Copy and Paste: Why Transnational Education Online Models Need to Consider Cultural Humility and Sense of Belonging

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Brief Abstract

As universities develop online programs at a rapid speed to meet transnational student enrollment numbers, it is important to consider cultural humility in student learning. This session will highlight best practices learned through a 2020 international study that can be applied to the development of online learning in transnational education.

Extended Abstract

This 2020 international research study examined student experiences in an online learning transnational education model by exploring the flipped classroom pedagogy at two Microcampuses in South East Asia. Interviews were conducted with forty-nine participants across three countries, the U.S., Cambodia and Indonesia. Participants in Cambodia and Indonesia included students, lecturers and administrators. U.S. participants included U.S. Instructors and administrators. Six Microcampus courses were analyzed through a document analysis process, which included an adaptation of the Quality Matters Rubric. Additionally, six in-person classroom observations occurred in Cambodia and Indonesia using the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol observation methods. The study used Moore’s Theory of Transactional Distance (1997) to conceptualize how dialogue, learning autonomy and course structure engages transnational students in their learning through sense of belonging.  The findings in this study indicated that transnational education models need to consider transnational student needs including: student identity, sense of belonging, course structure, interaction across borders, student plans post-graduation, and intentional content delivered through a cultural humility lens. By integrating these findings, this study’s implications focused on three main concepts: student learning in a flipped classroom model, best practices for transnational education students in online learning across borders and defining transnational education students for future research and student support. This study contributes to existing literature on transnational education and furthers the conversation by challenging the field of higher education to consider transnational education student identity, student learning goals, and the role of cultural humility in online student learning.

In this conference presentation, the presenter will highlight transnational education in South East Asia and share best practices learned that can be widely applied to: development of online learning in transnational education, cultural humility in curriculum development, and developing sense of belonging.