From Myopia to Global Vision via International Collaboration: Lessons from Research and Experience

From Myopia to Global Vision via International Collaboration: Lessons from Research and Experience

Diane Boehm (Saginaw Valley State University, USA) and Lilianna Aniola-Jedrzejek (Poznan University of Technology, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-077-4.ch009
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One effective strategy to prepare students to be successful participants in a globalized world is the use of online collaborative projects with students from other countries. New technologies and new opportunities for such collaboration may reshape teaching practices in unexpected ways. Three challenges need to be addressed for such projects to be successful: the specific circumstances of the classes, the structure and patterns of team interactions, and the technologies for collaboration. These challenges can be addressed through careful student preparation, well-designed assignments, monitoring of student progress, and a vision of the workplace of the future.
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In 2003, when the development of online international student collaborations in courses was new, the idea was fairly untested. Early in the history of these authors’ collaborative projects, we adapted the model of Chickering and Gamson’s “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” to the work (Boehm & Aniola-Jedrzejek, L., 2006). The seven principles thereafter developed have continued to guide these authors’ online global student collaborations:

  • 1.

    Develop cross-cultural awareness and mutual understanding of the culture of each group

  • 2.

    Create a multi-faceted virtual environment

  • 3.

    Coordinate calendars

  • 4.

    Require intermediate level of English proficiency

  • 5.

    Create relevant, engaging collaborative assignments with rubrics and shared understandings for evaluation of student work

  • 6.

    Establish methods for successful group interactions, including information-sharing and relationship-building

  • 7.

    Evaluate project outcomes. (pp. 1-2)

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