The Chinese University of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 32-38
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0018
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
More and more researchers are discovering that study abroad students may experience little or no growth in second language proficiency, intercultural sensitivity or global-mindedness without a pedagogical intervention (e.g., Iwasaki 2019; Vande Berg et al. 2012). Drawing on contemporary research findings and advances in learner-centered technology, a fully online general education course has been created at a Hong Kong university to maximize the language and intercultural learning of international exchange students while they are in their host country. At the heart of the curriculum is intercultural e-mentoring, that is, structured, critical reflection facilitated by an eLearning platform. While abroad, the participants are prompted to share and ‘unpack’ their emotions and intercultural experience in a reflective essay, fieldwork-inspired threaded discussions, and an intercultural-global citizenship project (videotaped intercultural interviews and online debriefing). After describing the course and recent cohort (n = 26 international exchange students from diverse areas of study), this presentation will summarize the key findings of a thematic content analysis of the data generated before, during, and immediately after the intervention (e.g., reflective essays, online posts, pre- and post- course interview transcripts, questionnaire surveys). This evaluative case study revealed meaningful advances in language and intercultural sensitivity and global-mindedness, underscoring the merits of the intervention. Compared with international exchange students from the same institution who were abroad for the same time period without an intervention, the course participants experienced much more growth in intercultural sensitivity as measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a cross-culturally validated psychometric instrument. Ample time will be reserved for a candid discussion about the benefits, challenges, and limitations of the approach to learning and teaching that has been adopted in the online course. This session will be especially relevant for educators who are interested in e-pedagogy and intercultural mentoring for mobile and/or non-mobile students.
E-pedagogy, e-mentoring, international education, study abroad, critical reflection, intercultural learning/engagement, evaluative case study.