Group work is a key graduate skill (Spencer-Oatey and Dauber 2016). Yet participation in group work is often challenging for Asian international students in formal HE settings (Kim 2016; Li and Campbell 2008). In auditing the partnership agreement, Liverpool International College and the University of Liverpool identified group work and its virtual counterpart as key areas for student development in 2016. At the same time, the Learning and Teaching frameworks of both institutions and the QAA themes 2015-6 emphasised digital literacies. The importance of group work, communication skills and ‘the potential for digital technology in global graduate development’ was also highlighted in the CIHE publication ‘Global Graduates’ (Diamond, et.al 2011). Building on Spencer-Oatey and Dauber’s findings on mixed national group work and JISC’s Digital Capacities (2015), this study used the Designed Based Research Method to question to what extent growth in digital communication skills would influence and improve group work in a mixed national group.This twenty-minute presentation will support the theme ‘Empowerment in Learning Technology’ by showing how through a blend of physical and online group work, international students increased student/student and student/staff communication and collaboration.
The College responded to the need for the development of digital literacy and group work skills by embedding within a core skills module a four-week course which included
Digital literacy skills, including sharing, commenting, creating folders, surveying and co-authoring
Group work skills, including managing conflict, organising a meeting, creating minutes
Research skills, including library searches and references
The talk will consider the following:
How student survey feedback informed the College’s response
How the changes to the module have influenced teaching style and learner ability
The lessons learned from the roll out of the course
How international students benefited from this blended approach
Diamond, A. et al. (2008) Global graduates: global graduates into global leaders, Available at: http://www.ucml.ac.uk/sites/default/files/shapingthefuture/101/CIHE%20-%201111GlobalGradsFull.pdf (Accessed: 30 January 2017).
Hesterman, S. (2016) ‘The digital handshake: a group contract for authentic elearning in higher education’, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 13 (3) Available at: http;//ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol13/is3/6 (Accessed: 2 March 2017).
JISC (2015) ‘Building digital capability: the six elements defined’, Available at:http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6611/1/JFL0066F_DIGIGAP_MOD_IND_FRAME.PDF (Accessed: 2 April 2017).
Kim, J.Y. (2016) ‘Group work oral participation: examining Korean students’ adjustment process in a US university’, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 56 (3), pp.400-423. Scopus, EBSCOhost (Accessed: 5 March 2017).
Li, M. and Campbell, J. (2008) ‘Asian students’ perceptions of group work and group assignments in a New Zealand tertiary institution’, Intercultural Education, 19 (3), pp. 203-216. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (Accessed: 10 March 2017).
Spencer-Oatey, H. and Dauber, D. (2016) ‘The gains and pains of mixed national group work at university’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38 (3), pp. 219-236. Available at: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2015.113459 (Accessed: 1 February 2016).