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The Community of Inquiry in international and intercultural settings
Mittelmeier, Jenna and Rienties, Bart

Published31 January 2024
Book titleThe Design of Digital Learning Environments: Online and Blended Applications of the Community of Inquiry
Pages 152–171
EditorsCleveland-Innes, Martha F. · Stenbom, Stefan · Garrison, D. Randy

Online and blended learning environments have provided increased opportunities for international and intercultural collaborations across geographic borders. Perhaps more so now than ever before, students are engaging in interactive learning activities alongside peers from other countries. Activities such as online intercultural group work hold the potential for supporting the core values of Community of Inquiry (CoI) through an international lens, including the exchange of critical dialogue and developing meaningful (intercultural) understandings. However, the international dimension brings distinct considerations and challenges for both teachers and students in these environments. For example, national differences in language and cultural values may impact upon students’ experiences with constructing shared reflections and discourses. Cultural biases and stereotypes may also diminish students’ experiences with developing Social Presence. Such issues might be intensified in blended and online settings, where students may have more limited social interactions prior to learning activities. In recognition of these wide-ranging considerations, this chapter draws on recent theoretical and empirical work undertaken in online intercultural collaborative learning settings. In doing so, we will synthesize practical suggestions for teaching in internationalized CoI settings, with an eye towards critically engaging with internationalized pedagogies and curricula for supporting meaningful intercultural learning experiences.

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