Thank you for your energetic messages. The academic year started in
Japan just when the TCC conference did (whew!).
>Particularly for a World Organization, there ought to be some
>kind of distinction between an Association member and an individual
Yes, I proposed earlier that we have individual members and other
associations as members or affiliated organizations. We should get to
this issue before long.
>there ought to be some incentives for Associations to join (access to online
>technology and expertise, for example) on behalf of their members as well as
>for the general good.
Yes, I think we'll offer significant "access to online technology and
>A viable, long
>lasting, worldwide organization has got to have some institutional sponsors
>some individual leaders, and some volunteer support, and then it's got to
>have a small professional core able to coordinate these resources. Some can
>be shared with other associations or, perhaps through Benton for example,
>linked to existing online advocacy. But it's the institutional support which
>counts in the beginning, no matter how energetically we volunteer. Who's got
In effect many of our institutions are supporting this, so we aren't dependent
upon outside agencies during this incubation period. I think what counts first
is to be driven by vision and consensus, rather than being driven by, say, the
U.S. market. Our European members seem to see us becoming a kind of NGO,
but they understand that this will not happen overnight. Some members have
also expressed wariness about accepting the agendas behind financial support,
and I think that we should decide where we're headed first so we don't get
grant-driven or derailed from our mission. I don't see that our mission is
the advocacy of online education per se. To me it is rather to apply academic
standards and ethics to online education and make it more of a professional
discipline. So first we are organizing practitioners and trying to garner
disinterested knowledge about online education. As scholars we research
and apply tests of truth, then perhaps give qualified advocacy, but we
haven't reached that stage in one week. We're going as fast as we can to
progress consensually. Please be patient with us as you share your
expertise. Let us know, for example, where you have access.
We seem to have a wealth of volunteers, and it's only the start of
widening the circle. I've seldom seen such enthusiasm and cooperation
at such a frantic pace. Sorry that I haven't answered everyone's concerns.
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan