Blended Learning Internationalization from the Commonwealth: An Australian and Canadian Collaborative Case Study

Blended Learning Internationalization from the Commonwealth: An Australian and Canadian Collaborative Case Study

Shelley Kinash (Bond University, Australia) and Susan Crichton (University of Calgary, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-989-7.ch007
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This case depiction addresses the contentious issue of providing culturally and globally accessible teaching and learning to international students in universities in the Commonwealth nations of Australia and Canada. The chapter describes the university systems and cultures, the barriers to authentic higher education internationalization, and the problems frequently experienced by international students. Two university cases are presented and analysed to depict and detail blended learning approaches (face-to-face combined with e-learning) as exemplars of culturally and globally accessible higher education and thereby ideologically grounded internationalization. Lessons learned are presented at the systems level and as teaching and learning solutions designed to address pedagogical problems frequently experienced by international students in the areas of communication, academic skills, teaching and learning conceptualization, and moving from rote learning to critical thinking. The blended learning solutions are analysed through the lens of critical theory.
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Situation Background

The cultural and global accessibility of a university’s teaching and learning is a direct measure of whether the university’s development mission is to promote intercultural education and worldwide networks or whether that higher education institution recruits international students primarily as lucrative export-industry goods. Culture is the overall mindset shaped in a time and place and shared by a group of individuals. When individuals such as international students leave their group they typically carry a mindset with them from their culture of origin to their culture of study. This definition of culture is grounded in Hofstede’s (2001) model. He defined culture as “collective programming of the mind” (p. 1). He explained that “it manifests itself not only in values, but in more superficial ways: in symbols, heroes, and rituals” (p. 1). Cultural accessibility means that faculty members actively design their teaching to ensure that all of their students are learning, through interaction with the instructor, their student peers and with globally responsible and responsive content (McBurnie, 2000). Lanham and Zhou (2003) wrote, “the inclusion of multiple cultures in university courses means that a more flexible approach should be taken with the design of these courses to ensure that all students are able to reach their course goals” (p. 278). Cultural accessibility can only be understood against the backdrop of internationalization which is a conflicted interplay between economy, pedagogy, and ideology (Meiras, 2004).

Surging in the mid 1990s, enrolment of international students in developed Commonwealth nations became a profitable industry (Davies & Harcourt, 2007; De Vita, 2007; Poole, 2001). The economic advantage of international student enrolment drove an operational or business stance on internationalization (De Vita & Case, 2003; Edwards, 2003). De Vita and Case contrasted the economic stance of universities “expand[ing] their financial base by using international students as a source of revenue” with the ideological stance in which the primary work of universities is “preparing students to live and work in a multicultural society through greater understanding and respect for other cultures” (p. 385). While cultural accessibility is a laudable goal, there is a great deal of contemporary discourse presenting universities as more interested in capitalism than knowledge emancipation (Cimbala, 2002; Gunn, 2000; Huff, 2006; Murray & Dollery, 2005; Versluis, 2004).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Janet Bennett
Andrea L. Edmundson
Chapter 1
Nor Aziah Alias
For the purpose of this case, culture is defined according to the UNESCO Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity (2001) as the “set of... Sample PDF
Incorporating Cultural Components into the Design of an Affective Support Tool for the Malaysian Online Distance Learners
Chapter 2
Ray Archee, Myra Gurney
Although it is a legal requirement of all organizations to permit sensorially, cognitively, and physically disabled persons equitable access to... Sample PDF
Integrating Culture with E-Learning Management System Design
Chapter 3
Caroline M. Crawford, Ruth Gannon Cook
The contextual backdrop of the problem and goal of the study are based within the framework that the researchers wanted to be sure that the courses... Sample PDF
Culturally Significant Signs, Symbols, and Philosophical Belief Systems within E-Learning Environments
Chapter 4
Yan Cong, Kerry Earl
Findings presented explore the Chinese cultural influence, aspects of instructional design that supported learning and achievement, and the... Sample PDF
Chinese Postgraduate Students Learning Online in New Zealand: Perceptions of Cultural Impact
Chapter 5
Andrea Hall
Case studies on adult online learners in professional development courses in an Omani context found that cultural preferences had a significant... Sample PDF
Designing Culturally Appropriate E-Learning for Learners from an Arabic Background: A Study in the Sultanate of Oman
Chapter 6
Christine H. Kilham
Reflecting a more inclusive ethos, teachers in Westernized countries today work with students with diverse needs. Mainstream classrooms may include... Sample PDF
Shaping Perspectives on the “Culture of Disability”: Lessons from an Australian Online Role Play
Chapter 7
Shelley Kinash, Susan Crichton
This case depiction addresses the contentious issue of providing culturally and globally accessible teaching and learning to international students... Sample PDF
Blended Learning Internationalization from the Commonwealth: An Australian and Canadian Collaborative Case Study
Chapter 8
Xiaojing Liu, Richard J. Magjuka
The rapid improvement in online communication technologies and the globalization of the economy have made offering transnational courses in online... Sample PDF
Learning in Cross-Cultural Online MBA Courses: Perceptions of Chinese Students
Chapter 9
Ian McArthur
The rapid advancement of online communication technologies is reconfiguring the creative industries through globally networked and interdisciplinary... Sample PDF
Collabor8: Online and Blended Cross-Cultural Studies
Chapter 10
William A. Sadera, David Robinson
This case study examines the design, implementation and cultural challenges of delivering an online university course to a group of 21 Mainland... Sample PDF
Teaching Students in Mainland China: Factors for Consideration with Online Learning
Chapter 11
Gemma Baltazar
This case study describes the considerations, challenges, and lessons learned in developing this online course, which is the foundation of an... Sample PDF
Developing an E-Learning Course for a Global Legal Firm
Chapter 12
Margaret Strong, Bobby Joy, Madhukar Pulluru, Tenya Dong, Edward Zhou
This case study follows an international e-learning software development project between the India and China Technology Centers of the largest... Sample PDF
India to China – Repurposing Learning Software across Cultures: Positioning an E-Learning Framework of a Technical Library Program for Success
Chapter 13
Randall Stieghorst, Andrea L. Edmundson
Web-based and self-paced learning modules have become a common-and sometimes primary-tool used by the Ethics & Compliance departments of global... Sample PDF
Cultural Adaptation of E-Learning Courseware: An Ethics & Compliance Example
Chapter 14
Kara Tsuruta-Alvarez
More frequently, universities and corporations are faced with the challenge of having e-learning courses translated into other languages for... Sample PDF
Translating E-Learning Courses
Chapter 15
Diana Karel-Longuevergne
Localization and translation often go ‘hand in hand’, as explained in the first chapter, but as this author explains and illustrates, localization... Sample PDF
Localization for E-Learning
Chapter 16
Andrea L. Edmundson
Culturally appropriate instructional design requires the integration of instructional design skills with intercultural knowledge. In e-learning, as... Sample PDF
The Cultural Adaptation of E-Learning: Using Appropriate Content, Instructional Design, and Media
Chapter 17
Katherine Watson
“Linguistic relativism” leads people of different cultures to define, explain, and even see reality in images framed by their diverse languages. The... Sample PDF
Incorporating “World View” into the LMS or CMS is Best
Chapter 18
Kathy Keller
A statement by the President’s Council on Disability: “Technology for most people makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology... Sample PDF
Seeing People with Disabilities as a Culture in the E-Learning Environment
Chapter 19
Culture Matters!  (pages 348-350)
Andrea L. Edmundson
I have had my mantra since my first trip overseas–a six-month internship as an undergraduate spent in New Zealand–“Culture matters!” On my first... Sample PDF
Culture Matters!
About the Contributors