n South African Journal of Higher Education - Strategies for bridging cross-cultural barriers for international students' success in American asynchronous on-line degree programmes

Volume 27, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The increasing popularity and acceptance of asynchronous on-line programmes has led to an increase in cross-border international collaboration and partnerships between American and international institutions of higher learning to offer on-line dual degree programmes for international students. However, the success of these partnerships depends on the ability of the international students to understand and navigate the many cultural differences between the two systems, and for American institutions to provide assistance. As an institution initiating and participating in such international programmes, the Center for Distance Learning (CDL) at State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College, New York, United States (US), has sought to accommodate and assist international students studying at remote US universities from their home countries. To this end, the CDL formed an international distance learning group charged with fostering inter-institutional collaboration. One effort of this group was the development of Bridging, Bilingual, Bicultural ('3B') courses that use Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, blogs, videoconferencing, lecture capture, asynchronous discussions, and virtual worlds. This article presents three retrospective case studies and discusses how the '3B' model has been used successfully to assist international students to acculturate to distance learning.

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