Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students

Alex Friess, Ivan Enrique Esparragoza, Dylan Connole

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

International student mobility programs enhance the global exposure of students, and represent a vital and increasing component in the offering of many universities worldwide. These programs often involve the travel of a group of students to an overseas location, where they, in addition to a variety of cultural activities, also register for a series of courses towards their degree completion. These courses are taken jointly with their local peers. While collaborative exchange programs among different universities often target individual student mobility, and the travelling student (or small group of students) generally represents a minority in the overseas class, in the case of branch campuses, and due to the seamless integration of the academic coursework and perhaps more systematic organization of the study abroad experience, an increasingly homogeneous and larger travelling student group can result, which may in turn imply that the visiting students can represent a large fraction of a class. This more even distribution between study abroad and local students can generate classroom dynamics that effectively split the class into two groups, and thus are not supportive of the cross-cultural interaction dimension of the international experience. This work discusses the observed barriers to cross-cultural collaboration in the classroom at the Dubai campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RTI), where this effect has been noted in a senior/graduate level course in renewable energy systems that was composed by over 50% of study-abroad students from the main campus. Class dynamics of preferably working with peers from the same background developed, in part due to an easier out-of-class access to these peers, and in part due to a higher comfort level in the peer interaction. While the academic learning outcomes were met by both groups, this experience has shown that in order to increase cross-cultural interaction in the classroom, specific learning criteria and outcomes that stress global competencies need to be introduced. This paper presents the lessons learned in the process (including out of classroom factors that affect in classroom collaboration), and presents a work in progress of designing appropriate learning objectives, activities and assessment tools to foster development of global competencies in classes with a large and homogeneous component of study abroad students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Other

Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period6/10/126/13/12

Fingerprint

Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Friess, A., Esparragoza, I. E., & Connole, D. (2012). Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition American Society for Engineering Education.
Friess, Alex ; Esparragoza, Ivan Enrique ; Connole, Dylan. / Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students. 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 2012.
@inproceedings{625f31c94f3847789257ab789116ca7d,
title = "Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students",
abstract = "International student mobility programs enhance the global exposure of students, and represent a vital and increasing component in the offering of many universities worldwide. These programs often involve the travel of a group of students to an overseas location, where they, in addition to a variety of cultural activities, also register for a series of courses towards their degree completion. These courses are taken jointly with their local peers. While collaborative exchange programs among different universities often target individual student mobility, and the travelling student (or small group of students) generally represents a minority in the overseas class, in the case of branch campuses, and due to the seamless integration of the academic coursework and perhaps more systematic organization of the study abroad experience, an increasingly homogeneous and larger travelling student group can result, which may in turn imply that the visiting students can represent a large fraction of a class. This more even distribution between study abroad and local students can generate classroom dynamics that effectively split the class into two groups, and thus are not supportive of the cross-cultural interaction dimension of the international experience. This work discusses the observed barriers to cross-cultural collaboration in the classroom at the Dubai campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RTI), where this effect has been noted in a senior/graduate level course in renewable energy systems that was composed by over 50{\%} of study-abroad students from the main campus. Class dynamics of preferably working with peers from the same background developed, in part due to an easier out-of-class access to these peers, and in part due to a higher comfort level in the peer interaction. While the academic learning outcomes were met by both groups, this experience has shown that in order to increase cross-cultural interaction in the classroom, specific learning criteria and outcomes that stress global competencies need to be introduced. This paper presents the lessons learned in the process (including out of classroom factors that affect in classroom collaboration), and presents a work in progress of designing appropriate learning objectives, activities and assessment tools to foster development of global competencies in classes with a large and homogeneous component of study abroad students.",
author = "Alex Friess and Esparragoza, {Ivan Enrique} and Dylan Connole",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780878232413",
booktitle = "119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition",
publisher = "American Society for Engineering Education",
address = "United States",

}

Friess, A, Esparragoza, IE & Connole, D 2012, Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students. in 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX, United States, 6/10/12.

Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students. / Friess, Alex; Esparragoza, Ivan Enrique; Connole, Dylan.

119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 2012.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students

AU - Friess, Alex

AU - Esparragoza, Ivan Enrique

AU - Connole, Dylan

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - International student mobility programs enhance the global exposure of students, and represent a vital and increasing component in the offering of many universities worldwide. These programs often involve the travel of a group of students to an overseas location, where they, in addition to a variety of cultural activities, also register for a series of courses towards their degree completion. These courses are taken jointly with their local peers. While collaborative exchange programs among different universities often target individual student mobility, and the travelling student (or small group of students) generally represents a minority in the overseas class, in the case of branch campuses, and due to the seamless integration of the academic coursework and perhaps more systematic organization of the study abroad experience, an increasingly homogeneous and larger travelling student group can result, which may in turn imply that the visiting students can represent a large fraction of a class. This more even distribution between study abroad and local students can generate classroom dynamics that effectively split the class into two groups, and thus are not supportive of the cross-cultural interaction dimension of the international experience. This work discusses the observed barriers to cross-cultural collaboration in the classroom at the Dubai campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RTI), where this effect has been noted in a senior/graduate level course in renewable energy systems that was composed by over 50% of study-abroad students from the main campus. Class dynamics of preferably working with peers from the same background developed, in part due to an easier out-of-class access to these peers, and in part due to a higher comfort level in the peer interaction. While the academic learning outcomes were met by both groups, this experience has shown that in order to increase cross-cultural interaction in the classroom, specific learning criteria and outcomes that stress global competencies need to be introduced. This paper presents the lessons learned in the process (including out of classroom factors that affect in classroom collaboration), and presents a work in progress of designing appropriate learning objectives, activities and assessment tools to foster development of global competencies in classes with a large and homogeneous component of study abroad students.

AB - International student mobility programs enhance the global exposure of students, and represent a vital and increasing component in the offering of many universities worldwide. These programs often involve the travel of a group of students to an overseas location, where they, in addition to a variety of cultural activities, also register for a series of courses towards their degree completion. These courses are taken jointly with their local peers. While collaborative exchange programs among different universities often target individual student mobility, and the travelling student (or small group of students) generally represents a minority in the overseas class, in the case of branch campuses, and due to the seamless integration of the academic coursework and perhaps more systematic organization of the study abroad experience, an increasingly homogeneous and larger travelling student group can result, which may in turn imply that the visiting students can represent a large fraction of a class. This more even distribution between study abroad and local students can generate classroom dynamics that effectively split the class into two groups, and thus are not supportive of the cross-cultural interaction dimension of the international experience. This work discusses the observed barriers to cross-cultural collaboration in the classroom at the Dubai campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RTI), where this effect has been noted in a senior/graduate level course in renewable energy systems that was composed by over 50% of study-abroad students from the main campus. Class dynamics of preferably working with peers from the same background developed, in part due to an easier out-of-class access to these peers, and in part due to a higher comfort level in the peer interaction. While the academic learning outcomes were met by both groups, this experience has shown that in order to increase cross-cultural interaction in the classroom, specific learning criteria and outcomes that stress global competencies need to be introduced. This paper presents the lessons learned in the process (including out of classroom factors that affect in classroom collaboration), and presents a work in progress of designing appropriate learning objectives, activities and assessment tools to foster development of global competencies in classes with a large and homogeneous component of study abroad students.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029024508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029024508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 9780878232413

BT - 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

PB - American Society for Engineering Education

ER -

Friess A, Esparragoza IE, Connole D. Enhancing cross-cultural interaction in courses with a large component of visiting study-abroad students. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education. 2012