Against all odds : Problem-solving as a skill critical to virtual exchange
Radke, K., Háhn, J., & Dekker, I. (2021). Against all odds : Problem-solving as a skill critical to virtual exchange. In K. Elliot (Ed.), International Virtual Exchange Conference 2021 : Conference proceedings (pp. 84-88). Drexel University; East Carolina University. https://iveconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IVECFinal_Proceedings_2021.pdf
© 2021 Drexel University, East Carolina University
Virtual Exchange (VE) brings together groups of learners from different geographical locations and cultural backgrounds to engage them in online intercultural collaboration and interaction. Although VE projects are designed and implemented by educators as part of the students’ educational programmes, they often go beyond the setting of traditional courses offered by higher education institutions. Because of their innovative nature, VEs require the students to leave their comfort zone and think outside the box to develop new creative strategies of communication and collaboration in order to find solutions to problems that crop up in this new learning environment. This presentation showcases the problem-solving strategies employed by the students of Creative Business (the Netherlands), Tourism (Poland) and Language Studies (Finland) who were engaged in two interdisciplinary VE projects carried out in the times of Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020 and 2021, City break in Europe: Understanding tourists' needs and motivations and City exploration: Emerging tourism trends in the Covid-19 era. During their six-week collaboration the Dutch, Polish, and Finnish students joined their forces and critically analysed the official websites of their municipalities (Utrecht, Poznań and Jyväskylä), focusing on the language, graphics, audience, marketing strategies and new attractive forms of sightseeing. As the final product, the students collaboratively designed an innovative tour of the three cities. To reach their project goals, the students, confronted with multiple collaborative hurdles and stuck in the Covid-19 pandemic, were forced to find effective ways of dealing with the physical distance, cultural differences, varying language levels, foreign accents, disciplinary gaps, malfunctioning technology and various security measures imposed in their countries to prevent the spread of the disease. Most studies addressing the challenges of VE offer tips and recommendations for teachers on how to improve the pedagogical design of the projects. Challenges are interpreted as problems that should be minimized to make the VE experience smooth for the students. In our study, we suggest that problems are affordances or even benefits because they provide a learning experience for the participants of VE. ...
PublisherDrexel University; East Carolina University
ConferenceInternational Virtual Exchange Conference
Is part of publicationInternational Virtual Exchange Conference 2021 : Conference proceedings
Publication in research information system
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