Purpose, Learning Objectives, and Approach

The purpose of these learning activities is to maximize student experience online with local cultures. 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 resilience, their ability to emotionally process harmful/demeaning perceptions of their own culture.

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.

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.

Approach to Learning: We promote an approach to learning which integrates frequent reflection, and aims for real-world competencies.  Ideally, students will maintain an e-Portfolio to capture their achievements at OSU, both in and outside of the classroom.  Students can use Portfolium to do this, or any web content management software they feel comfortable with. The badging app, Suitable, creates a co-curricular transcript of competencies students validate through Buckeye Badges.  This helps students track their progress while also motivating them to gain more or higher levels of competencies. Achieve this 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.


Enhance the Learning:

Take time to do peer-review on writing, and/or to give detailed feedback on student writing. Peermark is an excellent tool, offered by OSU to facilitate that process.

Use Turnitin for writing assignments – it will detect plagiarism.