ERIC Number: EJ1146615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
International Cross-Cultural Online Learning and Teaching: Effective Tools and Approaches
Titarenko, Larissa; Little, Craig B.
American Journal of Distance Education, v31 n2 p112-127 2017
"Study abroad" college programs can transform domestic students into a kind of "global citizens" with international experience and cross-cultural competences demanded in the emerging global market. Can a full-time international online undergraduate class serve as a virtual alternative to study abroad experience? Two questions were asked of a virtual class on Social Control that was taught for more than ten years: (1) Can an international online class can be a virtual option to the study abroad and (2) Which selected pedagogical tools and approaches can stimulate creativity of students and contribute to achieving a sufficient level of student satisfaction in this class? Students from several countries were taught in a virtual classroom while being physically "at home." The research was based on observations and analysis of student-led discussions that were required of students. The class improved students' substantive knowledge and created a learning environment to develop their skills in cross-cultural open dialogue with virtual classmates. The teaching design allowed instructors to attain many educational goals, enhance students' understanding of foreign countries and cultures, and learn from each other through online communication. The results confirmed the effectiveness of selected pedagogical approaches and asynchronous communication technology in an international online class. Their effectiveness was demonstrated through the students' postclass feedback and evaluation of the class. Findings indicate that an international online class can indeed help the students learn cross-cultural communication firsthand and obtain knowledge beneficial for future jobs in a global market. In higher education, online distance education is useful for teaching large classes distributed among different campuses and universities or for teaching students abroad. Web 2.0 tools are widely used in the United States with transnational partnership programs (Martins 2015; Starke-Meyerring and Wilson 2008c). The American Center for the Study of Distance Education helps newcomers in this field learn transactional distance theory and tap into the broad experience already assembled by U.S. universities and other centers (Open University in the United Kingdom, similar Centers in Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden).
Descriptors: College Students, Study Abroad, Cultural Awareness, Global Approach, Undergraduate Students, Online Courses, Social Control, Program Effectiveness, Teaching Methods, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Group Discussion, Foreign Countries, Asynchronous Communication, Distance Education, Web 2.0 Technologies, International Programs, Questionnaires, Content Analysis, Transcripts (Written Records)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A