Teaching Strategies for Developing Students’ Leadership and Interaction Skills through Collaborative Learning in Intercultural Virtual Teams


  • Lori Curtindale Assistant Professor Department of Psychology East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858
  • Svetlana G. Krylova Institute of Psychology Ural State Pedagogical University Yekaterinburg, Russia


The purpose of this paper is to discuss strategies for increasing the effectiveness of collaborative learning in virtual intercultural teams of students enrolled in the “Global Leadership” course at East Carolina University (ECU, United States) and Ural State Pedagogical University (USPU, Russia).  Developing students’ leadership and intercultural skills is one of the learning objectives of the “Global Leadership” course.  These skills are elements of “collaboration competency” – one of the key competencies for sustainability (Rieckmann, 2017). For effective development of collaborative competence, it is necessary to take into account socio-psychological factors – small group dynamics and distribution of roles in the team.  Teaching strategies were developed on the basis of Tuckman’s (1965) scheme for group development (forming–storming–norming–performing) and Kolb’s (1984) four-stage learning cycle (concrete learning, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation), taking into account specific learning environments and objectives of the “Global Leadership” course.  Practices are described for six teaching strategies: 1) forming teams (based on students' interests); 2) encouraging and supporting interpersonal relationships (for faster passage through the initial stages of team development); 3) providing leadership experience within the team; 4) increasing all team members’ responsibility for group discussions and outcomes; 5) planning teamwork; and 6) reflecting on experiences.





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