International student consultancies: undertaking online research as learning-by-teaching
Tuesday, June 26 6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Presider:Douglass Scott, Waseda University, Japan
Ten Nordic and Baltic universities cooperated on an international learning project with small and medium sized enterprises. This devised new pedagogical methods to take advantage of digital research. We put companies from one region into client relationships with students from the other region. Companies presented issues that they faced entering new markets; while the students developed research methodologies & tools, reporting to the SMEs via email & teleconferences. Pedagogically we wished to move beyond typical problems associated with students’ use of internet-based research, and to develop strategies that would require them to interrogate data, create knowledge, and pitch ideas drawn from this. We encouraged the participants to think through issues of trust inter-cultural understanding before, and as part of, their research. We challenged them to strategise their data collection in the context of learning-by-doing. We required them to teach their clients by pitching their results and the consequences of these results. The paper will examine the pedagogical methods used, and the practices of learning-by-teaching we developed. We will present three case studies and discuss the possibilities and challenges that these presented. We will reflect upon the process and argue for it as an example of real-life learning that harnesses the internet as the basis for human-centred research and cross-cultural communication.