The Synchronous International Classroom: New Directions for Cost Control of Foreign Study Programs

2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT July 30, 2013

Preparing students to be citizens of a global society requires broad exposure to other countries, cultures, histories, and languages. While education abroad offers enriching opportunities for students, building a robust portfolio of international experiences can be time-intensive and expensive. Are there ways to augment education abroad and make international experiences more accessible and affordable? (Times EDT)

This seminar presents an unusual relationship between Southwestern University, a liberal arts college located in the United States, and a partially American-managed archaeological research institute in Italy, the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation. Dr. Thomas Noble Howe will outline ways of maintaining the high standards of American liberal arts colleges—with their intimate interactions between students and faculty—while combining education abroad and synchronous distance learning in a way that more affordably facilitates the insertion of international experiences into increasingly “sequenced” majors. With receptive faculty, good equipment, and reliable backup, a system may be established that obviates the need to replace faculty who are abroad and allows students studying abroad to follow essential courses for their majors. In this seminar, Dr. Howe shares his vision for providing students with international experience through collaboration with unusual international foundations like the Stabiae Foundation. Through discussion with colleagues at NITLE Network institutions, participants will examine possibilities for internationalizing the classroom through partnerships and emerging technologies.

Recommended Reading
Please review and explore these resources to prepare for active engagement with your fellow seminar participants.

  • Monroe-Baillargeon, A. & Roberts, G. O. (2012). The academy is flat: using technology to create authentic multicultural education. International Journal of Educational Reform. 21(1), p.39-45.
Seminar Leader

Thomas Howe has an international reputation as an art and architectural historian, field archaeologist, architectural design teacher and cultural-properties master-planner and administrator. His undergraduate degree was in German literature at Lawrence University. He studied architectural design at Harvard Graduate School of Design and received his M.A. and PhD. from Harvard in Fine Arts in 1975 and 1985, studying Greek architecture. He is currently Professor and Chair of Art History at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and has lead the creation of two departmental programs and building programs, in studio art and art history. His Harvard dissertation of 1985, The Invention of the Doric Order, and his commentary and illustrations for a new translation of Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture (Cambridge University Press, 1999) are widely used as definitive works by scholars in both fields. He has written on Hellenistic architecture in Asia Minor (The Artemis Temple at Sardis), Roman architecture (articles and a book on the Roman Forum under contract for Cambridge University Press), and the culture and architecture of elite Roman villas. As field architect and stratigrapher he has excavated in Asia Minor (Sardis), Greece, Britain, Rome (the Palatine), and Stabiae near Pompeii. Since 2000, he has been the Coordinator General of the Restoring Stabiae Foundation and the chief author of the master plan to create a large archaeological park on the site, as well as chief responsible administrator and archaeologist for urban planning, archaeology, conservation and academic study-abroad programs.

Event Hashtag

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NITLE Network members interested in internationalizing the classroom through partnerships and emerging technologies should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Friday, July 26, 2013. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.