METHODOLOGY

In addressing the question of what internationalisation means for East Asian students at UCPH, this project took a student centered approach to enquiring about the question and its intercultural issues. This meant a slightly different approach to working with students from a traditional university lecture style. The project enabled the students to become the ethnographic researcher in their own right, to observe and capture from the first perspective (Pink, 2015) their intercultural experience of studying at the university where internationalisation is practiced. Instead of the project members ‘teaching’ the concept and a myriad ways of defining internationalisation, the students were engaged in cultural dialogues, where the participating students shared their cultural observations with fellow students and discussed and often challenged each others’ assumptions and interpretations of the cultural other.  The project relied on producing and creating digital stories. These are symbolic tools for our dialogic enquiry of our own cultural experiences using the form of digital ethnography from the First person perspective (Pink, 2015). It ‘produces ways of knowing about the world’ based on informed discussions of the digital, visual and sensory dimensions of ethnographic practice (Pink, 2015, p. 240).

We had four monthly workshops (3 hours per workshop) during the autumn semester 2015. Topics and themes covered include the following:

Workshop 1 (Sep-2015)

  • Internationalisation from a cultural psychological perspective (Kyoko)
  • Cross cultural encounters in flesh and blood (Geir)
  • Sharing our own stories of being newly arrived at UCPH
  • How do we capture our own experiences? Digital ethnography (Kyoko)

Workshop 2 (Oct-2015)

  • ‘East Asia re-imagined: NIAS, Nordic Values, Danish society and culture vis a vis with East Asia, Keynote speaker: Dennis Nørmark
  • Discussion of the lecture and critical reflection

Workshop 3 (Nov-2015)

  • Sharing our digital ethnography work in progress
  • Group or individual tutorials with project team members

Workshop 4 (Dec-2015)

  • Presenting our own digital stories to the project group
  • Critical discussion and reflections of the stories shared
  • Evaluation of the project

 

We consider our approach as one of the unique features of the project with teaching innovation.  Active learning and teaching in the project is practiced according to the principles of dialogic pedagogy (Mercer, 2000). The students and staff’s digital ethnography work is aided by dialogic pedagogy, which harnesses the power of talk to stimulate and extend students and staff’s critical reflection, advancing their learning and understanding of their own intercultural experiences. The visual ethnography of the outsider perspective will help the UPCH collectively approach the internationalisation agenda in a Danish way.

 

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