Initial Results

We have completed results from our pilot semester of curricular implementation, Spring 2017.

The first semester was a small-scale pilot: we ran two sections of the course. Eight students submitted writing for the research project, and two completed follow-up interviews. Half of the participants were international (China, Thailand, and Japan). Half of the participants were domestic (including two students with international parents).

  • 6 of 8 participants showed substantive intercultural development
  • Students who engaged with the curriculum developed intercultural competence or maintained an already high level of IC.
  • Thus, there are students for whom this curriculum achieves its outcomes
  • It turns out, there are many paths to intercultural development.
  • Qualitative analysis helps us see how engagement with curriculum develops intercultural competence and writing proficiencies.

A small-scale pilot (while limiting the initial results in some ways) was helpful because it:

  • allowed us to examine data recursively, necessary for the development of a solid grounded-theory coding scheme
  • offered the opportunity for a deep-dive into different student profiles
  • gave us a closed set of 40 reflective texts with which we could come to intercoder agreement
  • directed minor curricular revisions before training more teacher-researchers to implement the curriculum the following year

We notices three key trends in our pilot data grounded theory coding:

  • Critical evaluation increases across the semester, and parallels the DMIS advancement. Critical evaluation skills are instrumental for building cultural knowledge (Deardorff, 2004).
  • Students have a high frequency of the prior conditions code during their first journal, demonstrating a consistent effort to draw connections between life experiences before the course and the content of the course.
  • In the final course reflection, students tended to emphasize writing skills more than intercultural skills, demonstrating an awareness of the university/departmental context of the interventions.

We are currently analyzing data from Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. A whole lot more results forthcoming!