On-line Videoconferences: How to Make Intercultural Collaboration Effective for All Participants
Keywords:service learning, civic engagement, transformative learning, developing countries, experiential learning
On-line videoconferences with students from different cultures is a form of learning which provides participants of the Global Understanding course with unique opportunities for studying English and investigating other cultures. Current research highlights advantages of the Internet as well as videoconferencing technology for foreign language acquisition. However, these advantages might manifest themselves at maximum only if all the participants are actively involved in intercultural collaboration with their partners. The experience of Ural State Pedagogical University (USPU) testifies that there are a number of factors which may decrease activeness of interaction which means less learning effectiveness of videoconferencing technology for students. The article considers three groups of such factors which were observed during the Global Understanding course: objective, language, and psychological ones. The paper also analyses reasons for these factors and suggests psychological and pedagogical techniques aimed at compensation for their influence.
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