The purpose of these learning activities is to maximize student learning from authentic cross-cultural experiences they have online. They should learn about themselves as cultural beings as they learn about and from their conversation partners about the “other” culture. This also develops their intercultural awareness.
Learning objectives: increase in intercultural awareness; increase in cross-cultural effectiveness; substantive engagement with global issues and/or global perspectives on local issues. More concretely, demonstration of ability to engage in dialogue based on understanding, ability to gain knowledge of “the other” without either exoticizing or essentializing one’s conversational partner; overcome deficit understanding of difference; ability accurately to describe cultural linguistic and ideological diversity of the Middle East, and especially Turkey and Oman, both very diverse societies. They should demonstrate active listening skills from the very beginning (see our ground rules), and be able to skillfully and accurately elicit peers’ perspectives on what they are studying by the end of the course or co-curricular project. Finally, they should demonstrate that they can be a true team player.
Approach to Learning: We promote an approach to learning which integrates frequent reflection, and aims for real-world competencies. The methods and practices employed are authentic and High Impact. High impact practices for global competency may also include experiences like education or work abroad and collaborative online intercultural learning (COIL). We look to research on education abroad for elements of our approach, especially with regard to how to maximize learning from cross-cultural experiences (Paige, 2009). We achieve our goals for learning by:
- Creating mini challenges (Suitable) based on the assessment framework (Buckeye Badges) to both validate and gamify the learning.
- Eliciting frequent reflection prompts (Suitable, Qualtrics), integrated into the learning as students co-constructed knowledge with their professor and student peers in Turkey.
- Scaffolding the learning by starting with communication skills, and build upon those in the team project. Students are required to demonstrate perspective-taking through-out.