Question 46

46. In a general sense, how well do you feel these goals were achieved?

NU:  The technical aspects went very smoothly, the student engagement and enthusiasm about making new friends in a creative field was hugely evident. The gauging of cross cultural effectiveness was a little difficult to establish owing to the many similarities in language and attitudes toward filmed entertainment, but it was very clear that students from both countries viewed this as a remarkable opportunity and this was reflected in their intense level of engagement in the course. 

Griffith:  There was considerable discussion and preparedness to listen and contribute that reflected effective student engagement and practice analysis. Student responses were enthusiastic. They have continued to develop their stories and to keep in touch, so the course has spawned an ongoing community. The initial activities did provide a framework for participants to learn about each other. The process did create a discernible progressive development in the work of all participants. It has proved to be viable and effective.

I think that we achieved the vast majority of our goals.  There is always room for improvement and this is a work in progress.  We have a solid and stable array of technological tools but we have changed readings, videos, and weekly themes at times to accommodate a change in discussion.

(CCC) Point (a.) was very satisfactorily achieved from my point of view. As an educator in performing arts, I gained new perspectives from my international partner from the outset, as well as confidence in my own approach toward my students at our institution. I am more convinced than ever that, with proper institutional and technical support, these collaborations are invaluable for students and instructors around the world. Particularly for students with limited opportunities to travel abroad, the opportunity to share an educational experience with students from other cultures and countries is very important.

Very well. (CCC) I agree.  UB

The students had to communicate with one another as part of the course(s) rubrics. 

Despite our technology challenges, we did pursue a common collaboration program and students did gain global perspectives from our brief communications and blogs.

Clarke: I am satisfied and also gratified by the sense that our seminar largely succeeded in what it set out to do. Without doubt a unique experience was presented, calling upon experimentation and improvisation by all concerned. I did learn that my TTU students were not uniformly invested in seizing the international occasion, but those who did had a valuable encounter, as documented for instance in the student evaluation labeled Clarke 2. 

Vanderbeke: I consider the course to have been successful as a seminar and, if slightly less, as an international collaboration. Intercultural awareness was not an issue for the students in Jena, as interculturality is part of their chosen subject. All of them were abroad frequently and some have been to the US. Most of the students were not very familiar with science fiction, but seemed to be very interested and managed to catch up with the American group that had already one month of immersion into sf-theory before we started. Only one of the German students actually enrolled because he wanted to take credits - his paper is due March 31 and so I cannot yet assess it. 

Some of these goals were met spectacularly for example with the students’ VoiceThread discussions about language and their relationship to it. It opened the floor to have dialogue about cultural differences and made it possible for students to express their perceptions and learn from each other. The use of new technologies in the classroom was beneficial to everyone: Sometimes frustrating when bandwidth didn’t cooperate, sometimes challenging when encountering a new way to present information, sometimes rewarding when student collaboration was cohesive and smooth. 

My personal feeling is that the first goal was moderately achieve, the next three greatly achieved, and the final goal moderately achieved.

I think my SJSU students were able to achieve the objectives 1 and 2 completely through the international team projects (small ones and a big one) and case studies. The students were able to analyze and describe, for example, the similarities and differences in job hunting between Japan and America including why they are different with the socio-cultural backgrounds, using articles, web videos, statistics, and interviews with Kagoshima students in Japan as the information sources. As for the objective 3, I think my students came to be able to evaluate situations, but most of them did not reach the level where they can independently choose and use appropriate communication strategies to meet their intention in the actual intercultural settings. One of the reasons is that most of them were not used to using Japanese language with Japanese native speakers and the web communication tools. They have knowledge, but they could not use it appropriately without my help. I think the period itself was too short for them to achieve the goal. 

The students at Kagoshima were able to achieve the objective 1 by making researches on how American people looked at Japanese culture and by making sure of their research results during the online talk with the SJSU students. They were able to achieve the objective 2 by creating the video works based on their researches and the talk with SJSU students. As for objective 3, they should have utilized more chances to talk online with SJSU students outside class periods and improve their communication skills in more various settings. 

Overall, at SJSU the comments from students were positive and expressions of gratitude for the unexpected opportunity.

There is a shared sense that these goals were achieved, especially in a pilot course.

We seemed to achieve all three.  We think our funding agencies will be pleased.

Based on student feedback, the final PSA assignment, and exit interviews, we believe the cross-cultural communication and appreciation of cultural difference goals met and or exceeded our expectations. 

In areas of media literacy , students were surprisingly less competent or adventurous when engaging with new communication tools. Although prompted to interact independently outside of class time, students often dropped the ball in pushing communication and collaboration forward. Variables that impacted student interaction included time difference, cultural differences in assignment expectations, greater comfort  with independent work, and lack of time/initiative to engage in electronic innovation. 

These conclusions make us want to pilot this COIL  course again to assess and study lessons learned and structure course assignments in ways that better facilitate student-to-student interaction outside of synchronous classroom instruction. Understanding campus- to- campus logistics is important in defining faculty and student roles. This is particularly true of team teaching relationships heightened further by the intrinsic complexities that come with cross-continent teaching collaborations. 

HSE - not quite. Some students shied away from both written and oral discussions until the end. But they spoke highly of the course both to me and to their peers.

GMU - I feel as confident with the subject matter knowledge gains as I ever can feel. That is, they understood the material relatively well during the course and much of it came as a genuine surprise to them (especially with regard to the public spectacle nature of many lynchings in the American case study), but I am left wondering what if anything they will keep from the course in the long run. On the intercultural interaction, the results were more mixed. Students did not get to know their Russian colleagues as well as I would have liked, but I think the students gained some respect for their peers (though again, what long term impact that might have is unclear.)

We believe we did an effective job of meeting these goals.  Most impressive to me was our accomplishment of goals #3 and #4.  As I reflect on the course, what stands out in my memory are the many conversations I had with students that reflected their increased mindfulness of their own communication processes. Although students might have initially thought our main goal was to increase their knowledge of Russian communication, the outcome we hoped to (and did) achieve was increased knowledge and understanding of their own communication. Numerous times during the course, students would come to me newly aware of the role culture plays in communication to discuss how best to negotiate communication differences. 

RAMA: For me as a teacher the goals were largely achieved. During certain periods it was difficult to get most of the students to engage themselves and therefore the aims were not so much achieved in their case.

NCCU: Lenora Helm Hammonds I feel I learned a great deal from resources and training provided by the COIL Institute, and had an extraordinary time building relationships with my international colleagues.  I feel ready to create the course anew and build a more dynamic impactful experience - yes, I feel I have an understanding of what is needed for a successful globally networked learning environment and distance education course.  My students were very impressed with what they learned and who they met, and we created some new Jazz lovers!

UNISA: Mageshen Naidoo and Sean Adams and Charl du Plessis

The positive response and interest shown by students from Denmark and the USA was a good indication of the success of our first goal. Participating in this project provided us with deeper insight into our technological limitations in terms of our involvement in this collaborative course. Even though the student participation in SA was not high the insight and knowledge gained in these weeks were most valuable. 

TTU-- Most TTU students left the class with a greater awareness of cross-cultural team challenges and strategies for overcoming these challenges. They were positive about their classroom experiences.

We feel we accomplished these goals.