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Students ’ intercultural learning through short-term study abroad programs October 21, 2012 Marissa R. Lombardi, ed.d Alliance for International education doha , qatar. Problem Statement.

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Students’ intercultural learning through short-term study abroad programsOctober 21, 2012Marissa R. Lombardi, ed.dAlliance for International educationdoha, qatar

problem statement
Problem Statement
  • International education is a key area within higher education with a growing need to measure learning outcomes of student experiences (Williams, 2005).
  • Recently education institutions have been “internationalizing”, which generally entails increasing diversity and/or attempting to raise intercultural awareness and competence among students (Leask, 2009; Suarez-Orozco & Sattin, 2007).
  • Study abroad is considered one of the most effective means for increasing intercultural competence (Deardorff, 2004). Yet there was little concrete evidence demonstrating this notion, particularly in short-term programs.
research question
Research Question
  • To what extent, if any, are Bentley University's internationalization initiatives, specifically in the undergraduate short-term study abroad arena, increasing intercultural competence among its students?
literature review
Literature Review
  • Theme 1: Defining intercultural competence):
    • “Ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Deardorff, 2004, p 184)
  • Theme 2: Intercultural assessment tools (Chen & Starosta, 2000; Pascarella et al, 1996)
  • Theme 3: Intercultural competence development (Bennett & Salonen, 2007)
instruments
Instruments
  • Demographic information
  • Chen and Starosta (2000): Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)
  • Pascarella and Associates (1996): Openness to Diversity Scale
intercultural sensitivity scale iss
Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)
  • Chen & Starosta’s (1998) ISS is a 24 item instrument with a Likert scale from 1-5.
  • “The concept of intercultural sensitivity refers to the subjects’ active desire to motivate themselves to understand, appreciate, and accept differences among cultures (Chen & Starosta, 1998, p.143)”.
  • The 24 questions are grouped under the following 5 factors: Interaction Engagement, Respect for Cultural Differences, Interaction Confidence, Interaction Enjoyment, and Interaction Attentiveness.
the openness to diversity challenge scale
The Openness to Diversity/Challenge Scale
  • Pascarella and associates (1994) developed specifically for use with college students
  • It is an eight-item instrument that uses the same Likert scale as the ISS instrument.
  • The scale “not only includes an assessment of an individual’s openness to cultural, racial and value diversity, it also taps the extent to which an individual enjoys being challenged by different ideas, values, and perspectives” (Pascarella et al., 1996).
personal data form
personal data form
  • The final instrument was designed by the researcher and collected basic information about the participants. The questions allowed the researcher to provide descriptive statistics of the participants.
  • Questions asking for age, gender, class standing, major and race/ethnicity allowed for between-group comparisons. Several questions about prior international experiences were designed to allow for discussion of the impact of those experiences on the other two instruments.
hypotheses
Hypotheses
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit an increase in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to openness to diversity.
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit an increase in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to Interaction engagement.
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit an increase in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to respect for cultural differences.
hypotheses cont
Hypotheses Cont.
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit an increase in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to Interaction enjoyment.
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit no significant difference in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to Interaction attentiveness.
  • Students who participate in STP exhibit no significant increase in scores from their pre test to their post-test on questions relating to Interaction confidence.
research strategy
Research Strategy
  • “Nonequivalent group design” was used. Also considered a Quasi-experimental design
  • The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, Openness to Diversity Scale, and Demographic questions were administered to treatment group before and after the short-term study abroad program by study abroad office.
  • Control group, took the survey once, during the same time frame that the treatment group took the pretest.  
population description
Population Description
  • The participants of this study were undergraduate students attending Bentley University.
  • Two groups of approximately 40 participants each were invited to participate: one treatment and one control.
  • All students who enroll in a short term study abroad program in March 2011 were invited to participate in treatment group.
  • 13 treatment participants and 19 control participants
data collection
Data Collection
  • The Data was collected by the Bentley University study abroad office using a survey distributed online
  • The treatment and control group were given the anonymous survey approximately one week before traveling and again immediately after the group traveled.
  • The control group only took the pretest.
  • Participants in both groups were advised of appropriate informed consent information.
  • Students’ ID numbers were used to link the pre and post tests. Once the data was collected, each students’ ID number was assigned a random number.
data analysis three key findings
Data Analysis: Three Key Findings
  • Overall levels of intercultural competence and openness to diversity increased after short-term study abroad experiences.
  • Students’ who were culturally exposed prior to their short-term study abroad experience improved scores in more areas than those who were not previously interculturally exposed.
  • The control and treatment groups were found to be virtually identical.
key finding 1
Key Finding #1
  • Overall levels of intercultural competence and openness to diversity increased after short-term study abroad experiences.
key finding 2
Key Finding #2
  • Students’ who were culturally exposed prior to their short-term study abroad experience improved scores in more areas than those who were not previously interculturally exposed.
key finding 3
Key Finding #3
  • After comparing the control and treatment groups, the two groups were found to be virtually identical.
findings
Findings
  • There were six hypotheses tested in this study, only one of which was supported.
  • While the scores increased for all of the factors, Openness to Diversity was the only factor with a predicted score increase, that ended up being statistically significant.
limitations
Limitations
  • Sample size
  • Age difference between treatment and control
implications for practice
Implications for practice
  • Through quantitative measurement, this study demonstrates that short-term faculty led programs are one effective approach to reaching common internationalization initiatives.
  • Students who are culturally exposed prior to study abroad are more likely to demonstrate increased levels of intercultural competence after studying abroad as compared to their culturally unexposed counterparts
  • Going abroad is not enough to single-handedly increase students’ levels of intercultural competence.
considerations
Considerations
  • In order to successfully develop intercultural competence among students, faculty themselves must understand the developmental stages and components associated with it, and also require pre-service and in-service training designed help to “interculturalize” their thinking (Sercu, 2005,Bennett & Salonen, 2007, Landis, Bennett, & Bennett, 2004).
  • An exploration of the impact of educators on students learning during short-term study abroad experiences would be valuable.
  • It would be worthwhile to investigate if there are any correlations between educators’ preparedness to foster meaningful intercultural experiences, and the changes in students levels of intercultural competence.
questions
Questions
  • Thank you.
references
References
  • Bennett, J. M., Salonen, R. (2007). Intercultural Communication and the New American Campus. Change, March/April, 46-50.
  • Chen, G.M., & Starosta, W.J. (2000): The development and validation of the intercultural communication sensitivity scale. Human Communication, 3, 1-15.
  • Chen, G.M., & Starosta, W.J.(1998): A review of the Concept of Intercultural Sensitivity. Human Communication, 1, 1-16.
  • Deardorff, D.K. (2004) The identification and assessment of intercultural competence as a student outcome of internationalization at institutions of higher education in the United States. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. North Carolina State University.
references continued
References continued…
  • Leask, B. (2009). Using Formal and Informal Curricula to Improve Interactions Between Home and International Students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 13, (2) 205-221.
  • Pascarella, E. T., Edison, M., Nora, A., Hagedorn, L. S., & Terenzini, P. T. (1996). Influences on Students' Openness to Diversity and Challenge in the First Year of College. Journal of Higher Education, 67(2), 174-195.
  • Suarez-Orozco, M.M. & Sattin, C. (2007). Wanted: Global citizens. Educational Leadership, 64(7), 58-62.
  • Sercu, L. (2005). Foreign Language Teachers and Intercultural Communication: An International Investigation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Williams, T.R. (2005). Exploring Students’ Intercultural Communication Skills: Adaptability and Sensitivity. Journal of Studies in International Education, 9(4), 356-371.