The SoTL Advocate

Supporting efforts to make public the reflection and study of teaching and learning at Illinois State University and beyond…


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Business and Cultural Experiences in Peru

Written by: Dr. Aysen Bakir, Professor of Marketing at Illinois State University

Editor’s note: Dr. Bakir received a “Going Global with SoTL” Mini-grant in the 2015-16 academic year. Here, Dr. Bakir reports on the project she designed for her students, with feedback from several students as to their perceptions of learning as part of their short-term study abroad experience.

redbirdperuAs we become more connected in the world, it also becomes more important to our students to have good understanding of different cultures and have the skills that would help them to function successfully in the workplace. Accordingly, it is important that our students have the skills and the experiences to differentiate them in the global marketplace. Studying abroad (whether short term or long term) can be one of those experiences that can help our students to have better understanding of the different cultures. Study abroad can also help the students to gain the skills and knowledge needed in their development as global citizens. In fact, business schools recognized the importance of globalization and have been implementing more global curriculum in the last two decades (Toncar and Cudmore, 2000; Lamont and Friedman, 1997). Studies also show that business-study abroad programs can lead to meaningful changes in students’ intercultural development (Payan, Svensson and Hogevold 2012). I developed a short-term study abroad program to address some of these issues. The study abroad experience included company visits and cultural excursions. These activities aimed to provide exposure to how businesses operate in different cultures, types of challenges they have, and the strategies companies implement in Peru. Additionally, students were exposed to Peru’s very rich history providing a great exposure to a culture that is significantly different from that of the United States.

Students who participated in the program reported learning in disciplinary content as well as in cultural knowledge. Requirements for the study abroad experience included several elements, notably a presentation assignment that have the students reflect on some of their experiences. The following excerpts from presentations of the study abroad participants provided some perspectives regarding to their professional and personal experiences:

  • “This trip has helped me learn a lot of how business is affected by culture.”
  • “The Inca Market allowed me apply my sales strategies I have been learning in the classroom to a real life situation. It was interesting to apply these skills and see how they are similar across the world. Although it might vary due to language barrier, sales practices are almost universal.”
  • “Being in a country that did not predominantly speak English was an eye opening experience. There were many times where I relied on hand motions and body language to communicate what I was trying to say. It’s amazing how we can still communicate with people without speaking”
  • “… Peru taught me a lot of life lessons… I loved becoming more culturally aware of how Americans can actually be different and can benefit from seeing how other people live… I have learned that I need to travel more and put myself outside of my comfort zone because that is how an individual grows.”

Overall, this short-term study abroad program seemed successful in enhancing students’ professional and personal knowledge by exposing them to a different culture than they are familiar with and engaging them in new learning opportunities beyond the classroom. This out-of-class experience helped students gain business, historical and geographical knowledge to enhance their intercultural skills for more agile professional functioning in their professional futures.

References Cited

Lamont, Lawrence M. and Ke Friedman (1997), “Meeting the Challenges to Undergraduate Marketing education,” Journal of Marketing Education, 19 (Fall), 17-30.

Payan, Janice M., Goran Svensson and Nils M. Hogevold (2012), “The Effect of Attributes of Study Abroad and Risk aversion on the Future Likelihood to Study Abroad: A Study Of U.S. and Norwegian Undergraduate Marketing Students,” Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, 20 (3), 70-81.

Toncar, Mark F. and Brian V. Cudmore (2000), “The Overseas Internship Experience,” Journal of Marketing Education, 22 (1), 54-63.

 

 

 

 

 


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SoTL Podcasts

Written by Jen Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Illinois State University

headphonesDuring the last academic year, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) at ISU has introduced a podcast series called “Let’s Talk Teaching.” This podcast series brings members of the CTLT team together with guests from across campus for discussions about teaching, learning, and professional development opportunities for faculty at ISU and beyond. While new episodes are generally available on Fridays, bonus episodes are featured from time to time. Topics for podcasts represent a broad range of foci important to faculty. Each run approximately 20 minutes.

While the Let’s Talk Teaching podcasts focus mainly on practices for good teaching, several focus on scholarly approaches to teaching or SoTL including these:

There’s even an upcoming podcast that discusses SoTL that should be available in the next several weeks. A link to that podcast will be added as it becomes available.

This podcast series sparked an interest in searching for other SoTL-related podcasts that might be out there as good resources for those interested in SoTL. I found several that I will share below. There is no way this is an exhaustive list, so please feel free to add others you may know about in the comments below!

In addition, the following podcast series offer regular podcasts dealing with issues in higher education, which can occasionally discuss research on teaching and learning:


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Seeking Blog Contributors for Fall 2017 SoTL Methods Series

Written by: Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

searchIn the early days of the SoTL Advocate, I featured a short-lived methods blog series that provided overviews of three research methods common to SoTL inquiry: case study, content analysis, and survey. These blogs functioned as brief overviews of each method and provided readers with resources to better understand these methods and exemplar articles to access, as well. Recently, several readers have asked for this series to be expanded, which I think is a wonderful idea! To that end, this fall, I plan to offer a multi-week continuation of the SoTL methods series, with specific methods included in this series to be determined.

Why are the topics yet to be determined? I hope to feature guest blog contributors in this series to represent the interesting and broad approaches to SoTL across disciplines and countries. It is my aim that each submitted blog will:

  1. Define/describe the method of focus for the blog.
  2. Provide an overview of a project where this method was used, along with a reflection on WHY this method was selected over others.
  3. Offer resources for readers to view other examples or descriptions of this method in SoTL (preferred) or discipline-specific scholarship.
  4. Cite references for all resources noted in the blog.
  5. Provide affiliations and contact information for all blog contributors.

Do not feel as though you have to be a recognized “expert” on the method you write about — you just have to be willing to share what you’ve learned through reading or using the method you have chosen. Single author contributions from students or faculty are welcome, but please feel free to invite colleagues and/or students to co-contribute, as well.

Blogs should be approximately 750 words in length and should be written in a friendly and accessible manner, absent unneeded disciplinary jargon that might make a general SoTL readership unable to benefit from accessing the content of the post. Visuals (e.g., open source pictures, photos, videos) are encouraged, as more people will “click” on a blog link if a visual is attached!

If you are interested in submitting a blog for this series, please email me, Jen Friberg (jfribe@ilstu.edu), with a brief statement of interest by August 1, 2017 as I want to ensure we do not have unnecessary overlap in topics. Final blogs should submitted to me by September 15, 2017 for review and formatting. It is anticipated that this methods series will be featured in the SoTL Advocate from October-November, 2017.

A bit of information about the SoTL Advocate blog (i.e., history and reach) is presented below:

About the Blog: The SoTL Advocate was established by the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University (ISU) to highlight interesting SoTL work and encourage discussion within the SoTL community on various topics of interest to those working on SoTL at ISU and beyond. It is the goal of the SoTL Advocate that blogs will feature viewpoints of a diverse authorship, discussing SoTL projects, reflections, ideas, and topics that are representative of the global nature of the study of teaching and learning.

Blog Reach: Since November 2014, over 7000 visitors (representing 56 countries) have viewed blog content. On average, the SoTL Advocate is accessed over 40 times a week by unique viewers. All blog posts are publicized via the Twitter (250 followers) and Facebook (75 followers) accounts managed by the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL. Blog authors can request specific hashtags/attributions for these posts, as appropriate.

Blog Post Guidelines: Blogs should be approximately 750 words (500-1000 word range is acceptable). Blogs should be written in a friendly and accessible manner, absent unneeded disciplinary jargon that might make a general SoTL readership unable to benefit from accessing the content of the post. Visuals (e.g., open source pictures, photos, videos) are encouraged, as more people will “click” on a blog link if a visual is attached!

Submission of a blog does not guarantee acceptance for publication. All blog submissions are reviewed by the SoTL Advocate editor for content and form prior to notification of acceptance status. Please note that blog posts may be conditionally accepted for publication pending revision/clarification. Blogs accepted for publication under this call for contributors will be published between October and November of 2017 as part of the SoTL Methods Series.