Garrison, D., & Akyol, Z. (2009). “Role of instructional and among in the transformation of
•Understanding of both differences and similarities between technology cultures
higher education.” Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 19-30.
Why Should We Develop Cultural Understanding?
•Develop curiosity toward other cultures and our own
Halic, O., Lee, D., Paulus, T. & Spence, M., “To blog or not to
blog: Student perceptions of and effectiveness for learning
•Challenge cultural intoleranceblogdevelop cultural tolerance in a college-level course,” The
•Recognize the diversity of ways of dealingdoi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.04.001
Internet and Higher Education (2010), with life situations
•Develop critical thinking as citizens
Ying Xie, Fengfeng Ke, Priya Sharma, “The effect of peer feedback for blogging on college students' reflective learning processes” Internet and Higher Education 11 (2008) 18–25.
•Become aware of one’s own cultural identity or identities
Benefits for the Students Benefits for the Instructors
Structured Blogging Task The Cyber Notebook
November 3, 2010
•Students are required to: A shift from an old way of doing things:
•Post after every class, field trip, guest speaker and • no more collecting a stack of notebooks
•To comment on the post of their classmates
Blogging Your Way to Cultural Understanding • quicker correction/turn around time
• Access not limited to professor
•To ask a question, either a general question or one Sylvie Debevec Henning, International Studies Program • Audience is now the entire class
directed to a specific classmate •Collaborative effort
Luci Fernandes, Department of Anthropology •Peer pressure: entries are not anonymous
•Students take assignment more seriously because
“Collaborative Constructionism”* remarks are in an open forum
•Collaboration "goes beyond simple interaction in the Abstract How Can Blogging Help Develop
sense that it is clearly focused on a problem or dilemma A blog is an innovative way for students to maintain the Cultural Understanding? Teachers, Don’t fear technology!
where students are deeply engaged in purposeful reflective journal that is required in the Global Understanding
discourse to construct meaning and collaboratively course. Students share reactions to course readings and Students share with their classmates a new awareness of •Easier than you think (IT training and support readily
share meaning and validate understanding" (Garrison cultural observations after linking sessions with international daily routines, customs, and behaviors in other cultures. available)
and Akyol p. 23). partners. Their interactions with one another outside the Students share with their classmates what they have learned •Greater access to student assignments (more often, more
•“Blog conversations [offer students] opportunities to classroom help overcome class time restrictions, expand about their partners’ feelings, concerns, values and attitudes. flexible
reflect on course related concepts outside of the class opportunities for peer to peer learning and create a sense of Students then compare what they have learned about other •More opportunities for seeing what students have learned
and to share different perspectives on the course student ownership. By democratizing discussion, the blog helps cultures to what they know and feel about their own culture. and to correct misconceptions or factual errors
material.” (Halic, et al, p.) students articulate their ideas more freely, develops critical Through interacting and dialoguing with their classmates, •Ability to customize blog to meet class needs
•Blogging stimulate[s] student thinking and learning by thinking skills and builds confidence. The technology is flexible students come to appreciate the range of perspectives that –Variety of formats
offering alternative perspectives related to the course enough to allow for inclusion of media. So far student response exist around the world. –Inclusion of photos, links, podcasts, vidcasts
content, “triggering careful examination of the content” has been enthusiastic.
and extending discussion about course content outside Example of Blog Discussion
of the class. (Sharma and Xie p.143)
Introduction Avenues for Further Exploration
*Halic, et al. INTL 1050 and ANTH 1050 are sections of the Global
Understanding class, the first taught by the director of the •Including international partners in the blog dialogue
International Studies program, the second by a member of the •Developing and assigning podcasts and vidcasts
Anthropology faculty. Both classes meet in the Global
Peer to Peer Learning Classroom. Class time is divided between face to face sessions
that use video conferencing and Internet chatrooms to link
•Democratizes the discussion ECU students with students in partner institutions around the Works Cited
•Students develop confidence in the articulation and world. Blogging creates additional opportunities for student
development of their own ideas with a minimum of faculty interaction outside the classroom. Burgess, J. (2006). “Blogging to learn, learning to blog,” in
intervention One of the ways we have chosen to help develop cultural A. Bruns & J. Jacobs (Eds.), Uses of blogs (pp. 105-115).
understanding is through a blog that transforms the traditional New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.
reflective journal into an open forum of discourse. The Blog is Garrison, D., & Akyol, Z. (2009). “Role of instructional
being used to post journal entries. The goals were for students technology in the transformation of higher education.”
Community Building to reflect on what they heard and read as well as to interact Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 19-30.
with their peers outside the classroom environment. They were Halic, O., Lee, D., Paulus, T. & Spence, M., “To blog or not
•“Network orientation” helps students develop a social assigned the task of posting after every class, field trip, guest to blog: Student perceptions of blog effectiveness for
rather than simply a writing/textual orientation (Burgess, speaker and reading assignment. They were required to learning in a college-level course,” The Internet and Higher
2006, pp. 109-110). comment on what they learned through each activity and to Education (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.04.001
•Virtual international community established through dialogue with their classmates through questions and Montgomery M & H Reid-Thomas (1994) Language and
Global Classroom technology responses. Social life, The British Council, 1994.
•Sense of local community created that goes beyond the Ying Xie, Fengfeng Ke, Priya Sharma, “The effect of peer
classroom through blogging feedback for blogging on college students' reflective
What Do We Mean By
learning processes” Internet and Higher Education 11
Cultural Understanding? (2008) 18–25.
• Understanding of the diversity of cultures that exist around the Conclusion
Developing Critical Thinking Skills world Blogging provides students with opportunities to comment on
• Understanding that culture encompasses “the whole way of what they have heard and read, to see what their classmates
•Sharing knowledge life of a people or group” (Montgomery and Reid-Thomas, are posting, to ask questions and to respond to the comments of
•Validating understanding 1994:5) others. These peer to peer interactions are relatively rare in the
•Becoming aware of different perspectives and • Understanding of both differences and similarities between classroom and often rather artificial and stilted. Blogging
interpretations within one’s own culture and among cultures interactions are less inhibited by the classroom setting and
•Coming to understand that students from other professorial oversight.
cultures may have distinctive perspectives and Students become aware of both insider and outsider
interpretations Why Should We Develop perspectives. They learn about themselves and their own culture
Cultural Understanding? as they learn about other cultures. This learning is heightened
when the class includes exchange students from non-linking
• Develop curiosity toward other cultures and our own countries. Thus blogging can help them develop a better sense
• Challenge cultural intolerance and develop cultural tolerance of their own personal identity as well as of their own
• Recognize the diversity of ways of dealing with life situations cultural/group identity.
• Develop critical thinking as citizens
• Become aware of one’s own cultural identity or identities