About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9974-9978
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0861

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

EMBRACING DIVERSITY ON-LINE: EXPERIENCING CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING AN INTERNATIONAL COURSE

O. Almog1, N. Basman-Mor2, L. Jager1, S. Schaal3

1Beit-Berl Academic College (ISRAEL)
2Kaye academic College (ISRAEL)
3University of Education Ludwigsburg (GERMANY)
During the last three years, we participated in a project initiated by the European Union (Erasmus+) called IN2IT. Project IN2IT aims at developing and implementing an innovative infrastructure for advancing internationalization in higher education. The project focuses on three core international academic activities: a. teaching and learning academic curriculum. b. knowledge sharing by research communities. c. academic - industry cooperation. These academic activities were internationalized with the support of contemporary innovative technologies.

In our presentation we will describe some of the challenges we have experienced while working in the project. Our team developed and implemented an online course named: “Embracing Diversity”. The course - which was designed according to an Educational Design Research approach (McKenney & Reeves, 2012) and was based on Kolb‘s Experiential Learning Cycle (Kolb, 1984) - deals with the human-social-cultural differences among people. The participants in the course were university and college students from Europe (Germany, Italy, UK) and Israel (Jews and Arabs) who spoke different languages and came from diverse cultures.

The course, “Embracing Diversity” aims to advance internationalization, and to increase the awareness of the risks and opportunities of various aspects of diversity. The course was developed by 11 partners from 6 academic colleges and universities in Germany, Israel, Italy, and UK, countries which were facing significant issues concerning diversity. This cooperation among colleagues was very fruitful and productive as well as challenging. The course was delivered online during the academic year 2017-2018 and was attended by 158 students.

Some of the challenges the developers of the course faced were technical (e.g. organizing meetings, designing digital material) while others were more fundamental (e.g the diversity among the team members themselves which was characterized by religious and secular, Jews, Christians and Muslims, men and women and different academic backgrounds). This diversity enforced the group members to cope with many challenges: from speaking different languages and having different manners to having different conceptions of learning or different values and worldviews. As for the course itself we experienced many challenges, since students enrolled in the course were studying different subject matters, they came from different countries in which different languages are spoken and their academic calendars were different.

After delivering a pilot course, a regular course and a meeting with the students 'representatives at an international conference, we conclude that while developing and implementing an online international course we should create more opportunities for intensive and meaningful interactions among the participants. These interactions will enable students to share their deep and controversial beliefs and attitudes and will promote the goal of embracing diversity.
@InProceedings{ALMOG2018EMB,
author = {Almog, O. and Basman-Mor, N. and Jager, L. and Schaal, S.},
title = {EMBRACING DIVERSITY ON-LINE: EXPERIENCING CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING AN INTERNATIONAL COURSE},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0861},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0861},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9974-9978}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Almog AU - N. Basman-Mor AU - L. Jager AU - S. Schaal
TI - EMBRACING DIVERSITY ON-LINE: EXPERIENCING CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING AN INTERNATIONAL COURSE
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0861
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 9974
EP - 9978
ER -
O. Almog, N. Basman-Mor, L. Jager, S. Schaal (2018) EMBRACING DIVERSITY ON-LINE: EXPERIENCING CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING AN INTERNATIONAL COURSE, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 9974-9978.
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