A major opportunity and accompanying challenge at PSP concern the global learning environment. Our learners are afforded the opportunity to learn alongside learners from many other countries in a direct, person-to-person (synchronistic) classroom. It is only during the past three to five years that the digital technology and software available in most countries has enabled high-resolution video classrooms to operate for our PSP programs. Whereas only five years ago, our students in Indonesia (and many other countries served by PSP) could only connect via Zoom and Skype at a local Starbucks, our learners from Indonesia can now readily connect without problem from their homes and offices.
The challenge is that the time when most learners in the New Global PSP can attend a program is inconvenient and very limited. PSP programs are often convened at a time that is early to mid-evening in the Eastern United States (and late afternoon in California) and early morning in Asia. There is typically only about 1 ½ hours available for any of these learners, given work schedules and the need for some sleep. The question becomes: how does an educational institution like PSP provide sufficient hours of high quality and highly interactive learning opportunities in a global classroom given these time constraints?
After considerable discussion and creative problem-solving, a solution was produced among the Governing Faculty and administrators at PSP. Called the Three Mode Model this solution consists of the following:
Mode One: highly interactive synchronistic education provided through Zoom in 1 ½ hour segments involving all learners enrolled in a program, facilitated by the program instructor. Each of these sessions is recorded (on the cloud) for later review and further discussion in Mode Two.
Mode Two: blending of highly interactive synchronistic education and multi-media asynchronistic education through convening of small (4-7 person) study groups, facilitated by the instructor and/or assistant instructor. The study groups would consist of learners from specific time zones that can meet at a convenient time for 2-hour sessions. Typically, Mode Two will consist of the review of and discussions about the Mode One recordings, additional recorded mini-lectures provided by the instructor, video products from both commercial sources and open access sources. The video viewing will often involve 2 or more learners simultaneously viewing a video and interrupting it periodically for inter-active dialogue.
Mode Three: fully asynchronistic education, based in requirements associated with reading of assigned books and articles, preparation of program presentations (usually during the Mode One sessions), and preparation of written program assignments.