September 17, 2011
Leads: Betsy Hansel, Rosina Chia, Elmer Poe
Summary: Most of today’s sessions explored intercultural topics broadly, but this discussion will set the stage for the question of how intercultural communications are enhanced, distorted or attenuated online and how faculty teaching these courses can best explore and develop their students’ intercultural sensitivity online. Students who do not share the same cultural context will encounter misunderstandings in their online communication with their peers that might not be apparent to them immediately since they don’t see the reactions to what they have written. This last session will be an open discussion of how you can help students to build trust in online relationships, to recognize when misunderstandings have occurred and to make the “under the water” aspects of their culture more explicit and visible. To do this we will explore ways to help students become more aware of their own patterns of behavior and communication and their implicit assumptions, beliefs and values and will suggest some shared language that you can provide to students in both countries that will help them talk about their cultural differences.