Designing Online or Hybrid/Flex Study Away Experiences.
In response to shifts to online learning due to COVID-19 in spring 2020 and in anticipation of alternate models for higher education in fall 2020 and beyond, we have curated publications and online resources that can help inform programmatic and faculty/staff decisions about facilitating study away experiences during a pandemic.
Regardless of the medium for teaching and for engaging students, existing scholarship offers good practices in high-impact global learning. These concrete strategies offer a stable foundation as students, programs, and faculty adapt to online or hybrid/flex models.
The bibliography shared below will be updated as we identify additional resources. Please suggest additions in the comments or by emailing the Center’s staff at CenterForEngagedLearning@elon.edu. Special thanks to Torii Masinsin, a graduate student in Elon’s M.A. in Higher Education program, for contributing the initial content.
Abrahamse, Augusta, Matthew Johnson, Nanette Levinson, Larry Medsker, Joshua M. Pearce, Carla Quiroga, and Ruth Scipione. 2014. “A Virtual Education Exchange: A North-South Virtually Shared Class on Sustainable Development.” Journal of Studies in International Education 19(2): 140-159. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315314540474
The researchers examine how a shared STEM course between an American and a Bolivian university could help students develop international competencies through a virtual shared classroom experience.
Garcés, Pilar and Robert O’Dowd. 2020. “Upscaling Virtual Exchange in University Education: Moving From Innovative Classroom Practice to Regional Governmental Policy.” Journal of Studies in International Education 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315320932323
In this case study, the researchers explore the benefits and challenges of integrating a virtual exchange in the curriculum in Europe. Though this study primarily focuses on examining student teachers, the findings of this study could be adapted to other students.
Hilliker, Shannon. 2020. “Virtual Exchange as a Study Abroad Alternative to Foster Language and Culture Exchange in TESOL Teacher Education.” The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language 23(4): 1-13.
Hilliker’s study shows how virtual exchange could be used as an alternative to studying abroad for student teachers. Though the study focuses on teacher education, aspects of the findings could be adapted to other groups of students.
Hofmeyr, Ana Sofia. 2020. “Taking Advantage of a Multicultural Campus: Impact of At-Home Intercultural Initiatives on Japanese Students’ Skills and Future Goals. Journal of Studies in International Education 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315320906159
Hofmeyr examines how internationalization-at-home initiatives impact a student’s skills and goals in their home university. Though this study found low participation in non-compulsory activities that supported intercultural competencies and language, the researcher provides suggestions on how to improve these initiatives to maximize the impact on student outcomes.
Jochum, Christopher J. 2017. “When Study Abroad is Not Enough: Improving Language Proficiency through Virtual Interaction.” The Advocate 23(3): 6-12. https://doi.org/10.4148/2637-4552.1023
In this case study, Jochum explores how an in-service Spanish teacher engaged in virtual language activities to improve their language proficiency after failing to do so while studying abroad. Though this study focused on language proficiency amongst student teachers, aspects of this research could be adapted to apply to other students.
King de Ramirez, Carmen. 2019. “Global Citizenship Education Through Collaborative Online International Learning in the Borderlands: A Case of the Arizona-Sonora Megaregion.” Journal of Studies in Higher Education 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315319888886
King de Ramirez explores how universities can integrate opportunities for global citizenship in the curricula. This study specifically focuses on using a collaborative online international learning (COIL) project between universities in the United States and Mexico as a tool for global citizenship education.
Liao, Weiwen, Margaret S. Kilcoyne, Carmella Parker, Begona Perez-Mira, Connie Jones, and Lynn Woods. 2019. “Engaging Students Globally Without Leaving the Comforts of Home.” Journal of Global Education and Research 3(1): 22-36. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/2577-509X.3.1.1073
In this study, the researchers explore how business students were able to develop global competencies without leaving their home or their campuses by integrating global experiences in the preexisting course curriculum through active learning projects and assessment.
Lipinski, John. 2014. “Virtual Study Abroad: A Case Study.” Atlantic Marketing Journal 3(3): 102-113.
In this case study, Lipinski examines the benefits and challenges of creating a virtual study abroad experience by studying how an American professor and a Hungarian professor were able to link their classrooms together through telecommunication.
Lin, Miranda. 2018. “’I don’t even know where Turkey is’: Developing Intercultural Competence through e-Pal Exchanges.” Journal of Global Education and Research 2(2): 68-81. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/2577-509X.2.2.1019.
Lin uses a semester-long e-pal exchange to help develop intercultural competency in early childhood preservice teachers. Though this study primarily focuses on teachers, the study could be adapted to help develop intercultural competencies in college students.
O’Dowd, Robert. 2018. “From Telecollaboration to Virtual Exchange: State-of-the-art and the Role of UNICollaboration in Moving Forward.” Journal of Virtual Exchange 1: 1-23. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2018.jve.1
In this article, O’Dowd explores the different models and approaches to using virtual exchange in higher education. Virtual exchange refers to a prolonged engagement from a group of learners in online intercultural interaction and collaboration with others in the global context.
Oberhelman, Steven M. and Christina A. Dunn. 2019. “Globally Networked Learning in a University Classroom: A Pilot Program.” Athens Journal of Education 6(1): 1-12. https://doi.org/10.30958/aje.6-1-1
The researchers explore how Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiatives can be used as an alternative to physically studying abroad. Modeled after a program at the State Universities of New York, this study examines how a similar COIL program was implemented between a Liberal Arts course at Texas A&M and a university in a foreign country.
Pertusa-Seva, Inmaculada and Melissa A. Steward. 2000. “Virtual Study Abroad 101: Expanding the Horizons of the Spanish Curriculum.” Foreign Language Annals 33: 438-441. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2000.tb00625.x
Pertusa-Seva and Stewart explore the pedagogical benefits and practical application of using a virtual study abroad program to expand the curriculum and deepen learning in a foreign language course.
Slotkin, Michael H., Christopher H. Durie, and Jarin R. Eisenberg. 2012. “The Benefits of Short-Term Study Abroad as a Blended Learning Experience.” The Journal of International Education in Business. 5(2): 163-173. https://www.doi.org/10.1108/18363261211281762
The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of using a blended, short-term study abroad experience in an online business class. Students engaged in online academic content pre- and post-trip, thus allowing for a more condensed study abroad experience.
Titarenko, Larissa and Craig B. Little. 2017. “International Cross-Cultural Online Learning and Teaching: Effective Tools and Approaches.” The American Journal of Distance Education 31 (2): 112-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/08923647.2017.1306767
Titarenko and Little explore how a full-time, international, online undergraduate course could serve as a virtual option for a study abroad experience. In their study, students from multiple countries engage with each other while “at-home” through a virtual class.
Villar-Onrubia, Daniel and Brinder Rajpal. 2016. “Online International Learning: Internationalising the Curriculum Through Virtual Mobility at Coventry University.” Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 20(2-3): 75-82. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603108.2015.1067652
Villar-Onrubia and Rajpal show how Online International Learning (OIL) can be used between a UK and non-UK university. This study elaborates on the types of interactions, barriers, resources, core actors, policies, and other considerations to consider when implementing an OIL experience.