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ERIC Number: EJ1380160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
EISSN: EISSN-2380-8144
Online + International: Utilizing Theory to Maximize Intercultural Learning in Virtual Exchange Courses
Nyunt, Gudrun; Niehaus, Elizabeth; Light, Ashley; Boryca, Alex; Bryan, Angela
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v35 n1 p325-344 Apr 2023
Virtual exchanges (VEs) are course-based experiences designed to promote global learning, often by integrating cross-cultural interactions and collaborations with people from other areas of the world into coursework in a virtual format. Due to the widespread disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, VEs have seen an increase in popularity. However, research findings on the effectiveness of VEs are mixed, and limited guidance is available to VE instructors on how to structure and facilitate these programs. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how theories and literature in two distinct areas of scholarship, Intergroup Contact theory and the Community of Inquiry model in online learning, could be applied to VEs to maximize student learning. We discuss each of these theories first and then highlight how they could be applied to VEs using illustrative examples from a pilot study of five VE courses offered at one institution during the summer of 2021.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A