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Using video podcasts to enhance international student collaboration in Biosystems Engineering
Curran, Thomas P.; Gates, Richard S.; Gentile, Francesco; et al.
International Conference of Agricultural Engineering (AgEng 2014) Zurich, 6-10 July, 2014 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), University College Dublin (UCD), Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) and University of Bari (UNIBA) are part of a Trans-Atlantic Biosystems Engineering Network (TABE.NET), that has been established with the overall goal to advance internationalization of Biosystems Engineering (BSEN) curricula and develop a global awareness within the discipline. A project working group analyzed the idea of the development of an international collaborative design project for undergraduate students in the participating institutions. Aims of this action were to get a change in the students' outlook to utilize in their remaining years within the university and a more internationalized resume before they finish. Further outcomes desired by the team were a second or third language acquisition and an appropriate peer assessment across cultures. The working group activity culminated in a workshop at Virginia Tech in July 2013, and involved a review of existing modules that could include international collaboration and the potential of a new class/module/course. The group highlighted many different possibilities for the class including semester/year-long exchanges, short courses, webinars, industry/global specific problems and student-designed videos. Many challenges were acknowledged such as varying semester dates, language, resources, cost of implementation, differing program structures, matching classes/modules/courses and opportunity cost for faculty/academic staff. At the end of this analysis, it was decided that the most feasible method to implement in the short term was a video podcast. This method showed many attractive aspects, such as prior positive experience among partners, low opportunity costs for faculty with high potential payoff, technical feasibility for students that could develop multi-media communication skills, development of critical evaluation, ability to provide feedback across cultures and opportunity for language training. This paper reports on the learning experience of students who took part in this collaboration across the network in the 2013/14 academic year. They were asked to create a video with technical content for an international peer audience and to assess and provide feedback for videos created by international peers. A total of 74 videos were compiled by student groups in six modules/courses/classes across a range of topics in five partner institutions. Videos were uploaded to YouTube and peer assessment was provided in the comments section under each clip. Students indicated that the video podcast collaboration was a positive experience and the vast majority felt they had improved their communication skills. The activity also led to a slight increase in the percentage of people who wanted to develop their language skills further. The students found it interesting but challenging to evaluate other students' work. 
Keyword(s): Design; International Student Collaboration; Video; Teaching and Learning; Undergraduate; Education; Biosystems; Engineering
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): The European Society of Agricultural Engineers
First Indexed: 2014-11-22 05:18:16 Last Updated: 2018-10-11 15:35:48