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UITL Grant Supports Tools for Evaluating Gains in Intercultural Awareness

Danielle Schoon and Melinda McClimans awarded UITL grant

Danielle V. Schoon, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Melinda McClimans, Middle East Studies Center, were awarded a $2,000 Research and Implementation Grant from the University Institute of Teaching and Learning (UITL) at The Ohio State University to conduct a study during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The goal of the study is to make the intercultural learning experience more impactful for students, while also contributing to the fields of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), and ePortfolio Pedagogies and Practices. Schoon’s background in anthropology complements McClimans’ expertise in education and together they will promote substantive gains in intercultural awareness amongst students in culture courses focused on Turkey.

Schoon conducted fieldwork in Turkey, via a separate $750 grant from UITL, to provide the most current on-the-ground accounts and documentation to her students, including virtual reality video. The grant will provide effective assessment tools for evaluating student cultural learning as they interact with their peers in Turkey online. These online conversations are the continuation of an ongoing Global E-Portfolio collaborative project that joins Ohio State students with peers at Turkish universities. McClimans and Schoon will also refine the ePortfolio template so that it may be reproduced in other Near Eastern Languages and Cultures courses, and perhaps other area studies programs at Ohio State.

Intercultural Development Inventories (IDI) will be conducted by Cindy Jiang, co-PI for the project, senior research associate at the Office of International Affairs specializing in evaluation, and certified IDI evaluator. The IDI, the most validated method for assessing cultural awareness, will allow the investigators to accurately measure student growth and development from the online conversations and e-portfolio assignments.

The University Institute of Teaching and Learning annually awards Research and Implementation Grants to advance evidence-based instructional practices at Ohio State.