Webster Vienna and Sister Campuses Attend INTED 2017 Conference


Webster University is one of the only universities that afford their students the opportunity to study on different campuses around the world (One university many campuses). One of the many benefits of this global network of campuses is the ability to collaborate with students and professors from around the world.

This past week, the following Webster faculty members attended and presented at the INTED 2017 conference in Valencia, Spain:

B. Wiggins - Webster University, Vienna (AUSTRIA)
S. Leahy - Webster University, Leiden (NETHERLANDS)
K. Jenkins, J. Smith - Webster University (UNITED STATES)
F. Arese Visconti, T. Young - Webster University, Geneva (SWITZERLAND)
B. Srisupawat - Webster University, Thailand (THAILAND)

The purpose of this oral presentation was to share information on the outcomes of an international collaboration involving student-produced podcasts as a course requirement. This project took place across multiple campuses in our global network of campuses. Students and instructors participated from the following campuses: St. Louis, Missouri (home campus), Leiden, The Netherlands, Geneva, Switzerland, and Cha-Am, Thailand, and Vienna, Austria.

Podcasting has increasingly become a useful tool in nearly all aspects of learning, but perhaps even more so when students produce the podcasts as part of a course assignment (Ashraf, Noroozi, & Salami, 2011; Çölkesen & Bedir, 2016; Forbes, 2011). The concept of the International Podcast Project was to provide an active learning experience in which students participate in a global media project by choosing a topic related to media and society, research their topic, develop a short audio program in the form of a podcast and publish their work along with their fellow classmates from the participating international campus locations.

A main goal of this project was to provide a common cross-site academic activity in which all Webster University campus locations could participate. This project is intended to be an independent modular assignment / activity that can be adopted by any media (related) course, and therefore is not limited to a specific course offering, but can be adopted by faculty in which this assignment meets a curricular goal or active learning experience.

Finally, the presentation offered best practices when designing a project that involves differences in terms of location, culture, resource, technological proficiency, and time zones. Attendees learned about challenges and opportunities that were encountered and the solutions that emerged from group discussion and collegial collaboration. While the project itself was developed by instructors who teach courses in media, many of the students involved in the project were not media majors or had little to no prior knowledge of how to produce a podcast.

In addition, Dr. Wiggins also presented independently in a talk titled "Navigating Digital Culture: Remix Culture, Viral Media, and Internet Memes". Dr. Wiggins' talk was based on a new course he will be teaching in the spring term. It is a presentation on the development of the course, in terms of the kinds of readings, assignments, and orientation needed for such a course.