Since winter 2010 we’ve been developing several learning settings that s(t)imulates virtual collaboration for global jobs. We want to make students contributors to the virtual/global working world. Therefore we address higher levels of Blooms taxonomy: Apply – Analyze – Evaluate – Create.
With our evaluation of these learning scenarios (n>900) we could proof that this could be better accomplished in several ways with E-Tools then with classroom learning. The most advanced setting we’ve developed over the last 8 years is an inquiry based learning scenario about scientific paper writing. Interculturality and academic thinking is deeply addressed with the generic topic »Interdisciplinary Reflection ofEthical Issues in Digital Communication«. Students define their own objects of investigation, process a full research cycle – inspired by Kolb and Wildt – from methodology proposal over executing research to writing the paper and presenting it at a conference.
Our project started with a combination and evolution of several e-learning settings for virtual learning groups, like case study work with Wikis, and an online game around supply chain management. We improved these settings through ideas from literature and from our own research. Evaluation consists of an online survey, group reflection papers written by students, and content analysis like Peer Reviews.
Our technical infrastructuredesign follows a process driven mashup approach, including and adopting newest technical development. Therefore we had to overcome many university limitations with standard LMS, including other tools like Shared Spaces, Video Conferencing, and new collaboration tools.
We facedinterculturalchallengesregarding students behavior but also organizational barriers in interuniversity collaboration. Contributing to virtual teams is highly underestimated. The project has to face the diversity of students and the gender perspective, offering variations of learning opportunities and additional online support like in separate online consultation hours. Funding covers teachers travel money only. As its driven by 4 teachers in 3 Master programs at 3 universities we wanted to create some special interdisciplinary online experience that fits also for students on the job.
Looking on outcomes, the scientific paper writing scenario was the most demanding task for nearly all of the students but was highly appreciated as a competency development for high quality jobs in industry and science. Completely different points of view in interdisciplinary work were evaluated as most helpful. Our investigations showed a variety of mentionable outcomes: 92% of students improved their work in E-Peer-Review scenarios. Incorporation of Peer Feedback lead to more than 10% of improvement for 70% of participants. Nearly 35% of students were able to get a professionally peer-reviewed paper published on scientific conferences.
Based on experiences from this we started to create a new joint online study program, targeting part time working students in Digital Business Management.This will include competency development that help students to accomplish challenges in smart factory, data driven and robotics environments.