Effect of GI and Glogster on Improving the Intercultural Communication Skills in Higher Education

Effect of GI and Glogster on Improving the Intercultural Communication Skills in Higher Education

Ghada M. Awada (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Hassan B. Diab (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) and Kawthar H. Faour (American University of Beirut, Lebanon)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5463-9.ch008

Abstract

The study reports the effect of group investigation (GI) cooperative learning method and the Glogster online poster on improving the intercultural communication skills of international students (n=54) of eight different countries. The study is premised on the proposition that the integration of GI and Glogster in classrooms consisting of Lebanese and non-Lebanese students could be effective in improving the intercultural communication skills of international students and enhancing their perceptions of intercultural communication. The study employed the mixed methods pretest-posttest control group experimental design whereby six Interactions Among Civilizations intact classes were randomly assigned to control and experimental conditions. Employing the intercultural sensitivity scale yielded findings indicating the significance of the GI and Glogster in developing the cultural adaptability and intercultural sensitivity of the experimental group participants (n=25) whereas the control group participants (n=28) did not show similar improvement.
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Introduction

Lustig and Koester (2006) define intercultural communication as a skill that “…occurs when large and important cultural differences create dissimilar interpretations and expectations about how to communicate competently” (52). Intercultural communication has become vital in shaping the everyday interactions in this globalized community. The present economic, technological, and peace necessities require obtaining competency in intercultural interactions (Salazar& Agüero,2016). As globalization spreads, a strong need emerges for an increased competency in intercultural communication skills. The positive intercultural interactions and intercultural sensitivity ensure having beneficial experiences inside the classroom and provides the learners with the requisites of being prospective global citizens that are able to get engaged in successful intercultural interactions in the global village (Walters, Garii, & Walters, 2009). To ensure intercultural communication, it is vital to respect the cultural differences and the factors affecting interaction skills and behavior (Galante,2015).

Intercultural sensitivity is defined as the individual’s dynamic desire to understand, value, and accept differences among cultures (Chen &Starosta,1998). Intercultural sensitivity is determined by the affective aspect of intercultural competence needed to differentiate it from intercultural awareness and the cognitive and the behavioral aspects of intercultural competence (Chen & Starosta, 2000). The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), created by Chen and Starosta (2000) measures the intercultural sensitivity employing five constructs which are respectively interaction enjoyment, respect for cultural differences, interaction confidence, interaction, enjoyment and interaction attentiveness (Chen & Starosta, 2000). Kapoor, Blue, Konsky & Drager (2001) define intercultural sensitivity as a term that “…has been used frequently in the discussion of cross cultural adjustment, task effectiveness during assignments abroad, and the development and maintenance of good interpersonal relationships with culturally diverse others” (p. 65). Bennett (1986) defines intercultural sensitivity as the interactants skill to change themselves affectively, cognitively, and behaviorally while being in the development process of intercultural communication. Bennett (1986) adds that “…interculturally sensitive persons are able to reach the level of dual identity and enjoy cultural differences by gradually overcoming the problems of denying or concealing the existence of cultural differences and attempting to defend their own world views and moving to develop empathic ability to accept and adapt cultural differences” (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 4).

Cooperative Learning (CL) has several academic advantages across different disciplines and formed positive interpersonal attitudes, performances, ethics, and skills (Parchment, 2009). Group investigation (GI), a cooperative learning method, consists of a flexible set of steps as developed by Sharan &Sharan (1992) to enhance independence among students. GI facilitates inquiry-based learning and creates conditions that allow students, in collaboration with their classmates, to carry out the steps of the scientific method. The basic features of GI are investigation, interaction, and intrinsic motivation (Dabaghmanesh, Zamanian, & Bagheri, 2013).GI method encourages social interaction among group members, provides a great deal of fulfilment to students and enhances collaborative skills. The Implementation of the GI method is carried out in six stages. First, the teacher presents the main topic and the class determine the subtopics pertinent to the main topic. Based on the interests of the students, the students form their research groups. The groups plan how to proceed further with their work. Fourth, the groups conduct the investigations, plan how to present their findings to the class, and finally deliver the group presentations. Sixth, the teacher and the students evaluate the presentations (Dabaghmanesh, Zamanian, & Bagheri, 2013).

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