Myths & Challenges of Online Education

December 4, 2002

Photo provided by The Insider – AU’s Pierre Wilhelm in the company of Maestra Diana Bosco Hernandez, organizer of the “Primer Encuentro Iberamericano de Educacion Superior en Linea” in Mexico

Pierre Wilhelm from the School of Business reports that he was fortunate to attend the first meeting of online Latin American universities organized by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) to mark 30 years of distance education in Mexico. This meeting was held from November 4 to 8 at UNAM’s “Coordinacion de Universidad Abierta y Educacion a Distancia.” Many guests who could not attend in person participated from Mexico, Latin America, and Europe via the Internet (see: and by way of satellite and cable communications.

The “Primer Encuentro Iberamericano de Educacion Superior en Linea” featured speakers from Spain and the Americas who discussed the theme of myths and challenges in online education for over three days. Pierre experienced presenting a conference paper online and answered questions by way of a “listserver” and “chat room.” He says he was quite pleased with this novel and informal approach to “conferencing.”

Athabasca University featured prominently in several workshops coordinated by Peter Cookson, Director of the “Centro de Tecnologias para la Educacion e Informacion” at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. “Pedro” left Athabasca University this year for Central America to establish distance education programs designed for international and Costa Rican students.

Many conference members expressed keen interest in collaborating with Athabasca University in the near future in order to further research and development in distance education. Amongst these, Dr. Juan José Sánchez Sosa, General Secretary of the Union de Universidades de America Latina (see:, which represents over 160 Latin-American universities.