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Using Transnational Online Learning Experiences for Building International Student Working Groups and Developing Intercultural Competences

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 5

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Paper Authors


Dominik May TU Dortmund University

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Dominik May holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from TU Dortmund University (Germany). Currently he is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Center for Higher Education at TU Dortmund University in the area of engineering education research. In his position he is managing several research and development projects on engineering education and technical training. Furthermore he offers workshops on professional teaching and learning for engineering faculty. In his research Dominik May focuses, inter alia, on future requirements for science and engineering graduates, such as international competence, in order to become successful engineers in a globalized professional world. Therefore he designs and investigates respective educational strategies with a special focus on online solutions and the integration of remote laboratories. For his research and the development of several transnational online courses he benefits from his working experience in international companies and a broad international professional network. Furthermore Dominik May is founding member of both the Engineering Education Research Group at the Center for Higher Education and the Working Group for Engineering Education at the German Society for Higher Education (dghd).

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A. Erman Tekkaya TU Dortmund University

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Since 2007, A. Erman Tekkaya is Professor at the TU Dortmund University and Head of the Institute of Forming Technology and Lightweight Construction (IUL). Since 2011 he is senior coordinator of the MMT degree program, the Master of Science in Manufacturing Technology. Since October 2014 he is also Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
A. Erman Tekkaya studied mechanical engineering at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He finished his PhD in 1985, at the Institute for Metal Forming Technology at University of Stuttgart, with honors. In 1988, the Habilitation (Üniversite docenti) at the TC Üniversite-ler Arası Kurul in Ankara followed. From 1986 to 2005 he worked at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. After his time as Assistant and Associate Professor he became Full Professor in 1993. From 2005 to 2009 A. Erman Tekkaya was Professor and Head of the Manufacturing Engineering Department at the ATILIM University in Ankara. Until September 2013 he was the founding director of the Center of Excellence on Metal Forming in Ankara.
His research interests are metal forming technologies as bulk metal forming, sheet metal forming, bending and high speed forming, as also the modeling of metal forming processes and material characterization. In recognition of his contributions in the field of metal forming he was awarded the honorary degree Doktor-Ingenieur Ehren halber (Dr.-Ing. E.h.) by the Faculty of Engineering of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2012. In October 2014 he was awarded the International Prize for Research & Development in Precision Forging of the Japanese Society of Technology of Plasticity for process innovation, process characterization and international Leadership.
A. Erman Tekkaya is member of numerous national and international committees and cherishes memberships to national and international scientific academies and associations. A. Erman Tekkaya is "Editor-in-Chief" of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology of Elsevier for 9 years.

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This paper presents an online course for international mechanical engineering students, which was introduced in 2014 and had been carried out a second time in late summer 2015. Two perspectives inspire the course’s educational concept. On the one hand it is designed to pre-pare students for their future period of studies in an international master degree program at a German university. As the students, who sign up for this master program, come from all over the world, they all have differing cultural background and are used to different educational systems. Hence, the course’s intention is to bring them into contact with the German culture and the educational system they will be facing later on. Additionally they are enabled to come into contact with their future classmates at a very early stage. On the other hand the course is designed to enable the students in general to work effectively in international teams, which can be seen as one of the future core competence for engineers needed in professional con-texts, either at scientific institutions or in industry. This requires that the students develop practice based intercultural competences in real intercultural situations during their studies. The presented course offers such an opportunity in an online environment. As the course is fully taught online, students can stay in their home country while course participation. Using AdobeConnect as an instructional resource opens up the opportunity to run live online class sessions just as in a real classroom. That means that the participating students are present “on-ly” via Internet but work together in a transnational environment. During the course the stu-dents work in culturally mixed international teams, answer questions about their prospective destination or future mobility concepts for big cities and make use of remote laboratory equipment for basic engineering experimentation. The remote experimentation is one of the core activities during the course and with this the presented course is an example for a course design that aims at both intercultural as well technical competence development as equal course objectives.

May, D., & Tekkaya, A. E. (2016, June), Using Transnational Online Learning Experiences for Building International Student Working Groups and Developing Intercultural Competences Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27171

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