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CURRICULUM DESIGN BASED ON HOME STUDENTS’ INTERPRETATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISATION

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Author(s): ELIZABETH JACKSON | TINA HUDDART

Journal: Annual Review of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
ISSN 1743-159X

Volume: 7;
Start page: 80;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: internationalisation | curriculum design | attitudes | perceptions

ABSTRACT
Newcastle University has acknowledged the importance of educating culturally aware and diverse students by developing the strategic objective: “to deliver international excellence in our learning, teaching and scholarship activities, whilst providing an excellent all-round student experience”. One way of achieving Newcastle University‟s objective of developing itself as a truly international learning environment is to improve home students‟ exposure to such international learning. This research focuses on the internationalisation of home students, in particular stage-1 undergraduate students within the University‟s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AFRD). Since this group of students is generally characterised as not being culturally diverse, the attempt was to understand their attitudes and perceptions of internationalisation with the ultimate goal of developing new modules that are truly internationally focused.A two-phased, mixed-method approach was used to determine students‟ perspectives on their needs for internationalising the curriculum. The first phase of the research involved conducting focus groups which revealed that whilst stage-1 students from the School of AFRD are apparently unaware of internationalisation or its benefits to their education,they are enthusiastically receptive to having such concepts incorporated into their degree programmes. For the second phase of the research, quantitative data was collected using TurningPoint technology in a class of stage-1 students to determine effective ways of introducing internationalisation issues into the curriculum. Results of phase two indicate that students believe that internationalisation is the responsibility of the entire university, not just lecturers developing curricula. They also considered that working with international students provided a valuable learning experience thereby suggesting that lecturers can play a role in internationalising the curriculum by incorporating group work of mixed students into teaching and learning methods. Limitations of the research and prospects for further investigations are discussed.
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