The development of teaching and learning strategies for international students using electronic tools that will enhance their learning experience

Lind-Hughes, Karin and Coates, Nigel (2009) The development of teaching and learning strategies for international students using electronic tools that will enhance their learning experience. In: BMAF Annual Conference 2009: Engaging Employers, 28-29 April 2009, Cardiff, Wales.

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Project aim:
To encourage greater engagement and cooperation by all students from the UK and collaborative venture (CV) partners in the learning process by developing new teaching material and methods using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), electronic posters, blogs and learning journals.
International students arriving in the UK find the learning environment challenging and often experience a loss of confidence (Carroll and Ryan, 2005) due to the different teaching approaches. Issues apart from the obvious language problem include more student focused learning and the ability to demonstrate greater critical thinking. The students suffer what Warwick (2007;5) describes as a “form of cultural shock”.
Northumbria University International Learning Enhancement Group (NUILE) (2007) identified similar issues in their research. These are being addressed in more depth in this study and are as follows;
· greater student engagement with the learning process
· internationalize the curriculum
· develop critical thinking and independent learning
· appreciate different learning styles
· learn from other cultures
This project developed a new advanced approach to learning and assessment that deals with the above factors and develops skills needed by students and future employers by using the following tools and methods;
· International case studies
· Multicultural mixed groups
· Group presentations
· Electronic Learning Journals; including peer evaluation as part of becoming a reflective practitioner
· Electronic Posters
· Group/Cohort discussions (Blogs) using the VLE.

Research design and methods of data collection and analysis or method of inquiry:
Qualitative research has been undertaken with students; fulltime, postgraduates in Newcastle Business School (NBS) and Management Institute Singapore (MIS) (CV partner) through focus groups and individual learning journals. Tutor comments have also been collected from NBS and MIS. Further qualitative and quantitative research and analysis is being undertaken during Spring 2009 and will be presented.
Main findings :
The feedback from students and tutors has been very positive. Student satisfaction has come mainly from the collaboration with students from other cultures. This is consistent with other research; Zhao (2003) found that the emphasis on interaction among students and between tutors students in online teaching is crucial for student satisfaction and to have the ability to also develop critical thinking, problem solving and integration among the students. These are positive results that have been raised by students and tutors in this study too.
Discussion of implications :
· The use of case studies, electronic posters and learning journals to support international and local students in the learning process.
· The value and importance of collaborative learning among students and between university partners through the use of VLE to create a “Global Community of Learners”.
· The difference between knowing “that” and knowing “how” as students learn critical thinking and problem solving through a process of social participation (Akeroyd, 2005) to become better equipped as future self-motivated learners and employees.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Helen Pattison
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 08:28
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:53

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