A campus course Intercultural Sensitivity has begun at TSU. It is designed for students to communicate with their peers from another country as an alternative in a situation of limited mobility. In it, students unite in international teams and work together on assigned tasks, improving their skills of working in a global virtual environment and developing intercultural communication skills. The approbation of the course showed the success of this new experience of interaction between different departments of TSU and international partners.
In the second semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, students took the Intercultural Sensitivity English course. Joint development and implementation of the course is the result of collaboration between TSU and Saxion University of Applied Sciences, School of Applied Psychology and Human Resource Management (Netherlands). The course is designed to develop intercultural competence and gain positive experience in project teams using various online platforms.
The course was organized in the COIL format (Collaborative Online International Learning). This form of organizing joint educational activities seems to be an alternative to exchange programs in a situation of limited mobility because it helps students to communicate with peers from other countries and acquire intercultural communication skills in practice. In particular, these are the ability to:
communicate/behave in intercultural groups;
evaluate the communicative behavior of others;
adapt your communicative behavior to achieve your goals;
see cultural differences, to successfully communicate with each other;
find common goals and objectives in working with global teams;
use/select the appropriate digital tools to ensure effective interaction;
develop English communication skills in authentic situations.
Tasks for independent work on the course are focused on reflection on previous experience of intercultural interaction. They reflect cultural diversity and initiate a dialogue of cultures, and they presuppose a critical analysis of strategies and the search for constructive ways of interaction.
The course program is designed for a mixed audience: students of Tomsk State University and Saxion University of Applied Sciences were united in pairs and triplets to jointly solve cases planned as an integral part of the course, in addition to participating in seminars and lectures. A total of 105 people from both universities took part in the approbation of the course. As a result, students defended their presentations on how they will apply the knowledge gained. After completing the module, students will receive certificates from TSU and Saxion University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands).