FLEAT VI has ended
Friday, August 14 • 11:00am - 11:25am
Design Issues in Internationalizing Online Courses

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This session will discuss the process of re-structuring a course in intercultural communication to incorporate participation by students and faculty from universities abroad. The course, "Communicating Across Cultures," is already offered in an online version, which is being revised in approach (less U.S.-centric), content delivery (an open access e-text in place of a commercial textbook), and structure (open platform replacing Blackboard). The course is being designed as a kind of private MOOC (or SOOC, Selectively Open Online Course) with invited institutions participating (currently from China, India, South Africa, and Russia). Integrating the perspectives and personal experiences of international students adds a major experiential, real-world component to the theoretical framework of cultural analysis introduced in the course. The revisions being made to the online course will be discussed in the context of moving from a closed, proprietary course delivery system involving a single university to a more open and internationally accessible course structure.

The course, as currently taught, features a set of online tutorials incorporating video excerpts, recorded lectures, self-reflective surveys, and interactive learning activities. The tutorials will form the basis for an openly shared, interactive e-text. Using international standards (HTML5, EPUB3) for the content delivery ensures that it will not be trapped in a proprietary format and that access will be possible with minimal technology requirements, namely a Web browser, e-reader, or mobile phone. The content of the tutorials is being revised to incorporate additional perspectives, with the addition of materials written or recommended by cooperating faculty from partner institutions.

Given the course content, it is evident that involving international students broadens the perspective US students receive on the topics discussed, providing real, personal interactions with cultures other than their own. Interactions among students will include Cultura-inspired cultural questionnaires, online forums and journals, and, as feasible, real-time video teleconferencing.

avatar for Robert Godwin-Jones

Robert Godwin-Jones

Professor, School of World Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
I am a Professor of Languages and International Studies at VCU. I do research principally in the areas of applied linguistics and language learning and technology. I write a regular column on emerging technologies for the journal "Language Learning & Technology".

Friday August 14, 2015 11:00am - 11:25am
Barker 110 (Thompson) 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA