1. Conferences
  1. Learning at City Conference

Session 1D

Paper 1

Internationalizing Higher Education: Designs for a Cultural Management Pedagogy

Dr Thomas Robinson - Lecturer | Cass Business School

Dr Martin Rich - Senior Lecturer | Cass Business School

Internationalized modules contain students from many educational, social and cultural systems. This results in is a lack of obviousness about even basic issues (conceptual frameworks, written and spoken genres and behaviour). This paper proposes to engage with underlying cultural assumptions in learning and teaching to optimize leaning of curricular content.

We explore multiculturalism in a UG module, which averages 73.4% international students (2013-2018) from 58 different countries. Student evaluations from 2013-2015 (2458 respondents) suggested that, in comparison with monocultural classes, teaching efficiency was hampered by cultural confusion about basic issues (concepts, written and spoken genres and behaviour). Students were not culturally attuned with the class and teacher, which in turn influenced issues of affect and motivation.

In 2016 we designed an intervention: 1) explicitly framing underlying cultural assumptions before moving on to specific curricular content, i.e. explicit rules for oral and written styles, but also behaviour, and Bloom’s taxonomy, 2) switched to practice-based learning by introducing new concepts through in-class games to illustrate the practices of abstract meanings; 3) flipped the classroom for students to engage in the practices and rules we set up.

Drawing on 2458 respondents from the 2013-2015 period and 2434 respondents from the post-intervention 2016-2016 period, teaching and understanding scores went from an average of 3.6/5.0 to an average of 4.5/5.0, while module standard went from an average of 3.5/5.0 to 4.4/5.0. These scores are reflected in the qualitative feedback where the intervention is explicitly addressed by students: “practical exercises that help our understanding of theoretical concepts” or highlights the usefulness of “interactive learning” or how “interactive exercises keeps everyone’s attention.”

Internationalization is sought after across the Higher Education sector but introduces serious didactical challenges. We propose providing an in-class platform for reflecting on cultural assumptions in interpreting curricular content as an integral aspect of teaching highly internationalized modules. Drawing on Wittgenstein’s concept of language games we propose a ‘cultural management pedagogy’ for highly internationalized modules and discuss opportunities and limits for its implementation across disciplines and institutional settings. Finally, we ask about multicultural certification as part of branding international higher education.

Output for the audience: While internationalization is often articulated as inherently desirable and beneficial to HE institutions, this study highlights serious challenges when internationalization is actually attained. The take home is tools and measures that can be implemented to the benefit of students and teachers.


Fahrutdinova, G.Z., 2016. Ethno-Pedagogical Factor of Polycultural Training. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 11, 1185–1193.

Horton-Ikard RaMonda, Munoz Maria L., Thomas-Tate Shurita, Keller-Bell Yolanda, 2009. Establishing a Pedagogical Framework for the Multicultural Course in Communication Sciences and Disorders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 18, 192–206.

Melnyk, B., Morrison-Beedy, D., 2012. Intervention Research: Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Funding. Springer Publishing Company.

Thomas, E.J., Rothman, J., 2013. Intervention Research: Design and Development for Human Service. Routledge.

Tomalin, 2007. Supporting cultural and religious diversity in higher education: pedagogy and beyond: Teaching in Higher Education: Vol 12, No 5-6. Teaching in Higher Education 12, 621–634.

Tomayess, I., 2014. Multicultural Awareness and Technology in Higher Education: Global Perspectives: Global Perspectives. IGI Global.

Zarate, G., 2011. Handbook of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism. Archives contemporaines.

Paper 2

Towards a set of measurable guidelines for CPD courses to aid lifelong learners to achieve best attainment of learning outcomes

Dionysios Dimakopoulos - Computing: Subject Co-ordinator | Research & Enterprise, Continuing Education

Having created a set of guidelines to meet the unique needs of lifelong learners on CPD courses, we will share results aligning learning analytics and learning designs. The results will show how our set of guidelines fared in making a CPD course more engaging and approachable to busy lifelong learners.

Learners on CPD courses often find it difficult to achieve all learning outcomes (LOs) offered [1]. Although most barriers are well documented [1, 2], our focus is on course level where barriers presented are: mis-advertised courses due to obfuscated syllabus; unclear LOs; no time management guidance on the work required to achieve LOs; misaligned materials with LOs. As a result, students fall behind and frequently drop out of courses.

This paper presents a set of guidelines that help develop CPD courses approachable and easy to follow by lifelong learners amidst their very busy lives, while providing guidance to help learners achieve all LOs offered.
To create unambiguous and informative learning designs, both for staff and students, we use the Learning Designer (LD) [3]. We will demonstrate how to use LD to

  • create designs with correctly set and aligned learning outcomes, using Bloom’s taxonomy;
  • represent learning time for each activity;
  • create guidance for students to help them achieve the LOs set.

To create a learner-friendly course we will present

  • how multi-level LOs, dependent on the time learners dedicate, can help engage learners.
  • how simple techniques, such as publishing small videos, can aid learning even during a very busy week.

Using the LD Moodle export, we will show how a design created in LD can be visualised in Moodle to inform learners of all LOs available per activity, provide guidance on how to achieve these LOs and indicate the timescale required to reach the target.

We will showcase learning designs that were created following these guidelines, retrofitting an existing CPD course. We will explain how we measure success of implementations using learning analytics. As we are rolling out these guidelines iteratively to a small set of courses, we will present results of the success of the guidelines, as well as future directions.


  1. van Rhijn, T., Lero, D., Bridge, K. and Fritz, V. (2015) “Unmet Needs: Challenges to Success from the Perspectives of Mature University Students”, Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 28(1), pp. 29-47.
  2. Fenty, Debra; Messemer, Jonathan; and Rogers, Elice (2016). “Adult entrances and exits: What does retention literature inform us about urban adult higher educational participants and student success?” Adult Education Research Conference.
  3. Laurillard, D., Kennedy, E., Charlton, P., Wild, J., Dimakopoulos, D. (2018). Using technology to develop teachers as designers of TEL: evaluating the Learning Designer. British Journal of Educational Technology. 10.1111/bjet.12697.