Cross-cultural Online Conversation Assignment and Assessment

Learning Activity
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. 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 and asking clarifying questions of their partners.

Purpose of the learning activity: to effectively communicate across cultural differences, to demonstrate interpersonal skills, and build a sense of community online through positive socialization.

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.
  • Develop knowledge of what life is like a distant local.
  • Learn about evidence-based social science thinking.


Value of the Cross-Cultural Online Conversations Assignment and Assessment Criteria

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.

Criterion 1

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.


Criterion 2

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.


Criterion 3

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.


Co-curricular Achievement:

Buckeye Badge: Global Community Building,

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.