HWL Mitacs & Industry Sponsored

Mitacs Accelerate Program (under review, 2019-2021): Case Study Scenarios and Videos for Intercultural Competence Acquisition (Stephen Petrina, Principal Investigator; Sandrine Han, co-Investigator; Jennifer Zhao, co-Investigator) $165,000

The partner for this project, D&J Education Consulting, specializes in tutoring and transitioning international students, primarily Chinese, to North American schools and universities. D&J’s expertise addresses challenges of both academic and intercultural competence for students integrating into Canadian culture. To enhance D&J’s programs for international students and adult trainees, the objective of this Mitacs project is to design and analyze users’ experience with six case study scenarios (Scaffolds, Scripts, & Videos) for training in intercultural competence. The scenarios correspond to Bennett’s (1986, 1993, 2004) “Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity” (DMIS). The DMIS promotes a movement from Denial –> Defense –> Minimization –> Acceptance –> Adaptation –> Integration. Cultural competence “emphasizes the ability to function effectively with members of different groups through cultural awareness and sensitivity” (Friedman & Hoffman-Goetz, 2006, p. 427). The “inter” prefix of intercultural competence indicates a two-way exchange of development and the give and take nature of two cultures in interaction. User Experience (UX) methodology will be adopted to elicit scenario and video design feedback understand the learning experience of the students and trainees. Taxonomy of experience (ToE) methodology is adopted to guide and help refine the product. A 35-item Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) will be utilized to measure and monitor the participants’ or trainees’ development of intercultural competence and global perspectives. In addition, a set of interview questions will be used to stimulate further discussion concerning how the respondents experience cultural differences.

Mitacs Accelerate Program (2017-2019): Smart Learning System (Stephen Petrina, Principal Investigator; Phil Winne, Co-Investigator; PhD students Jennifer Zhao & Wenting Ma) $180,000

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have attracted students worldwide to universities and organizations. MOOCs have been criticized for the lack of responsiveness and support to individual learning needs or inability to offer courses tailored to personalized learning needs. Many students struggle due to a lack of scaffolding of how to progress towards goals and tackling challenging tasks through various tactics when learning in isolation or collaboration. In this research project, we will customize and innovate on the current MOOC framework, edX, which was built in Harvard University and MIT in 2012, to build a Smart Learning and Course Management System. The pilot courses will be designed for students interested in entrepreneurship development. We will develop and pilot a highly interactive platform and coursesto engage students and guide them to actively monitor their progress toward learning objectives and develop self-regulatory skills. Evaluation of the platform will be carried out to examine whether students are more likely to develop deep learning and achieve desirable learning outcomes.