Our meeting on March 26th was well attended. There were three non-JALT member guests who visited to see what JALT is all about and are now intending to join the chapter. We even had a guest who came all the way from Kyoto to hear our speaker’s presentation.
The day’s presentation was given by Dr. Patrick Dougherty, a professor at Akita International University and the head of their English for Academic Purposes Program and Foreign Language Education. His presentation was titled, “Creating a Student Friendly, Technologically Supported, Course Delivery System: A Tale from the Middle East.” The presentation dealt with Dr. Dougherty’s experience working in the United Arab Emirates where he and his team at the Higher Colleges of Technology developed a hybrid course delivery system that was geared at allowing Emirati women to attend graduate school. That particular population was occasionally unable to partake in graduate education due to social strictures, and the course delivery system — one that mixed a traveling professor, multiple cohort sites, video conferencing, and a variety of on-line platforms — was created to allow access to continuing education opportunities.