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Guest Blogger: Kevin Gao 2

I am so excited to have my previous guest blogger, Kevin Gao, return and share another post with everyone today! As previously mentioned, Kevin Gao is a Business Administration Major with a Concentration in Finance at Marshall. However, he is also pursuing a Web Technology and Applications Minor at the Viterbi School of Engineering. Being able to add a minor or two and/or double major are things that definitely make USC unique and also greatly help round out the business curriculum. Here are some thoughts that Kevin has about a class that he is taking in the Viterbi School of Engineering this semester:


This semester I had the opportunity to take a special class called Principles and Practices of Global Innovation (ENGR  345), more commonly known as iPodia. The iPodia class is an experiment in teaching, unlike any other class taught before, and take place in a truly global classroom. This course focuses on three types of learning: Inverted, Interactive, and International.

Firstly, this is an international class. The iPodia alliance consists of schools from 11 countries and four of the seven continents. Each class session typically has schools from 3-5 countries participating. Students are split into with 1-2 student from every country. This way, every student is able to interact with and learn from students from many diverse backgrounds.

Secondly, this course is very interactive. The course makes use of video conferencing technology to simultaneously hold lecture in several different countries where the students can interact with each other. Below is a typical classroom layout in an iPodia alliance classroom.


Finally, the course learning is inverted. The learning process is as depicted below, rather than the typical process of the “reading, attending lecture, then doing homework” process. This not only requires active learning and discussion between students of course material, but also for the teacher to develop interactive lectures that focus on what the students have the most trouble understanding.

While this class has occasionally experienced some technical difficulties, it has definitely been one of my favorites. I have been able to interact with and learn from students from a multitude of countries, including China, Germany, and Doha. The perspectives I have gained from my peers around the world have been truly invaluable.

While this class is not officially a Marshall course, the concepts learned, as well the learning environment, are definitely applicable to the business world. I think this is a class that every USC student should take, regardless of major.


Posted on December 4, 2015 by Russell


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