Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 421195
Title Multicultural student group work in higher education: a study on challenges as perceived by students
Author(s) Popov, V.; Brinkman, B.; Biemans, H.J.A.; Mulder, M.; Kuznetsov, A.M.; Noroozi, O.
Source International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36 (2012)2. - ISSN 0147-1767 - p. 302 - 317.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.09.004
Department(s) Education and Competence Studies
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) learning teams - cultural-diversity - racial diversity - task groups - performance - collectivism - individualism - management - leadership - impact
Abstract This paper aims to examine challenges that are inherent in multicultural student group work (MCSG) in higher education and the differences between students from different cultural backgrounds in how they perceive the importance of challenges in MCSG. For this purpose, a 19-item survey was completed by students (N = 141) of the 9-EC (European Credits) Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) course of Wageningen University, a university in the Netherlands in the domain of life sciences with a student population consisting of over 30% foreign students from over 100 different countries. Students were required to rate on a Likert scale (from 1 to 5) the importance of a certain challenge in MCSG. Challenges for students in MCSG were analyzed using scales that centered on cross-cutting challenges and culture-related challenges in multicultural group work identified in exploratory factor analysis. To examine the extent to which culturally diverse students differed with respect to their perceptions of the importance of the challenges, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted based on Hofstede's individualist–collectivist cultural dimension. Free-riding, insufficient English language skills and students not communicating properly were perceived by all participants of this explorative case study to be the most important challenges in MCSG. The results suggest that students’ cultural background (the individualist–collectivist dimension) affects their perceptions of the importance of challenges in MCSG. Explanations for these results and recommendations for future research are provided. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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