use it for other types of educational simulators, or any other application where menus are appropriate.

  3. In the absence of the above, I have been showing my small business simulator to school teachers and academics at conferences. Is it against the rules to announce the existence of this simulator on your list? If it is acceptable, I have prepared a description which I can send you. If it is acceptable, please specify the maximum acceptable length.

  4. If none of the above, can you refer me to someone who might be able to help?

    Gary Davis
    Associate Professor
    Faculty of Business
    University of New Brunswick in Saint John
    P.O.Box 5050
    Saint John, NB, Canada E2L 4L5
    user ID: davis@UnbSJ.CA


Online EDitorial: Figuring Distance Education Credit Hours
by the editor

One possible approach to determining distance education credits is based on relating the distance delivered learning experience to the face-to-face learning experience on a "per/hour involvement" basis. I identified five kinds of face-to-face university course experience offered at our institution, identified the six primary activities in which students engage in the process of taking a course, and then developed a matrix which allows the planner to figure total number of hours spent by the student.

A first pass at this process looks like this:

  1. Five Kinds of University Course Experience
    1. Lecture
    2. Lecture and lab
    3. Seminar
    4. Directed Study
    5. Independent Study

  2. Six Primary Activities, or Communication Dynamics, in which Students Engage

    1. Student to information base- This is what is usually called instructional delivery. It is typically the focus of a course, around which everything else is designed. Typical information bases consist of lectures, text books, and other reference materials.

      Issues for distance education: What is "lecturing" in a distance education learning environment? What qualitative differences are there between listening to a lecture face-to-face, watching it on video, listening to it on audio tape, or reading it, either online or in print?

    2. Student to teacher- This is often referred to as mentoring. It is typically handled through office hours on an individual basis, and, to a lesser extent, through in-class interaction. The teacher is also responsible for some academic counseling, such as decisions regarding prerequisites.

      Issues for distance education: Some distance education technologies, like computer conferencing, offer expanded student-to-teacher interaction. Others, like correspondence study, often offer less. How does this aspect figure into the overall time equation?

    3. Student to student- Sometimes this occurs in the form of tutorials (small group discussion in support of lectures). Traditionally this happens outside of class, and, to a very limited extent, in class. A recent pedagogical shift from individual to group-based learning has created in-class student-to-student pedagogies, such as collaborative and cooperative learning.

      Issues for distance education: Again, some technologies like computer conferencing vastly increase the amount of student interaction possible, particularly when compared to other forms of distance education. To what degree does this activity figure into the overall time equation? In an era of changing pedagogies which include more student interaction, should we reconsider the degree and relative value we should assign to this particular pedagogy?

    4. Student to research base- Typically this has consisted of library-based work, in which the student seeks materials on his/her own to support course work.

      Issues for distance education: Can online searching be utilized? What are the costs? Will students be able to request library searches by phone? How do students get books and other materials? Would it just be easier to provide a wide range of current research articles as part of the learning packet? Is this part of the time equation figured for in face-to-face classes? Should it be in distance delivered courses?

    5. Student to institution- Typically this includes activities like registering, buying books, paying tuition, and so on.

      Issues for distance education: Should these kinds of activities be figured into the time formula?

    6. Student alone- This is homework, or, in the case of independent and directed studies, self-monitored work.

      Issues for distance education: Do we use the same formula as we do for face-to-face classes? Should we assume more self-monitored work in distance education and therefore not de-value it as is often done for independent study courses?

      Other considerations

      • Student to counselor- Typically this includes activities like advising students about what courses to take, what would be helpful for success, etc.

      • Student to institution services- This includes services like computing services or audio-conferencing.

  3. Figuring hours. Using the matrix below, assign hour values to each of the activities based on the kind of course experience it is. It might be helpful to first complete this for a face-to-face version of a course, and then for a distance delivered version of the same course.


    1. How are the components weighted?
    2. To what degree should distance education be allowed or encouraged to be different than face-to-face delivery?
    3. Does distance delivery suggest changes that can be made or should be encouraged to be made to face-to-face delivery?

Your comments are welcome.


About the Chronicle


[What follows is an excerpt from the first issue of the Chronicle, then the Online Journal of Distance Education and Communication.]

This first issue will be primarily concerned with the Chronicle itself. Once we provide an idea of the Chronicle's identity and direction, we hope you will contribute to this rapidly growing field of education and communication.


We want short contributions, 4 screens maximum. Rather than trying to compete with a paper-based magazine which does a much better job of presenting long articles, we want contributions that present overview information. Based upon information gleaned in contributions, readers can directly contact the author for more details.


The issues that the Chronicle is concerned with fall into four basic content areas:

  1. Content Area #1- Distance Education

    The Chronicle is interested in distance education as the organized method of reaching geographically disadvantaged learners, whether K-12, post secondary, or general enrichment students. Areas of interest include:

    • delivery technologies,
    • pedagogy,
    • cross cultural issues implicit in wide area education delivery,
    • distance education projects that you are involved with,
    • announcements, workshops, or programs of study,
    • anything else regarding the theory and practice of distance education.

  2. Content Area #2- Distance Communications

    The Chronicle recognizes that education encompasses a broad area of experience and that distance education includes distance communications that fall outside the domain of formal learning. The Chronicle welcomes contributions that deal with serving people at a distance who aren't necessarily associated with a learning institution. The Chronicle welcomes information about, for examples:

    • public radio and television efforts to promote cultural awareness,
    • governmental efforts to inform a distant public about social issues,
    • or the many training programs run by private business to upgrade employee skills.

  3. Content Area #3- Telecommunications in Education

    Once the distance education infrastructure is solidly in place, local learners will want to tap into it, because they simply prefer learning in a decentralized setting or because they want to expand their learning opportunities and resources beyond those immediately available to them. This phenomenon, which we call 'bringing distance education home,' will grow in the coming years and we look forward to hearing from people about telecommunications in education, as a tool or a content area.

  4. Content Area #4- Cross Cultural Communication Efforts
    Particularly Between the US and the USSR

    The Chronicle is interested in projects concerned with overcoming cultural barriers through the use of electronic communication. The Chronicle particularly looks forward to contributions concerning:

    • efforts to improve electronic communication between the USSR and the US
    • international electronic conferences
    • cultural domination through the inappropriate use of media
    • the use of telecommunications to promote understanding of the human condition

To subscribe to The Online Chronicle of Distance Education and Communication, send the following command to LISTSERV@UWAVM :

SUB DISTED your_full_name

All contributions should be sent to JADIST@ALASKA

Any other questions about DISTED can be sent to:

Jason B. Ohler, Editor
Paul J. Coffin

Disclaimer: The above were the opinions of the individual contributors and in no way reflect the views of the University of Alaska.

End Online Chronicle of Distance Education & Communication =============================================================