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Jonathan Adams Finishes Fulbright Scholar Work

In August, CCI reported on Dr. Jonathan Adams’ selection to participate in the Fulbright Scholar program and again in November when Adams left for six months in Thailand.

The School of Communication associate professor set up shop at Ubon Ratchathani University – Mukdahan campus, known to locals as Ubon, a university Adams has taught at multiple times in the past years. Over the semester, Adams aimed to address the underserved populations of Mukdahan, Thailand and provide them with online educational resources. From there, he had goals for tailoring information/communication technology curriculum to the local needs and offering online learning to support the curriculum.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.40.11 AMThailand poses unique challenges. Nearly a third of it’s population resides in the capital, Bangkok. Another third is concentrated in Isaan, the northeast portion of Thailand bordering Laos and Cambodia. The remaining third is spread amongst the country.

In the United States, learning management systems like Canvas and Blackboard are commonplace in higher education. At Ubon, Adams focused on creating a Moodle website with Google App integration to create a custom learning management system for the university. Before Adams’ work, Ubon used the Google App ‘Classroom’ to syndicate class sessions. Classroom doesn’t offer student tracking or other classroom management tools and so Adams combined Moodle with Classroom, and created a single sign-on. Ubon and Mukdhan students can sign on to view their courseware and professors can track their progress.  

Adams taught an IT Enterprise course to students and faculty at Mukdahan, Ubon. The course was an open sourced collaboration of interviews with famous entrepreneurs and plays off Adams’ existing entrepreneurship course taught at Florida State.

Phayao University invited Adams to visit during his Fulbright research. The budding university boasts 30,000 students and graduated it’s first class in Spring 2015. Adams discussed curriculum development, teacher training and online learning, as well as teaching a class of graduate students, enrolled in a weekend MBA program.

Amidst the academic work, Adams was immersed in cultural experiences that will stay with him. Self admitted, Adams’ Thai skills are “simply awful.” Office administrators at Ubon noted his efforts to speak in Thai and in turn learned English greetings to share with Adams each morning.

April 30th marked the end of the Fulbright grant. Adams stayed in Thailand for another four weeks to finish research and interviews. He was hired by Khon Kaen University during this time to teach a 9 hour workshop.

Adams has data for several articles and a conference paper from his experience submitted. Since returning, Adams has continued his Thai lessons to strengthen his communication skills for future trips. He hopes to return to Kohn Kaen University to teach as early as Summer 2016.