M. Gurubatham

HELP University College (MALAYSIA)
This presentation and paper argues that the impact of globalization and its drivers represent a challenge to traditional classroom learning for graduate international students while yet presenting an opportunity for invoking meta cognitive learning strategies with the active use of blended e-learning. The need for higher value added thinking is argued as the major driver for Asian countries enabling an innovation based knowledge economy beyond the middle income trap.

The context and content of modules in the HELP University College Malaysia’s Master’s in Managerial Psychology and Global Strategic Management at the Maharishi University of Management in the U.S.A. for developing fluid Intelligence in international students is presented in terms of the ‘Cognitive Literacy Value Chain’ in learning applied to globalized topics. Empirical evidence is also reviewed in cognitive development and learning. These models facilitate the ‘far transfer’ and ‘high –road' of knowledge and application to dynamic contexts facilitated by blended learning leveraging the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) –based open source Moodle platform for discussion forums and multimedia engagement beyond the classroom walls. It represents a major shift from procedural learning so that insights are generated, self exploration and critical thinking engendered. Far transfer impacts both functional and higher domain-free cognitive competencies. Examples of teaching learning strategies presented include Socratic prompts, electronic reflection menus, cases and learners’ own journals documenting transparent thinking, and online discussion boards of ‘hot button’ issues. ICT culturally ‘high context’ design and teaching features for non-Western learners are exposited to maximize active learning.

Therein lays the challenge for lifelong learning and nurturing productive human capital for emerging countries which are proud of their cultural integrity and history yet rapidly transforming. Pertinent question addressed and resolved are for example: How can fluid intelligence and self awareness be enlivened and sustained for the information onslaught posed by information and communication technology (ICT)? Also how can adaptation pressures be balanced with the wisdom of sustainability and preserving cultural integrity in this age of globalization?

As globalization drivers are relentless, teaching and learning strategies have to not just raise awareness of topical hot button issues but design schema-assimilation and schema-accommodating strategies that facilitate traditionally reticent Asian and international students to identify their own assumptions and nudge them towards higher order ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. Active, participative, syndicated learning with self directed flat teams utilizing ICT set the tone.