Developing intercultural competence through blended learning: The role of peer interaction
Mary E. Risner, University of Florida, United States
University of Florida . Awarded
The need to increase US competitiveness in the world economy is a driving factor in the recent push to internationalize university campuses across the country. Technical and subject area expertise are no longer sufficient to succeed in the 21st-century global workplace. Intercultural competence is becoming more valued as part of the desired professional skill set of students across disciplines, particularly in the business school.
This experimental design study explored the use of a course module that blends classroom and online experiences as a possible way to advance the teaching and learning of intercultural competence across the curriculum. The two-week China Retailing Module emphasized constructivist learning theory combined with web technologies and authentic learning principles. It was integrated into an undergraduate business course and designed to serve as a pilot model focused on a specific disciplinary context, world region, and culture.
Pre- and post-tests were administered to control and experimental groups to detect any effect of online peer interaction in student tasks completed during the module. While the quantitative results from the Chen and Starosta Intercultural Sensitivity Scale and the China Retailing Quiz did not indicate a statistically significant difference between the two study groups, qualitative findings revealed positive student attitudes toward the value of intercultural awareness and satisfaction with the module. The results also suggest that the blended approach does broaden student experience and opens up new and active 21st-century andragogies while maintaining at least equivalent levels of learning.
This study offers practitioners insights that can be adapted and applied in the design of business or other professional school courses. Student feedback on the module also provides valuable input to be used in developing future modules focused on other world regions. Recommendations for future areas of research, such as the need to further examine online instructional design in terms of the role of different types of learner interaction and the use of constructivist and authentic tasks, arose from this study. A Faculty Reference Guide was created with resources and suggestions for instructors interested in implementing blended modules of this type to internationalize their courses. (Full text of this dissertation may be available via the University of Florida Libraries web site. Please check http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/etd.html )
Risner, M.E. Developing intercultural competence through blended learning: The role of peer interaction. Ph.D. thesis, University of Florida. Retrieved March 22, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/118869/.
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