Lander University faculty member Dr. Gilliean Lee is one of five educators at American colleges and universities serving on the 61-member international program committee for an upcoming global conference on the use of computer technology and the Internet in education. The Eighth International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) in August will draw scientists from around the world to the conference site at Aachen University in Germany.
Lee, an assistant professor of computer and information systems at Lander, has conducted research on Web-based learning for several years with the focus on improving the interaction of students with each other and with instructors. He received Lander's Young Faculty Scholar Award in 2007 for his achievements as a teacher and a researcher.
Lee will not attend the Aachen conference, but as a program committee member, he has been asked to evaluate seven of 106 papers submitted to the conference. Evaluations will be based on each paper's quality of research, writing and other standards.
In 2004, Lee attended the ICWL in Beijing when he was completing his doctoral studies at the University of Florida. That year, he submitted a paper co-authored with Dr. Stanley Su, a University of Florida professor and Lee's faculty adviser. It was judged one of the seven best publications presented at the conference.
Lee is a native of Seoul, South Korea, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science at Sogang University. For over six years, he worked as a software research engineer in Korea. He received master's and doctoral degrees in computer and information science and engineering at the University of Florida and joined Lander's mathematics and computing faculty in 2005.
In addition to his Web-based learning research, he has 10 years of experience working in the field of collaborative technology, a computerized system of workflow management for automating business processes.
He said Internet-based learning is growing in popularity because today's students are computer-literate and comfortable with technology. E-learning, as it is also called, allows students to complete study sequences at their own pace. Exams are given at each level before a student is allowed to move on to the next lesson.
"Students must be mature and self-disciplined to be successful at Web-based learning. Otherwise they are likely to fail," Lee said. He added that instructors have more control in a classroom setting than in a Web-based course because they have face-to-face contact with students and are better able to prompt them to complete lessons on time.
Lee expects online learning in higher education to continue to grow because of its flexibility in the delivery of lessons and content that is personalized for people of different backgrounds. It is also a convenient learning system, especially for those who work full time, since it allows them to coordinate their studies with their work schedule.
Lee also believes that informal or lifelong learning using the Internet will continue to grow even faster than in higher education.