September 23, 2004

Utilizing Digital Technologies to Teach and Model the Social Sciences

For several years, educational researchers have been comparing results in hybrid courses (those integrating online work with face-to-face sessions) versus traditional, classroom courses and Web-only sections. The outcomes are dramatic and consistent. Students enrolled in hybrid courses have the highest success rate, significantly higher than those for face-to-face courses and Web-based-only courses.

Dr. Sunil Kumar, lecturer at the London School of Economics, will discuss best practices for integrating online experiences with face-to-face classroom discussions in his Urbanization and Social Planning courses. To this end, he will outline his Web-based resource for navigating the research process, which provides students with an understanding of how various components of the research process are interrelated. Together, we will discuss the applicability of Dr. Kumar's practice to Columbia University courses.

Dr. Kumar's research interests are related to urban poverty and urban housing in South Asia as well as the informal and formal institutions that act as an interface between these two aspects. His most recent expertise relates to housing tenure in India. Recent publications include: 'Round Pegs and Square Holes: Mismatches between Poverty and Housing Policy in Urban India' in World Poverty: New Policies to Defeat an Old Enemy, 2002; 'Embedded Tenures: Private Renting and Housing Policy in India,' Housing Studies, 2001 and 'Social Relations, Rental Housing Markets and the Poor in Urban India,' Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, 2001.

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