This paper outlines the process undertaken, identify challenges posed by working on line in virtual teams with two different cultural and educational environments, and will make recommendations relating to how on-line international projects can be embedded into different curricula.
Coventry University is one of the leading UK universities in internationalisation. The Corporate strategy places international learning and experience high on the agenda for student experience and is encouraging academics to find different and innovative ways of internationalising the curriculum. A considerable amount of literature has been published about on –line collaborative projects in different disciplines highlighting different challenges encountered. Both projects presented are within the Civil Engineering, Architecture and Building Department projects and are incorporated into their respective courses’ curriculum and module.
Third year Building and Civil Engineering students are involved in an interdisciplinary project where several groups have the option of working with their Architectural counterparts in Ryerson University, Toronto rather than those within the department. The second project involves the whole first year cohort of Architecture students working with their counterparts in South Central University in Changsha, China. By comparing two cases we will demonstrate how both faced similar challenges regardless of the discipline and the nature of the project. The projects helped develop a range of students’ soft skills and improved the intercultural understanding that is an essential attribute of the global graduate. Some practical recommendations are given about running international on-line projects.
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