Instructional-Design-Live #28: International Student Persepctives on Online Learning

Zuochen Zhang, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Windsor University, and Richard F. Kenny,Rick KennyZuochen Zhang Associate Professor at the Center for Distance Education, Athabasca University, joined us this week to discuss the perspectives of International students in online courses.

It is becoming common practice in higher education for online distance education programs to enroll international students, but what are the implications for online course designers and instructors when faced with learners from diverse backgrounds that may not be familiar with cultural references, discourse conventions or a constructivist pedagogical approach.  Tune in to find out more.

Discussion is based around Learning in an Online Distance Eductaion Course: Experiences of Three International Students

Available on the Web

01:28 - Robert
Please feel free to introduce yourselves as well--Jason, Neil
04:51 - Robert
07:06 - dave cormier
that's certainly been my experience
07:19 - Cammy
How is that different than international students in a face to face classroom?
07:27 - dave cormier
Our MOOCs have been a study of international interestingness
07:57 - dave cormier
@Cammy in my mind the big difference is that the web lacks the cultural structures implicit in the a face 2 face classroom
07:57 - Cammy
I was an exchange student in Germany -- I lurked in the lecture hall!
08:27 - dave cormier
@Cammy getting on the bus, crossing the parking lot, getting a coffee... all those things do a great deal to structure what happens in the classroom
09:23 - dave cormier
In an online classroom... these things are absent
09:29 - Jennifer
@zuochen ... what about the perceptions of other students to the International Students?
09:48 - Cammy
@dave -- yes, agreed
09:52 - dave cormier
@jennifer great question jen!
10:04 - Jennifer
Did they perceive a "difference" in interaction / communication?
10:25 - Cammy
Easier to be invisible online than in the classroom (although I tried to be invisible in the German classroom)
10:31 - Jennifer
@dc ... thank you for the validation
11:13 - dave cormier
I've also found that people studying english abroad (particularly in asia) do far more of their study 'silently' and tend to be able to read much better than they can hear the language... and, of course, the written word lacks the complication of speed and accent
11:22 - dave cormier
@jmad always.
12:43 - Jennifer
@dc ... was that ok, too?
13:18 - Robert
13:28 - Jennifer
very interesting ...
14:19 - dave cormier
i don't think it's an equaliser... i think it biases differently
14:22 - Jennifer
there is a "pecking order" of sorts in online learning that is not much (any?) different that f2f
14:41 - Cammy
yes, jenn
15:24 - dave cormier
It becomes worse if you design to replicate face 2 face environments. an open structure that allows for decentralized discussion avoids the domination inherent in a single discussion
15:38 - dave cormier
a 'single' discussion forum replicates the same issues
16:18 - Rick Kenny
Or Canadian in my case.
16:27 - dave cormier
and mine :)
16:46 - dave cormier
16:50 - Jennifer
... Canada is taking over the world
17:15 - Rick Kenny
We'll be lucky if we can run oursleves... ;-)
17:31 - dave cormier
@rick we've not done the most amazing job of that lately
18:26 - Cammy
an added layer of self-consciousness for an international student
20:09 - Jennifer
22:10 - Robert
not the educatioal system
22:55 - Robert
that's a nice idea
23:02 - Cammy
In your paper, you talked about changing the design to accomodate traditional vs. constructivist
24:36 - Jennifer
... which all begs the question .. how can / should the role of the instructor (as facilitator) draw out all participants and "smooth" out the bumps (bring out lurkers, address regional / cultural questions) in the conversation
25:33 - Cammy
And yet here they are in a non-traditional learning environment - perhaps done as a pre-req?
27:18 - Robert
I think of teh other minorities in north american contexts...
27:25 - Robert
27:27 - Robert
native american
27:35 - Robert
what about gender
28:45 - Jennifer
in my online learning experience ... chicks tend to be the gabby ones in my classes :)
31:21 - Jennifer
oh, that is very interesting!
31:37 - Robert
the research seems to be ambivalent on this I wonder to what extent individual differences, motivation, life experience, online identity play into this as well.
32:16 - Jennifer
so .. women are chatty, but mainly in "on point" discussions versus social chatter ... hmmm
32:17 - Robert
on generder influence and participation, that is
34:20 - Robert
Flaming walls?
34:25 - Cammy
34:39 - Zuochen
35:53 - Jennifer
oh, wow!
35:55 - Robert
hmm, interesting -the culture of flaming
36:29 - Cammy
thank you!
36:54 - Jason Neiffer
Thank you... such an interesting topic and conversation! :)
37:03 - Jennifer
... again ... seems role of instructor as moderator needs to address / consider these issues to be prepared for the flame wars, culturals issues, etc
37:41 - Jennifer
thank you!!! TTFN!
37:46 - Rick Kenny
All the best everyone!