Building Communication Skills for Science Students in Videoconference Tutorials
AbstractFor several years, students from the International Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wollongong, Australia, have participated in ‘global learning’ subjects with students from universities in Ireland and the U.S. Weekly international videoconference tutorials have been the main teaching and learning strategy in those subjects. The Australian students explore science topics of international significance and learn through participation in discussion, debates and presentations with their peers in Europe and America, informed by preparatory readings from a broad range of perspectives and guided by academics. Data on the effectiveness of this approach were gathered through online student surveys and staff and student interviews. Coordinators, tutors and students responded positively to the global learning subjects, reporting the development of students’ communication skills and international perspectives. This case study suggests a global learning approach using international videoconference may be an effective strategy for the development of science students’ communication skills and offers recommendations for the adoption of global learning within the sciences.