Finding common ground: Enhancing interaction between domestic and international students.

Arkoudis, S., Baik, C., Chang, S., Lang, I., Watty, K., Borland, H., Pearce, A. & Lang, J. et al. (2010). Finding common ground: Enhancing interaction between domestic and international students.  The Australian Learning and Teaching Council.  

This ALTC project investigated local and international student interaction within teaching and learning contexts.  A key outcome from the project was the development of a six-dimension conceptual framework, theInteraction for Learning Framework. This framework underpinned each of the resources produced through the project, and includes:

  • Planning for interaction
  • Creating environments for interaction
  • Supporting interaction
  • Engaging with subject knowledge
  • Developing reflexive processes (includes peer based assessment)
  • Fostering communities of learners

The DVD Finding Common Ground – featuring the voices of academic staff and university students from a range of Victorian universities. (Runs for 20 minutes – available for download or viewing online via the above link).

This video outlines practical ways of increasing interaction in the classroom between international and domestic students. It introduces the Interaction for Learning Framework (outlined above) and advocates for the view that students with an international background are a resource.  The video covers a range of topics & challenges including:

  • Language difficulties
  • Rural students
  • Group work & teamwork
  • Online communication
  • Peer mentoring
  • Assessing for interaction
  • Valuing local factors as well as international ones

The Guide for Academics (56 pages – pdf download).

This guide includes a detailed description of the Interaction for Learning Framework. It also includes practical suggestions for enhancing practice (illustrated with specific examples), a background paper presenting the findings of the project and a flyer for students that highlights the benefits of involvement in culturally diverse peer groups.

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