This article draws upon the experiences of three academics who collaborated online to engage students from the three respective higher education institutions (the University of Wales, United Kingdom; the University of Washington, United States of America; and the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa) to participate in a Virtual Learning Environment using Blackboard software to examine the issue of racism (past and present). This article reflects upon the nature, context and format of the online learning environment, explores the staff and student experience of participating and engaging in the conference, and considers its effectiveness for learning and teaching. The article also highlights some of the cross cultural insights that emerged concerning language, culture, and social context in respect of the issue of racism and related issues of discrimination. The creation of a virtual learning environment across three continents raised interesting challenges and exciting opportunities in respect of academic collaboration and the development of learning and teaching strategies. The article concludes by suggesting that there is pedagogical merit in using both cross cultural and virtual learning environments which may be particularly well suited to enable students to grapple with subject matters that have historically been fraught with ignorance, prejudice and pre-conceived ideas.
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Social Work | Special Education and Teaching
Buchanan, J., Wilson, S.T., & Gopal, N. (2008)'A Cross Cultural Virtual Learning Environment for Students to Explore the Issue of Racism: A Case Study involving the UK, USA & SA'. Social Work Education, 27(6), 671 - 682
Digital Commons Citation
Buchanan, Julian; Wilson, S T.; and Gopal, N, "A Cross Cultural Virtual Learning Environment for Students to Explore the Issue of Racism: A Case Study involving the UK, USA & SA" (2008). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 5.