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iPodia – “Classroom-without-Borders” Global Engineering Education

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.827.1 - 24.827.23



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Paper Authors


Ang Liu University of Southern California

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Dr. Liu is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Manager of Viterbi iPodia Program at University of Southern California.

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Stephen Y. Lu University of Southern California

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Dr. Lu is the David Packard Chair in Manufacturing Engineering,
Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Director of Viterbi iPodia Program, at University of Southern California.

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Gisele Ragusa University of Southern California

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Dr. Gisele Ragusa is an associate professor at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Viterbi School of Engineering in the Division of Engineering Education. She co-directs USC’s STEM Education Consortium. Her research interests and areas of expertise include: engineering education, engineering innovation and global preparedness, college access, STEM K-12 education and teacher education, STEM literacy education, as well as assessment and measurement in STEM education. She teaches courses in research design, measurement theory, critical pedagogy in STEM and courses in learning and instructional theory. She extensive expertise in assessment, psychometrics, advanced quantitative analyses, and multimodal research design. She is active in many professional associations in the engineering and science education, teacher education, distance learning, program evaluation and special education fields. She has been the principal investigator on several federal grants through the US Department of Education, the National Institute of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

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iPodia – Borderless Global Engineering EducationThe 21st century engineering education is rapidly evolving towards a vastly different shapeinfluenced by the global trends of industrialization of institutions, increase of education supply,underwater college degree, and student’s changing demands of learning. This paper aims tointroduce a new "Classrooms-Without-Borders" paradigm of global engineering education callediPodia, where the first letter "i" stands for "inverted", "interactive", and "international”. TheiPodia pedagogy features with “inverted”, “interactive”, and “international” learning to enablestudents around the world to learn with, and from, each other collaboratively as cohorts in avirtual classroom. The iPodia Alliance, which was established as an independent globalconsortium among ten leading higher education institutions, enables various iPodia courses to becollaboratively developed and jointly offered by multiple iPodia university partners. Unlike thecurrent distance education approach where IT is used to enlarge the delivery distance fromteachers to students, iPodia demonstrates a no-distance education model where IT is employed toeliminate the learning distance between students in remote classrooms.The paper begins with an overview of the iPodia pedagogy which is developed based on threebasic hypotheses: (1) contextual understanding is best acquired via guided engagement bylearners – hence the inverted learning; (2) what you learn depends on with whom you learn -hence the interactive learning, and (3) diversity can increase everyone’s learning opportunity -hence the international learning. Next, an existing iPodia course, “Principles and Practice ofGlobal Innovation”, is presented to detail the implementation of iPodia in terms of its essentialoperational specifics. In the 2013 spring semester, this course was collaboratively developed andjointly offered by five world leading engineering school/institutions, and it compromises a totalof 108 students situated in 18 multi-cultural virtual project teams. Finally, a rigorous evaluationis conducted to assess the impacts of iPodia on student’s learning and preparedness for globallyfocused careers. The evaluation result indicate that the exclusive iPodia experience significantlyincreases the participating student’s preparedness working in global workforces and improvesstudent’s creativity and innovative thinking compared to their peers. Compared to traditionalengineering courses, iPodia achieves to deliver multiple exclusive benefits to the students:personalized in-class guidance from instructors, social constructivism with peer classmates, andglobal education at student’s own campus.

Liu, A., & Lu, S. Y., & Ragusa, G. (2014, June), iPodia – “Classroom-without-Borders” Global Engineering Education Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20719

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