In the Online Cross-Cultural Conversations module students participate in online cross-cultural conversations about their local cultural contexts. They share aspects of their daily life and teach/learn about what their peers share in terms of their peers’ local contexts. They utilize an evidence-based approach, describing specific physical environments, social patterns, and cultural norms that shape their experiences. They should be looking for clues about daily life in the other context. Students use active listening and follow the ground rules so that everyone feels respected. The instructor should emphasize that everyone’s contribution matters. You can access the full module and related materials on the Canvas Commons (also known as “Carmen” as Ohio State University).
The purpose of this module is to build an inclusive community and to reflect on cultural differences. We highly recommend that in addition to the forum assignments you assign frequent small reflections, and an overarching reflection for the whole semester focused on growth and how students feel they have developed cultural awareness from the forums and related assignments. Ideally, students will be assigned collaborative group projects which include students in both countries, as well, to really challenge their ability to use perspective-taking and communication skills to be an effective team player.
Learning outcomes: perspective-taking, substantive knowledge of the other location via daily life experiences of their peers, increase in cultural awareness
Resume skills: online community-building, cross-cultural communication skills.
Life skills: networking, interpersonal effectiveness, active listening
Description for Students
Engage in authentic cross-cultural communication and interact directly with peers at the foreign university by actively responding to their posts in an online forum, whether in Carmen or another platform such as Moodle or Blackboard. Post in the forum about daily life in your local area. Be as descriptive as possible. You can use images but must give context and reason for choosing the image you share. As a result of these conversations you will:
- Become more effective in cross-cultural communication.
- Learn what life is like in another place in the world.
- Develop your evidence-based social science thinking.
Students who successfully complete this assignment have communicated effectively with peers at a foreign institution about daily life in two places, their town and the town of the other institution. Their peers should also have gained a better understanding of what daily life is like in the students’ local area. Students should now be able to teach fellow Americans about the reality on the ground in the other country in contrast to what is in the news. They should have built enough trust with their peers to be able to ask them questions about their cultural practices, including those things which are different from what is normal in the students’ culture. They should have learned how to engage with cultural differences while gaining more understanding of themselves and their own cultural background.
Demonstrate your online cross-cultural communication ability. Do this by following the ground rules for communication, maintaining engagement with your peers and building online community. Don’t let conversation threads get “cold”. For example, you will post a brief biography, and comment on at least three biographies of your Turkish peers, and respond to any comments on yours with some sort of acknowledgment. Choose peers who have not received comments before peers who have comments already posted on their images.
Demonstrate your ability to curate cultural information with academic value. Write a brief reflection on how this information connects to your daily life in Columbus. Communicate with a fellow student in Turkey what you have learned and get their feedback. Academic information you share must have citations, and images must include proper attribution and license information as well as a sentence explaining why you selected that particular image. Comment on posts of at least three of your peers, and respond to any comments on yours. Demonstrate good citizenship and community-building. For example, engage individuals who have not received comments before peers who have comments already posted on their images.
Ask good questions about what you observe in other participants’ descriptions of their lives or in the images they post of their lives. Stay on task – do not talk generally about topics related to culture, but what is actually concrete and observable in what they are sharing.
Curriculum Standards Alignment
Name: Global Competency
Description: Undergraduate students will learn to communicate across cultural boundaries, develop their media literacy and demonstrate their strengths as researchers.
Milestone – Yes – Toward Mastery Badge, “Global Media Project” which requires a Cross-cultural Team-based media project, such as an image-rich website or a video.