Intercultural Communication as a By-product of the Globally Networked Learning Process Intercultural Communication as a By-product of the Globally Networked Learning Process Mira Bergelson, HSE, Moscow, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org Meredith Harrigan, SUNY, Geneseo, NY, USA Craig Little, SUNY, Cortland, NY, USA
Our goal in this paper • Rethinking the experience OR a typology of studying intercultural communication in vivo • Comparing three approaches with focus on: • the content of the subject field • participation in a real process of peer-to-peer intercultural communication • joint multi-sided discussions of the topical issues of social life in various cultures. • Each approach has its potential benefits and pitfalls
First case: Social Control • Course on social control by Prof. Craig little • SUNY Learning Network • Asynchronous web-based platform • 1. 2002 • 7 SUNY students; 5 ESL students • 2. 2004 • 10+1 English-native; 7+3 ESL Russian-native students • 3. 2013 • 20+ English-native (US+Australia); 7 ESL Russian-native • Little, Craig. B., Titarenko, Larissa, Bergelson, Mira. Creating a successful international distance-learning classroom. Teaching Sociology, vol.33, 2005 (October: 355-370). • Little, Craig B., Titarenko, L., Bergelson, M. The Role of Democratic Dialogue in Collaborative International Distance Education. AUDEM: International Journal of Higher Education and Democracy, 2012, Vol.3.
Course structure • The Modules Included the Following Assignments and Activities • Mini-Lectures (prepared by the professors) • Reading from the assigned books • Reading Questions to be answered on the assigned books • Examinations—one for each of the three core modules • Web-Based Assignments • Student-Led Discussions • Demonstrated Benefits • Intensive writing • English language enhancement practice • Other ?
The international on-line classroom provides an effective forum for democratic dialogue • A democratic dialogue: An exchange of information and opinions on public issues in an open forum • potentially either a boring or a threatening communication event • Boring - if opinions to be exchanged are more or less similar • Threatening to the social face of the participants- if they are opposite or adverse • If there is no exchange of opinions, but of information only – it is unlikely to happen
Advantages of SLD • A cross-cultural dialogue is generally more revealing in terms of information obtained and more threatening • vast proportion of the opinions is based on cultural (national) stereotypes • The SLD is an excellent vehicle to promote a democratic dialogue • more efficient, more educating, less threatening • allowing to make most out of its cross-culturally
SLD allows: • a free but still structured format; • an explicit demand for exchange of information; • students choose what input to respond to; • a postponed, not face-to-face response to a comment; • competitive attitude based on how many people respond to a given post and how they evaluate it; • a multi-linear dialogue (polylogue); • because of the prolonged period for the SLD (a module is about three weeks) there is a certain time line for developing of each topic.
Some quotes • I think that it was very educationally rewarding. I learned a lot about social control in different countries. I learned from their questions more about the United States, and I felt comfortable posting mine. It was definitely rewarding learning about their feelings towards social control, and it helped that not everyone was the same age or from the same background because you learned so many different perspectives. (American) • This course showed that interaction of people from different countries and cultures can not only be interesting but rather profitable for everybody. (Belarusian) • It was interesting to learn opinions of students from other countries. Some points of view appeared to be really unexpected. (Russian)
Second case: Intercultural Communication in the Global Classroom “The study of intercultural communication begins as a journey into another culture and reality and ends as a journey into one’s own culture” ~Peter Adler
The Partnership SUNY Geneseo Department of Communication Moscow State University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
The Goal To bring intercultural communication theory to practice and create a transformational learning experience for students.
The Strategy To create an eight week team project in order for students to learn through doing Specific Project Task Each team will create a social advertisement for their partnering culture
The Process • Students complete 5 online modules • Each module required three activities: 1. Main Project Activity 2. Relationship Building Activity 3. Reflective Activity Learning Management System: Moodle
Main Project Activities 1. Make Key Decisions 2. Collect Data 3. Create a Draft Ad 4. Seek Feedback 5. Finalize the Ad Goal #1: Practice intercultural communication Goal #2: Use culture as a lens as they create ads
Relationship-Building Activities • Creating slide shows using Animoto • Creating metaphorical “backpacks of culture” • Engaging in the DIVE exercise via VoiceThread • Engaging in team conferences via Skype Reflection Exercises • Online discussion posts • Class-to-class videoconferences
Reflection Activities • Online discussion posts • Class-to-class videoconferences
Retrospective Sense-Making What We Know Now That We Didn’t Expect Then
Unanticipated Benefits of Planning Decisions • Evaluate our own students’ work • Teach content through process • Have a primary LMS organizer • Meet prior to each class-to-class videoconference • Structure each class-to-class meeting consistently
Unanticipated Glitches: Technological Management • Collect hyperlinks rather than videos files • Beware of browser differences • Collect savable pictures rather than links • Consider the impact of system upgrades • Have support staff or user-friendly technology • Stay aware of the “new” digital divide
Unanticipated Questions:Intercultural Management • Are our differences culture or personal? • How do we differ in our time orientation? • How do we differ in our semantic rules? • How do we differ in task and relational orientations?
Unanticipateddiscoveries • Time matters • Geneseo – MSU ≠ US – Russia • Creating a product requires creation of interculture • Technology divides (?) • When intercultural becomes interpersonal • Creativity • Motivation
Unanticipated Discoveries: Embracing Teachable Moments Learning Activities Often Yielded Unanticipated Opportunities for Learning
DIVE Exercise • Anticipated Goals: • To make students aware of the powerful role culture plays in our perceptual process. • To encourage perception-checking. • Unanticipated Outcome: • Increased intercultural and co-cultural knowledge.
Third Case : Global Understanding courses • Project started by East Carolina University in 2003 • 42 Universities from 28 countries • FFL MSU students have participatedsince 2005 • Project Leader Prof. AllaNazarenko • Videoconferences and chat between students for four weeks • Three partners per semester
Global Understanding Topics • Education • Family and Traditions • Meaning of Life • Stereotypes and Prejudice • English as lingua franca http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/globalinitiatives/course.cfm
In Search of Typology • Focus on language skills ~ on subject field ~ on technology • Methods of interaction between course participants • One-on-one interactions ~ team work ~ class-to-class interactions • Number of participating parties • Role of SLD or other forums
Course essentials • Groundwork: the conditions for success • Motivation: for professors, for students • Relationships • Institutional accounting • Building the course • Selecting the topic • Keeping it simple: chunking, scheduling • Opportunities for online interaction • Coordinating frequent written assignments with the readings
“The study of intercultural communication begins as a journey into another culture and reality and ends as a journey into one’s own culture” • ~ Peter Adler