A workshop exploring how cultural norms and values impact the multicultural groupwork assessment process

Visram, Zabin (2015) A workshop exploring how cultural norms and values impact the multicultural groupwork assessment process. In: The University of West London Teaching and Learning Conference 2015: Changing landscapes, re-thinking practice, 29th June, London, England.

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Abstract

In today’s multicultural society students can expect to work in multicultural groups as part of their professional practice (Sweeney et al. 2008; Krishnamurthi 2003). Therefore the ability to work in multicultural groups is seen as an integral part of a student’s competency within higher education (Papov et al. 2012).

Multicultural group work provides for many benefits. The greater diversity in communication styles helps development of intercultural competence (De Vita 2000; Popav et al. 2012) and increases performance in team project tasks (De Vita 2000). Equally it provides challenges due to different cultural behaviour patterns. As Bourdieu (1990) and the Hofstede (1980) model identified, each culture inherits its own societal behavioural norms. A lack of knowledge of the differences in members’ social norms and values may provide for conflicts. Particularly within the multicultural groupwork assessment process as student socio-cultural expectations of verbal communication norms may be challenged (Popov et al. 2012). International students from more passive teacher led approach to learning (Kim and Davis 2014), unfamiliar to verbally challenging and debating with other students ideas face-to-face. (Vryonides 2007); Cox and Blake 1991) may find small groupwork daunting as the nature of the assessment requires them to adapt to a set of cultural norms different to theirs (De Vita 2002; Kimmel and Volet 2010).

Workshop Format

The aim of this workshop is to bring awareness of how cultural norms may impact the group assessment process.

The workshop provides an opportunity for lecturers to explore their own understanding and experiences of the cultural behaviour and societal norms international students bring to the groupwork assessment process. Clearly cultural diversity cannot be stereotyped as factors such as age and gender can affect groupwork dynamics. However in order to capitalise on the benefits cultural diversity brings and help lecturers become better aware of the different socio-cultural norms and behaviours international students bring to the groupwork assessment, the workshop will present the Hofstede model’s set of indices that quantitatively describe national cultures. The workshop will then attempt to unravel whether having this informed understanding of different cultures, derived from literature, can better help lecturers maximise the benefits multicultural group work assessment brings.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Education
Hospitality and tourism
Depositing User: ZABIN VISRAM
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 14:07
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 14:53
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2285

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