A case study on providing international students the opportunity to enhance performance through online engagement

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Connections in Higher Education Vol. 35

July, 2012, 373 pages
Published by
N. Brown, S.M. Jones, & A. Adam
ISBN
0 908557 89 2
Abstract 

International students who come from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) and are new to Australian university study can struggle with understanding information that is delivered verbally, particularly when delivered under the traditional lecture/tutorial or didactic approach. This can be compounded by large class numbers and cohorts dominated by local students who have grown up using English as their first language. This paper examines results by NESB students from Chinese universities who have studied the core unit of Professional Communication Practice in 2010 and 2011. These students came to the Lilydale campus of Swinburne University of Technology to complete Bachelor degrees under a collaborative articulated pathway program. The majority of these students have come from limited English-speaking environments. The paper analyses their results and uses contemporary literature to form conclusions on cognitive capabilities for the cohort when studying this introductory unit on-campus. The student results and literature review demonstrate that these NESB cohorts of students performed better when comprehending and consolidating knowledge delivered through interactivity involving text, or text-based content for instruction. This is particularly evidenced by the improved results for the second wave of NESB Chinese students, who were exposed to heightened “e-text based” transactional communication (based on a social media model), as opposed to a dominant ‘in-class verbal discussion’ mode of delivery.

Keywords: Non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB), E-learning, Hypertext 

A case study on providing international students the opportunity to enhance performance through online engagement

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Gill, Robert; Verezub, Elena & Wang, Xinyang