Part of the 4TU.Federation
4TU.
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

Although cultural diversity of students is inspiring, teachers need to consider the variation in educational and cultural backgrounds as well as the different characters of the students. One strategy can be the application of student-centred learning. However, this may affect students that have been accustomed to different teaching strategies. 

Objective and expected outcomes

The objective of this paper is to assess the appreciation of international students for different teaching methods. With the following research question: "What to expect and take into account while teaching international students?"

A survey and a workshop were held to ask students for their experiences with different teaching methods before coming to ITC, their appreciation of student-centred learning, and to determine personal character traits.

Results and learnings

We found that differences between nationalities were rather small, although there were some suggestions that there are differences in attitude between individuals from different continents. The workshop revealed that teachers should better explain and justify their teaching methods as students do not always understand the reason why certain teaching methods are chosen. Besides, with a mixed group of cultures, teachers must stay aware that students sometimes prefer to give polite rather than honest indications on their learning.

Practical outcomes

This research has also been presented at the 48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020, Online, Enschede, Netherlands (20 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020). 

A video about this paper has been made for the SEFI Conference which can be found here

More could be found in the paper (at the downloads on the right): “ Appreciations Of Teaching Methods Across Cultures: Lessons Learned From International Students” by I.C. van Duren & T.A. Groen.