9 am Monday morning, and a group of PWR 2 students are preparing
to give their research proposal presentations. But why are they
clustered around plasma screens affixed with echo-canceling microphones
and wide-angle webcams? Why are there sound partitions between groups?
Why are the students uploading the PPT images into cyberspace through
a web server program?
Ho Lee presents her research to students at the University
of Örebro, Sweden.
the audience for their research proposal presentations is sitting
in a similar classroom on the other side of the globe, at the
University of Örebro, Sweden. There, six students have webcams
and speakers . The presentations are about to begin, and the students
in both classrooms will learn first-hand about the complexities
and challenges of presenting research to a cross-cultural audience.
This is PWR,
international style. This is active learning in real time, with
real stakes: a live audience listening and giving feedback about
content and delivery. This is collaboration across continents,
where pedagogy is put into practice and we try to advance the
field’s understanding of cross-cultural communication.
by the Wallenbergs
This PWR 2
course is part of a grant-funded project sponsored by the Wallenberg
Global Learning Network (WGLN). Andrea Lunsford is PI (Principle
Investigator) here at Stanford; her colleague Brigitte Mral is
PI at Örebro. Alyssa O’Brien and Chris Alfano are the
instructional team here, with our friends Anders Eriksson and
Eva Magnusson leading the instructional team in Sweden. In Wallenberg
Hall, we are supported by Bob Smith, Dan Gilbert, and the indispensable
team: Justin, Eric, Adelaide. In Sweden, Stefan, Christer, and
Matz provide the technology while Maya and Linda will make the
classroom activities possible.
students Dennis and Eliska give feedback to Stanford student
Chris Bowen on his research proposal – on the scope
and significance of his idea, on his choice of visual rhetoric,
on how his translation strategies for communicating with an
international audience, and on his method of delivery through
webcast technology. “Work on dispositio and make more
eye contact,” Dennis told him.
here at Stanford and in a rhetoric class at the University of
Örebro, Sweden, have been presenting research proposals to
each other, working in globally distributed teams on rhetorical
analysis of cultural texts, and doing peer review on written research-based
arguments across the ocean.
The goal of
this innovative teaching experience is to enable students to work
collaboratively with a real audience such that they might develop
an understanding of cross-cultural differences first-hand.
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