The Collaborative Online International Learning COIL) experience Prof. Javier Mato and I developed, between October and December 2017 in the Economics and Business Faculty, Universidad de Oviedo (Spain), in collaboration with West Liberty University (WV, USA) has been awarded in the XIV Jornadas sobre Docencia de Economía Aplicada.
This experience was performed in the 2nd year Business Administration Degree “Economics of Spain and the European Union” module collaborating with a Principles of Macroeconomics module in West Liberty. The topic we covered was the Optimum Currency Areas theory and comparisons between USA and the EU as OCA.
This project aims to promote students’ intercultural skills and improve their capacity to work in multicultural teams using English as a second language. In the experience, all students are in contact with a variety of international students, since in both Universities local students are mixed with others coming from very different parts of the world. So, the acculturation process of change as a result of the interaction of two or more cultures (Berry, 2005) is richer in this case, allowing multi-dimensional transitions for local and international students (Jindal-Snape and Rienties, 2016).
Therefore, we aim at finding out to what extent this online international experience resembles a real experience abroad. Secondly, to what extent are students forced to experience similar transitions than moving-abroad students experiment, even if the former do not physically move. Finally, we would like to explore how students adapt to communicate in a L2 in collaboration with other native and non-native speakers, and the level of multicultural learning this experience generates.
Also, the project has a technological component to support the online collaboration. Using Moxtra as the application through which the group work will be developed, allows an effective monitoring of the experience. Having a detailed record of what groups are doing enables researchers to assess different aspects of the experience, from group effectiveness to improvements in student’s acculturation process and transitional dimensions.
Thank you very much for the prize and congratulations to Prof. Javier Mato and all participants, students and Professors!!!
Berry, J.W. (2005) Acculturation Living Successfully in Two Cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29, 697-712.
Jindal-Snape, Divya and Rienties, Bart (eds.) (2016). Multi-dimensional transitions of international students to higher education. New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction. London: Routledge