The Global Case Study Challenge (GCSC) connects educators and creates the GCSC alumni network for innovative collaborative teaching and learning projects. GCSC professors come from different disciplines, universities, and countries and engage in a unique opportunity to experience collaborative teaching: co-facilitation and co-grading in the virtual intercultural learning environment. As GCSC educators get together, a space is created for sharing best practices for coordinating students locally; reflecting on the differences and similarities in the grading/providing formative and summative feedback for virtual intercultural project work; brainstorming possible ideas for future collaborative virtual internationalization projects. Below is an interview with two GCSC professors who collaborated after the 2020 GCSC version in the format of the cross-border internationalization project, focused on the experimental collaborative peer feedback in the blended virtual and in-person space “Cross-border collaboration as internationalization in higher education: case study of Austria-Slovenia.”
Engaging students into the peer assessment in the blended learning space
In spring 2021, GCSC alumni got together and designed a creative virtual collaboration focusing on new assessment methods in the virtual and hybrid intercultural learning environments. GCSC professor Dominic Welsh, MSc, alumnus ’20, organized an innovative open conference for the course “Cross-Cultural Communication“ where Industrial Management students from FH JOANNEUM (Austria) presented their research project results in the blended environment – onsite and online streaming via MS Teams. The assessment structure included multi-level feedback from multiple Austrian and International experts.
Since the topic of the course is “Cross-Cultural Communication“, Dominic Welsh connected with Dr. Svetlana Buko via the GCSC alumni network and invited 4 international intercultural managers (Slovenia) to join the assessment panel, observe presentations via live stream and provide immediate feedback in the form of the pre-designed electronic rubric with the focus on the different aspects of the intercultural communication. Graduate-level researchers from Intercultural Management Program (Fudš Sass -School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia) Jelena Lacmanović, Jasmina Žuran, Kseniia Gromova and Dr. Svetlana Buko served as a panel of external international experts and provided formative and summative feedback within the indicators designed by the course instructor.
Duration: 5 hours
Format: hybrid conference environment onsite FH Joanneum (Austria) with a group of local audience and virtual intercultural panel of experts in MS Teams.
Feedback: formative and summative (electronic rubric)
Participants-presenters: 6 mini-teams of Industrial Management students from FH JOANNEUM (Austria)
Expert panel: 4 international guests trained in the field of Intercultural Management (Fudš Sass -School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia)
Role of the instructional design concept and technology in the learning assessment
GCSC alumni network builts on mutual strengths in the peer learning process. Assessment was designed with the close alignment of the learning outcomes of the course “Cross Cultural Communication”, where students had to demonstrate their newly obtained competency – social communication literacy in the hybrid environment within four key pillars:
- Apply effective presentation techniques, English language skills, well-structured proof of concept
- Produce a clear and coherent presentation appropriate to task, purpose and audience (considering virtual and onsite, national and international, subject matter experts and general audience);
- Use technology to present the relationships between project information and ideas efficiently while interacting and collaborating as a team
- Integrate multimedia and visual displays into the presentation to clarify information (webcast, poster, slides), strengthen claim, evidence and generate added interest.
Austrian management engineering students practiced their presentation skills in the blended classroom: presented in small teams results of their industrial research projects work. Presentation was structured as multi-format performance:
- webcast – short video presentation of the project recorded by the team in advance
- live team presentation with the focus on the processes and results.
The international group of evaluation panel experts consisted of MA-level graduate-level researchers, with subject-matter expertise in the field of intercultural management and communication. The panel members connected via MS teams video streamlining and chat, reviewed posters of presenting teams, webcasts, followed live presentations in MS teams and immediately provided evaluation using the pre-designed electronic rubric. The evaluation primarily focused on the ability to communicate technical content in a clear, engaging, in English, to an international audience within a hybrid setting (virtual and onsite), using the four pillars of social communication literacy for the course.
GCSC Learning outcomes of the collaboration
Structured reflection data from the qualitative survey of Austrian and Slovenian cohort enabled collaborating professors to track the learning outcomes of the evaluation endeavor. Austrian cohort pointed out several essential outcomes/impact of the evaluation process:
- Real life international English-speaking experts as external non-university audience made the presentation process even more aligned with the goals of the course “Cross Cultural Communication” linked to the FH third mission – connecting to the real world.
- Proper organization of the hybrid conference presentation, where both onsite local experts and online international experts had equal access to questions, reflections and process observation during the evaluation with the help of the technology (synchronous and asynchronous communication in the hybrid learning space).
- Clear alignment of the assessment of the evaluation rubric (shared in advance with presenting teams for better preparation) rooted in the class competencies, enabled the participants to prepare better for the presentation.
Host Course: Cross Cultural Communication – IWI & IWB 18 SS 2021, Instructor: Mag. Dominic Welsh, MSc.
Intercultural peer reviewer team: Intercultural Management Program MA (School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia), doc. Dr. Svetlana Buko