A 5000-mile virtual collaboration of team teaching and team learning

Mikel Garant, David Dalsky

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    Certainly life on an international space station puts a fresh ‘orbital perspective’ on mutual understanding and international collaboration, but how about human interaction on earth where people are divided by geographic and cultural barriers? Social science theory suggests that people from different areas of the world may differ in terms of what they value on dimensions such as individualism/collectivism (Triandis, 1995) and power distance (Hofstede, 1986; 2001). For example, a person living in Finland may value independence and autonomous learning, whereas a person in Japan may value interdependence and learning directly from teachers. That said, regional differences and those within the same culture exist as well. For example, Japanese have been found to adopt an individualistic stance after being primed with a prompt to think about how they are different from other people (Dalsky, 2010). Other research suggests that college students living in the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido, have an independent frontier spirit compared to their counterparts in Kyoto (Kitayama, et al., 2006).

    This chapter describes an international project that involved collaboration with students and teachers on nearly opposite sides of the globe with potentially different value systems. Specifically, the current project involved two university classes with twenty-two students and two teachers collaborating in two countries separated by nearly 5,000 miles; namely, Finland and Japan. Obviously, the World Wide Web makes this possible as the Internet has changed many aspects of people’s lives including the way we communicate, (e.g. Skype, email, and instant messaging), the way that information is found and shared (e.g. blogs, YouTube, and collaborative encyclopedias such as Wikipedia), and the way we interact with information in a social context (e.g. Facebook). This project elaborated on how students and teachers used these Internet tools to collaborate internationally.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeam Teaching and Team Learning in the Language Classroom : Collaboration for innovation in ELT
    EditorsDavid Dalsky, Tim Stewart, Akira Tajino
    Number of pages15
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
    Publication date2016
    Pages164 - 178
    Article number11
    ISBN (Print)978-1-138-85765-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

    Fields of Science

    • 516 Educational sciences
    • team-teaching
    • Collaboration
    • Engligh Language Teaching
    • 6121 Languages
    • team-teaching
    • Collaboration
    • Engligh Language Teaching

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