Innovation Area 3 -Social Innovation

O'Hanlon, Dave (2021) Innovation Area 3 -Social Innovation.


"Opportunities to engage with learners from across the globe (without leaving the classroom) can provide rich learning experiences for stu dents who may not have the resources, confidence or time to study abroad. Feedback from students and reflections of staff engaged in a 2019/2020 project designed to foster online experiential learning between students from Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Community College of Baltimore County highlighted several ways to enhance the student learning experience.

Whilst most students valued the experience, a more sustained time together was found to be critical to help students appreciate the chal lenges of intercultural teamworking. Nurturing student self reflection on intercultural teamworking was also seen as necessary to make the most of the experience.

Having previously facilitated intercultural teamworking using the Team Based Learning (TBL) approach within the physical class room, the author identified Online Team Based Learning (Clarke et al., 2018) as a possible teaching and learning strategy for similar projects in the future. Online TBL was implemented by faculty within a number of programmes in AIT last year. Student interview and survey data are currently being analysed as well as qualitative observational and questionnaire research with students who com pleted online TBL within another Irish third level institute.

Preliminary findings suggest that in order to facilitate Online TBL feasibly across borders in a manner that prompts reflection on inter cultural teamworking there are some key requirements that need to be addressed in future iterations:
- A seamless online experience of the steps of TBL for staff and stu dents
- Regular team debriefing and evaluation coupled with culture focussed reflections
- Appropriately designed application exercises from faculty trained in TBL
- Effective balance of time allocated between synchronous and asyn chronous interaction"

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