Intercultural Collaborative Learning Scenarios in E-Business Education: Media Competencies for Virtual Workplaces

Intercultural Collaborative Learning Scenarios in E-Business Education: Media Competencies for Virtual Workplaces

Elisabeth Katzlinger (Johannes Kepler University – Linz, Austria) and Michael A. Herzog (Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5876-9.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter deals with a learning scenario that has been developed for the acquisition of e-business competencies in various organizations. A constructivist cross-teaching-approach as well as the results of the empirical research derived from of a virtually realized interregional cooperation between a German and an Austrian university concerning business sciences from winter term 2010/11 and summer terms 2012 and 2013 are presented. A teaching-learning situation was created where learners can collaborate in virtual communities that come close to the reality of globalized business. The students worked out an e-business case study in interregional learning groups. The particular interest within the evaluation of this study lies in the virtual collaboration of the interregional study groups and the communication media used but also in the effect the intercultural didactic scenario has on heterogeneous study groups.
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Background

Beginning with a very critical point of view concerning media (-technic) conveyed learning, which started with educational television (Brown, 1987) after that developed into distance teaching (see. Mittendorfer, 1995, Bourdeau & Bates, 1997) and more complex conveyance via online learning, there have been distinct reservations towards the approach of online teaching until the element of interaction in a virtual learning environment was elaborated. Thereby learners interact and collaborate on learning assignments within a virtual learning environment.

Johnson et al. figured out in the Horizon Report that collaboration is a critical skill for employees (Johnson et al., 2012, p. 6). Within globalized economy, the ability of collaborating in various different groups becomes a key competence. Thus it seems useful, to create and establish learning settings that facilitate the ability of working in a team. At least since there is a massive need for virtual communication in this globalized economy, also virtual learning is accepted widely – mostly as a part of a blended learning approach. As cross-linked development of virtual content, as well as various patterns of medial communication became indispensable for acting in management, the conveyance of virtual media competence is very important for students of business focused courses.

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