Traditionally, OLEs (e.g. Blackboard) were school-led platforms that offered one-way communication; that is, lecturer to student. These school-led OLEs helped students to better engage with their courses outside the classroom environment, though accessing lecture slides and discussion boards. Despite the prevalence of these OLEs, their utility for value co-creation and collaboration is limited, and students have increasingly engaged with their lecturers and other students through other OLEs such as Social Media Networks e.g. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (Neier and Zayer 2015). However, there is no research on how OLEs which are not school-led can improve collaboration with international students, despite this potentially being a way to help break down cultural barriers and improve student engagement.
This session will focus on the use of Dwelltime, an OLE that offers opportunities for students in different countries to engage with each other. It allows student groups to write assignments within the platform, identifying the contribution of each group member. It also facilitates formative feedback from the lecturer and enables students to provide peer-to-peer feedback (Dwelltime, 2017). It is particularly beneficial in an international context such as China, where access to Facebook and Google is blocked. The research is based on a case study of the University of Liverpool and its Chinese partner, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) and takes a cross-cultural perspective, examining the collaborative process between stakeholders as a new assignment is undertaken by students at both universities. Through using 400 thematic reviews of students’ reflections on their learning, four focus groups and five interviews, the study examines the collaborations between two key dyads; student/student and student/educator. We find that Dwelltime plays a central role in collaboration between students and with educators. Through using Dwelltime each dyad has the opportunity to collaborate and co-create a valuable international HE experience.
Dwelltime, 2017, Available at https://dwelltime.co.uk/
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Neier, Stacy and Linda Tuncay Zayer (2015), “Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Social Media in Higher Education,” Journal of Marketing Education, 37 (3), 133-43.
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