Chapter 7: From Local Seminars to International Teaching and Learning Exchanges: The Cross-Cultural Collaborations Project
Reviewed by Lacie Gwinn
This chapter depicted an international, interdisciplinary online learning exchange on interpretations of poetic works. The chapter included students from Clemson University, Tidewater Community College, and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The purpose of the chapter was twofold. First, it summarized the objectives of these classes and how the students performed. The second goal was to understand the practical and technological perspective of a cross-cultural learning exchange, with thought toward how others could implement similar work.
The authors did an excellent job discussing the challenges and solutions of seeking an effective "globally networked learning environment (GNLE)" (pp. 184–185) for discussions to take place. The hyperlinks the authors provided throughout the chapter best demonstrate the devices used in the project. Specifically, links to the instructional pages for students include samples of the discussions that took place.
The chapter largely focused on the implementation of the online discussions between Swedish and American students, and reflected on what the authors learned. The chapter offered an important discussion about the challenges of setting up an international discussion using an electronic learning environment. Further, there are examples that helped demonstrate how the students interacted and learned. The chapter included a video of students reflecting on their learning (p. 203), but like previous chapters, the video worked only in certain formats. Even so, the transcript provided help with the potential technical issues. The chapter took a risk in covering so much ground, but it effectively used the publication medium by linking to other documents and websites to provide the larger picture.