The academic acculturation experience of international students. Insights from an evaluation of the RMIT University's 'International Student Stories' website

Morgan, B 2012, The academic acculturation experience of international students. Insights from an evaluation of the RMIT University's 'International Student Stories' website, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The academic acculturation experience of international students. Insights from an evaluation of the RMIT University's 'International Student Stories' website
Author(s) Morgan, B
Year 2012
Abstract Often the difficulties that international students face in adjusting to study in Australia are attributed to poor language levels. However, academic and pedagogical acculturation issues are also a significant cause of miscommunication, misunderstanding and disappointment for international students and their teachers. This research project evaluates a RMIT Learning and Teaching Investment Fund project which developed an academic acculturation website for international students. The focus of the website ‘International Student Stories’ (ISS) consists of mini advice segments in short video clips from experienced international students. Their stories focus on the lessons they have learned studying in Australia around four key areas of academic acculturation. The rationale for the project and its evaluation draws on a significant body of research on the impact of cultural styles in academic transition and on increasing evidence of the difficulties international students face adjusting to study in Australia. The research employs a program evaluation methodology, utilising data obtained from web surveys and focus groups. Revealed in the research findings are the significant challenges international students face to their identities as successful learners in adjusting to new classroom environments, differing cultural styles of academic discourse, knowledge creation and attribution as well as the nature of critique. It is argued that while the ISS website is an effective, introductory resource for international students, the successful participation of international students requires that the discourses of university disciplines need to be explicitly taught within the students’ programs of study.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) academic acculturation
international students
online
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