Zhaodong Zheng | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

A Gamified Online Collaborative Learning Platform for Promoting Intercultural Competence

Zhaodong Zheng, M.A. in Instructional Technology and Media

Over the past decade, international students have enrolled in American colleges and universities in increasing numbers. 50% of all international students are from the top 3 countries- China (31%), India (12%), and South Korea (8%). Despite the fact that these non-native English speaking (NNES) international students international students may experience problems that are common to American students, they also face unique challenges emerging from cultural differences and language limitations (de Araujo, 2011). Research suggests that a lack of intercultural competence (ICC) has been a crucial factor that greatly hampers many NNES international students’ efforts in cross-cultural adaptation. In this paper, intercultural competence refers to the body of knowledge and skills to successfully interact with people from other ethnic, religious, cultural, national, and geographic groups (Messner & Schäfer, 2012). In order to address the problem of NNES international students lacking ICC, this paper proposes a design project about developing a gamified online collaborative learning platform named CulturaMeme to foster ICC development among NNES international students.

To inform the design of the learning platform, the paper first discusses three major areas of intercultural competence development, and then explores how to integrate and employ experiential learning theories and game design element in to the design of the learning platform to foster effective transformative learning and increase learner involvement. Finally, the paper includes a detailed description about the content, media, functionality, implementation, and evaluation of the learning platform.

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