Training BMW students intercultural competence

Short Description

This project focusses on training students' intercultural competence within a compulsory bachelor course for Environmental Science students.

Objective

We aim to develop (i) a new course module based on the experience with the Cultural Detective; (ii) a guided self-assessment tool based on the rubric Intercultural Competence Development developed by Education and Competence Studies Group of WUR; (iii) a guided reflection assignment to identify and untangle cultural issues in multicultural group work.

Strong points

We implemented the project as planned in the proposal in the academic year 2016-2017 and we partly achieved the aims. We succeeded to adapt the course in such a way that it can accommodate a fluctuating number of students. The developed tools lowered the work-load of the teachers and because of the clear format new teachers can easily work with the tools. The guided reflection tool for teamwork and the self-assessment tool to measure students’ intercultural competence are now both used in the ESA-22303 course. We decided not to continue to use of the online tool Cultural Detective in the academic year 2017-2018, because (i) we considered it not suitable for our short course, mainly because it is more focussed on international business than on education; (ii) it was not flexible for teachers; (iii) showed a slow performance when used by many students; (iv) the fee is rather high. A positive element was the critical incidents method, that we continued to use in an adapted way.

RECOMMENDATIONS

For more information or recommendations, please contact lenny.vanbussel@wur.nldine.brinkman@wur.nl, and/or karen.fortuin@wur.nl.

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