Online study tour: China and United States. The feasible future for all institutions
Sherri M. Lange, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
Chinese and American educators and business professionals expressed the need for students with international business cultural awareness (Green, 2005; O'Hara-Devereaux & Johansen, 1994; Kameoka 1996; Z. Song, personal communication Aug. 2, 2005; Y. Cao, personal communication Aug. 2, 2005). Currently, most of the cultural awareness education occurs through traditional study tours which are only an option for those students with financial means. The problem addressed by this study was how to provide cultural exchange programs that are accessible to higher education students. Cultural education gaps may be bridged through the development and evaluation of an international online business culture course. The purpose of the research project was to investigate the feasibility of an online international business culture course. The international online business culture course was a qualitative, non-experimental, observational research project. The researcher/teacher was a participant observer in the study. A pilot study was conducted to test the technology and methodology. The pilot and full study connected via an online, synchronous audio/video connection. All participants were asked to complete a pre-perception survey prior to the first class and a post-perception survey after the last class. The students' perceptions of cultural understanding and the online culture course room were recorded and evaluated. The study showed that students' cultural awareness improved through an online international business culture course. All of the students stated that they probably would or definitely would enjoy participating in future international online business culture courses. The students stated that the course was a way to learn about another's culture, to improve their language skills and they preferred it to their institutions' required multicultural course. The international online business culture course provides the solution to the problem. The method may set a new trend trickling up to industry and down to secondary schools providing classes in global cultural awareness and foreign languages. The international online business culture course might influence the delivery of study abroad tours or cultural awareness courses in higher education institutions, which ultimately may catapult these institutions as the leaders in the delivery of global education.
Lange, S.M. Online study tour: China and United States. The feasible future for all institutions. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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