Horn Article Review #4
Originally, I started looking into PBL in another class because the idea I have for my Health II redesign would involve turning the class into a series of problem-based units. I’m still learning more about PBL and the design layout of a PBL course, but I like the idea of allowing students to focus their learning on topics that are interested in within the unit topic. I want to still be able to integrate the necessary content for Health II, but it would still require me to semi throw away the current curriculum document. I stumbled upon this article and was intrigued by it because it not only focused on PBL but PBL in an online setting.
The article I chose for my review was, A pilot study: Facilitate cross-cultural understanding with project-based collaborative learning in an online environment. This qualitative study had three specific research questions it aimed to answer 1) How can cross-cultural learning take place in a 3C online environment through project-based collaborative learning? 2) What are students’ perceptions of project-based collaborative learning in a 3C online environment? 3) What types of students’ communication happened in project-based collaborative learning in a 3C online environment? Overall, I found this research relevant as oftentimes in classrooms and online courses at all levels of education students have a different cultural background. Online education provides students all across the world to connect, learn and grow together. Cross-cultural learning is going to become even more prevalent in online education as it advances and grows on a global scale. Learning how to help students of different cultural backgrounds connect online, communicate and collaboratively learn is something I see beneficial for all educators, but it is especially critical for online instructors.
When I started reading the article I wasn’t sure that it was going to be able to answer all of the research questions that it presented and I listed above. I was pleasantly surprised by the organization of this article. Not only was it easy to read and comprehend, but it was also easy to navigate and find the results of each research question. After reading the results, I found that they not only answered all of the research questions but had overall positive results with the experiment. The biggest limitation of this study was the fact that it had a very small sample size. Shadiev, Hwang, and Huang (2015) acknowledge this by saying, “this study had a small sample of students and a short period time allotted for the learning activity, which restricts generalization of the results.” They suggest to help with this limitation, “in the future study, more students from different classrooms around the world will be involved; this will enable the generalization of the results and it will represent more games and cultures.” I would like to see the results of a larger sample size so that I have a better idea of the results of this experiment can be replicated.
The researches set out with a four-step method for the process of the experiment that included 1) Self-introductions, 2) Introducing a folk game 3) Play a game and 4) Online face to face meetings. I thought this design of the four-step process was reasonable to satisfy the needs of their research questions. In the first week, they spent time building the online PLE by having students introduce themselves and their culture. Students were required to respond to their classmate’s posts. The goal of this first week is to create a community of learners and bridge their cultural differences with mutual understanding. During the second week they introduced different folk games from their personal cultures, teaching students more about themselves as well as introducing more about their culture. They explained the history of their folk game as well as why, when and how the game was played. During week two they played folk games of different cultures and prepared a presentation to present to the class about what they learned in week four. I thought that this method provided them with the opportunity for students to work individually as well as collaboratively on their PBL folk games together. Overall the student’s and instructors’ perceptions of learning cross-culturally online with this PBL method were positive. I would like to know how/if the results would be different with larger sample sizes.
Shadiev, R., Hwang, W., & Huang, Y. (2015). A pilot study: Facilitating cross-cultural understanding with project-based collaborative learning in an online environment. Retrieved from https://ajet.org.au/index.php/AJET/article/viewFile/1607/1253