Project IDEALS: Promoting an International Dimension in Education
Project Number 03 – 1993
U of Alabama
308-C Cedar Crest Apts
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
Many schools round the world, including Canada, USA
UK, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Germany, Spain, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Austria.
Project IDEALS is a computer-assisted learning environment based on multi-site, semester-long, socially-interactive simulations. Computer technologies allow distant teams to communicate, hold real-time teleconferences, and to obtain feedback on their performance and progress.
Project IDEALS is firmly based on the principles of experiential learning; it encourages students to become fully involved, motivates them to work hard, and helps them take responsibility for their own learning. Its objectives are:
- To develop competence and confidence in communicating with people from other cultures, and so help create international friendships.
- To give students greater knowledge and understanding of international events and issues in global environmental problems, sustainable development and global interdependence.
- To enhance professional skills in such areas as team work, decision making, problem solving, leadership and negotiation, and to develop computer literacy, clear writing and critical thinking.
The central component of Project IDEALS is a large-scale simulation assisted by computers and telecommunications. Students take on the roles of high-level negotiators representing various countries at an international conference. The country teams are situated at different campuses (usually one team per campus) and communicate using computer networks and specialized simulation management software.
In order to participate, each site needs a minimum of one microcomputer (e.g., BBC, IBM compatible, Macintosh), a modem, a printer, a telecommunications package, and a simple word processor. Faculty and students do not need any special computer skills in order to participate. Each site will also need access to the Internet (NSFnet) telecommunications network.
The main simulation management software is called Polnet II.