Session Presentation (PowerPoint)

Talking about Teaching:
Cultural Diversity in our Classrooms – who adapts?
Exploring our students’ learning preferences and curriculum interventions
designed to enhance their experience
Dr Monika Foster
Edinburgh Napier University
Session outline:
• Introductions, aims of the workshop
Part 1
• International students’ learning preferences and
interventions to enhance engagement and integration
• Considering learning and teaching interventions in your context
Part 2
• Responding to cultural diversity through curriculum interventions –
what works / how?
• Your context
Discussion and closing remarks
Aims of the workshop:
This interactive session will enable participants to:
• To reflect on international students’ learning preferences and
examples of learning and teaching interventions in the context of
local practices and values
• To explore effective practices which support students and staff in
the context of internationally orientated curriculum and university.
Your aims? (Handout)
Part 1:
What do we know and what’s out there to
assist our students / applying it to our context
Responding to cultural diversity with inclusive learning and
 Changing discourse of internationalisation from ‘problems of/with
international students’ towards a more reflective dialogue about the
wider context of access, quality, values and inclusivity (Angus, 2004;
Asmar, 2005; Blackmore, 2009)
 Recognition that teachers and students can co-create the learning
environments, emphasis on students’ as well as teachers’ voices
(Crabtree and Sapp, 2004; Robson and Turner, 2007)
 Linkage between internationalisation and inclusivity implies the need
to re-think our cultural norms and practices, in order to design
effective responses to cultural diversity in the classroom (Turner,
Cultural diversity and inclusive learning and teaching
 Evolving conversation on diversity and practice slow as profound, involving
beliefs, values, identities, etc (Turner, 2011)
 Inclusive approaches to cultural diversity ask deep questions:
 Who are the students and the teachers, and how together they
constitute a learning space?
 What is the role of the teacher? What power dynamics should govern
the classroom? (Crabtree and Sapp, 2004)
 What are the assumptions about student group work or assessments
(Turner, 2009)
 What kind of approaches can best support students’ development of
skills and attributes to function effectively in a global society
To see the cultural shaping of what we do and to deconstruct it for
ourselves and for others, what aspects of local practice can be retained
what needs to be re-negotiated or re-thought.
Inclusive teaching and learning?
“Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways
in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and
delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant
and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual
difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and
learning of others” (2010, p1).
Hockings, C. (2010) Inclusive learning and teaching in Higher Education: A
synthesis of research, The Higher Education Academy.
Inclusive teaching and learning?
Jude Carroll’s guiding principles for inclusive learning (Carroll,
 Inclusion requires interaction and personal engagement bound by the
issues of trust, power, opportunity and time
 Students need generic and discipline-specific skills to succeed – discovery
of skills gap can happen early on in a safe environment, not as a culture
 Reciprocity –moving between students’ adaptation and teachers’ rethinking
the norms and practices themselves – why we do what we do? Who says
‘this is the right way’?
 Explicit sharing of assumptions and norms, early awareness of the ‘rules of
the game’
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
‘Bolt on’ approaches:
 Internationalisation strategy including all/some of the following:
Global citizenship and enhancing student experience
Global graduate employability
Raising the international profile / Increasing international student
enrolment (UK and off-shore)
Partnerships in Research and Knowledge transfer
Valuing Diversity
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
‘Bolt on’ approaches:
 Internationalisation strategy
Changing language of what we mean by internationalisation /
internationalisation strategy:
Knight (1994) the process-oriented definition:
‘…internationalisation of higher education as the process of integrating an
international/intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service
function, where internationalisation is considered as a process in response
to globalisation and includes both international and local elements.’
Knight and De Wit (1995, 1997) analyse internationalisation by rationale
(political, socio-cultural and academic), by stakeholder (e.g. government,
private sector, educational sector, etc) and by approach (activity,
competency, ethos). They develop their analytical framework including
programme strategies (to develop diverse activitities) and organisational
strategies (to make each activity sustainable and coherent).
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
Implementation of internationalisation strategy…
• Developing a comprehensive CPD plan for academic and support
staff (e.g. Mentoring and Coaching scheme, LTA seminars, PGCert,
TF scheme)
• Encouraging staff and student mobility (e.g. TF grants)
• International research collaborations (e.g. Faculty and TF grants)
• Platforms to share experience and practice (e.g. LTA Resource
• User manual?
• Developing intercultural communication skills of all involved (staff,
students, discipline/subject)…
• Any other?
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
Emerging ‘deep’ approaches:
 One of the key requirements for successful student interaction with
diversity is institutional support (Asmar et al, 2004) including:
longitudinal induction,
English language sessions linked to subject,
use of smaller classes,
team bonding exercises
social programme with peers designed into the curriculum
allocation of mentors / buddy-mentoring scheme
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
Emerging ‘deep’ approaches:
 Adding ‘Inclusion’ to the Student Experience Statement (Edinburgh
Napier University)
What you can expect: You can expect us to actively welcome students from
a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to promote inclusion
through flexible entry and exit points, support at points of transition, the use
of technology, reasonable adjustments to support individual needs and the
embedding of internationalisation into the curriculum.
Your responsibility: We can expect you to respect and value differences,
contribute positively to the learning of others and to recognise diversity and
internationalisation as opportunities for growth
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
Emerging ‘deep’ approaches cont’d:
 And to the Student Charter (Edinburgh Napier University):
You can expect us to:
Show respect, embrace diversity and actively promote inclusion within our policies and practices;
• Design programmes which:
• are accessible to our diverse range of students;
• demonstrate an international perspective;
• include learners studying in a range of locations;
• are delivered in a structured yet flexible manner;
• can accommodate students with varying academic qualifications at appropriate entry levels;
• are committed to the principle of student choice;
• offer opportunities to study abroad.
We expect you to:
• Value diversity and different cultural perspectives;
• Work in peer groups, as appropriate, to benefit all group members;
• Show respect for all students and staff at all times.
Inclusive teaching and learning – Who Adapts?
Emerging ‘deep’ approaches cont’d:
Framework for Managing Diversity (Pesch and Kemp, 2008)
of culturally
Global perspective
for culturally
groups of
Practices which embrace cultural diversity / promote
 Combining different cultures in groupwork, if structured and handled
 Intercultural awareness raising as part of the module work
 Groups assigned by the tutor
 Clear tasks and outcomes
 Students devise their communication strategy
 Mid way: a reflective questionnaire evaluating group relations
and progress
 Assessment criteria asking to critically reflect on their group
working experience and draw on relevant intercultural theory
(Ippolito, 2007)
Engaging students in academic transitions
• Approach informed by research at ENU and work with partners in
China and India
• Recognising the value of early relationship building and working
with peers
• Need for skills focused, not information driven, induction, with
student input if possible
• Using the power (and appeal!) of technology
• Challenge: not just to find and implement effective
mechanisms to close the gap but to engage the students in
the transition and induction
Your experience?
Case 1 – Online study skills resource SPICE
Student Pre-arrival Induction for Continuing Education (SPICE) developed
in 2008-9
Includes generic skills:
Study at the University, Time management, Working in tutorial groups,
Planning for assessments, Academic Writing
Subject specific skills for programmes receiving large numbers of
international students: Hospitality, Computing, Accounting, Engineering
Task based, feedback on completion, tracking progress.
Student voices throughout
Used with Year 2 students in preparation for direct entry to year 3 in
Edinburgh (partner universities)
Work in progress, too early to evaluate, but very positive feedback
Case 1 – Online study skills resource SPICE cont’d
Work on student voices revealed the depth of gap and student ways of
coping with it:
Contact hours “In India, the college starts at 8, ends by 6 pm so we have 10-12 hours
of college course a day so you go on studying. But here, if students come 6 – 9
hours a week, that’s enough to give you the basic idea to give you the degree. (In
India) Here, I was first confused, you should have the initiative, you should take the
initiative , you should have the courage to go about it and show your knowledge.”
Assessment “The first assessment here was the first time I did anything like this,
writing an essay or a report, analysing literature, writing a case study. I didn’t know
how I am supposed to go about it, and what will be the marks, and if I fail, what
happens then. So, this made me very nervous and confused. In India, we didn’t use
the reference rule that much.”
Case 1 – Online study skills resource SPICE cont’d
Quotes from students in Edinburgh and SPICE activities presented to
students in India and asked for their reactions:
We know little about what is awaiting for us in Edinburgh so this is very useful for us to
make us less anxious.
The change from what we do now is going be very big but we know our colleagues who
are in Edinburgh now did this and they do well so it makes us feel better about trying
A lot of the examples are completely new to me. I want to know more about them and
how to do well at Napier.
Case 2 – E-mentoring scheme on Hospitality
o Matching students in Year 2 India with year 3 students in Edinburgh
o Team work with colleagues from Student Affairs: training in mentoring
skills and ongoing support
o Tapping into a cultural preference to get advice from ‘seniors’ rather then
the University
o Interactive where possible by using Elluminate Live and Wiki
o Mentees get pastoral and academic advice, they develop a habit of asking
for advice. Mentors acquire new skills, know where to direct students for
help and use more help themselves
o Plans to continue the scheme with more emphasis on opening a
dialogue with the students in India and in Edinburgh through focus
groups, improved structure and timings.
Cases 1 and 2
• Students feel they ‘belong’ before they begin their programmes of
study; a sense of early achievement
• Building early relationship and enabling tracking student academic
• Innovative practice recognised by HEA, NUS, SPARQS as
examples of engaging students in transitions
• Easy to adapt to different contexts.
o Support from the University / funding
o Sustainability and adapting them as wider University practices
o Disseminating the good practice to new programmes
o Making links with existing support and liaising with PLs
Discussion: What’s in this for me?
Discuss the above interventions and your examples of reacting to students’
Compile a list of examples of interventions you have not tried but would like to
• Summary
Part 2:
• Curriculum interventions – what are they, how do we know they work,
where to next?
Internationalised curriculum?
…new concept, evolving in what we understand it to mean and how it looks like
According to Betty Leask (2005)… internationalised curriculum is:
-Intercultural dimension
-About content and the way in which the content is taught, learned, assessed,
and support for students in this process
That’s a lot of change in educational practice (it’s not about re-packaging the
existing practice)….
Webb’s (2005) phased model of the internationalisation of the HE
Which of Webb’s (2005) phases best describes your institution’s
internationalisation of the curriculum?
Phase 1 (international students studying alongside home students)
Phase 2 (systematic curriculum development for internationalisation)
Phase 3 (transnational operations and internationalisation of curriculum)
Phase 4 (normalising internationalisation of curriculum)
Components of internationalised curriculum
International content of curricula
International movement of students and scholars
Cooperation with programmes in other countries
Integrating international perspectives in the whole curriculum
Develop attributes of Global Citizenship.
Students’ views on internationalised curriculum
Students would like the curriculum to:
• Provide students the opportunity to base their projects in different countries if
they wish to do so
• Promote the importance of how a global outlook comes beneficial for
preparing for work in a global job market
• Encourage students to discuss cultural differences and consider the
implications those differences on their discipline
• Continue to draw on a variety of examples from different cultures to give
students a broader perspective and multicultural links.
(based on Cardiff Metropolitan University)
Developing internationalised course content and learning activities
Ideas for course content:
•Include case studies, projects, examples from a range of different cultures
•Include real or simulated instances of cross-cultural negotiation and communication
•Include specific reference to intercultural issues in professional practice
•Include specific reference to contemporary international and local content.
Ideas for teaching and learning:
•Encourage students to use examples from their own experiences
•Utilise international contacts and networks in the discipline
•Focus on international issues, case studies or examples
•Include simulations of international interactions.
Use group work to promote intercultural integration
(based on Oxford Brookes University Centre for International Curriculum Inquiry and Networking
Examples of international curriculum
Exeter University HEA TGD project ‘Engineering student voices on
intercultural integration: Harmony or Discord?’
Intercultural integration
-Home and international students feel internationalisation has positive
effects but students tend to stay apart in their cultural groupings
-Language competence can be a major barrier
-Home students’ sub-culture can act as a major barrier
Intercultural integration is impacted by:
-Nature and style of tutoring groups
-Nature and style of integration activities at the beginning of the academic
-Availability of learning spaces supporting student interaction
-Organisation of group activities within the curriculum
Examples of international curriculum
Cardiff Metropolitan University – HEA TGD project
Student engagement with international curriculum development
Developing curricula:
•Opportunities for students to explore their own cultural identities (home and
international students – e.g. a short film about Wales, what will it be about?)
•Using global examples in curriculum content and exploring discipline from other
cultures’ perspectives (using international staff and students’ perspectives)
•Establishing students’ prior learning experiences and considering these in the
design of the curriculum
Transformative approach (not exclusive or inclusive)
Speak to 2-3 colleagues
What activities do you know of at your university / curriculum to
-Enhance students’ cultural competences
-Enhance cultural dimensions of the curriculum
Share with others
Issues with international curriculum
Based on the implementation experience in a Faculty of Business and Economics (Crosling,
et al, 2008)
Implementation issues
The university / staff
•All involved need to ‘buy into’ the change and understand its benefits
•Back up from senior management, including resources
•Autonomy of the academics vs prescribed change
•‘what’s in this for me’?
•Time to implement and monitor changes / further develop
•Support staff and academic staff working together
•Language issues
•When is the right time to involve them – giving them space to adapt or straightaway?
Sounds familiar? Any other?
Your Curriculum project
Theme of Global and Cultural Insight <>
The programme should provide opportunities to engage with multiple
perspectives, for example: social, geographic, political, economic, legal,
environmental, and technological.
As a result of this a student/graduate should be equipped to:
Acknowledge and appreciate the implications of diversity;
Reflect on the value of having multiple perspectives;
Engage with the international issues and the development of the
programme content; and
Be effective in a range of contexts
Your examples…
Katy Manns - The Intercultural Ambassadors Programme; a co-curricular
volunteering programme, International Student Office
Mel Prideaux – Fieldwork based studies in Theology and Religious Studies
Alice Shepherd – Global and Cultural Thread in programme aims and Los,
Accounting and Finance
Internationalisation of curricula – are we there yet?
• Much useful change to seeing it as process not as content driven
• Many very useful initiatives with students and staff, at grass routes,
not just the management rhetoric
• Evolving understandings and paradigms, not there yet?
• Deeper than originally thought, timely?
Any other views?
Ways forward for internationalisation of curricula
Addressing the mismatch of expectations – students’ and staff (academic and support)
Developing effective, inclusive strategiesgetting a grasp of students’ prior learning;
freeing up curriculum space for flexible curriculum input;
mixed-method assessment methods and formative assessment feedback
Space for discussion about assessment briefs (including titles)
Good practice in multicultural group work
Providing space for establishing aims, negotiating roles, getting to know others
Transparent rationale and rules of engagement
‘Assessing’ and developing students’ cross-cultural capability
(Viv Caruana, 2012, HEA Good practice materials)
Discussion / closing remarks
Discussion / Questions
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