Institutional Context: SUNY Empire State College A SUNY solution for working professionals Over 18,000 students Undergraduate and graduate, incl. MBA 34 locations around New York State, as well as online learning Modalities: fully online, local study groups, residencies, totally independent studies Offshore international programs.
On the photo (left to right): Dr. Antonia Jokelova, John Hughes, Jeannine Mercer, Dr. Anant Deshpande, Lorette Calix, Dr. Val Chukhlomin, Dr. Bidhan Chandra, Amy Giaculli (all – SUNY Empire State College).
Mastering American e-Learning by Valeri Chukhlomin, Bidhan Chandra and Anant Deshpande
iMOOC 101: https://www.coursera.org/courses/imooc
iMOOC 102: https://www.coursera.org/learn/imooc
A systematic review of competencies
needed for international students and
working professionals to successfully
navigate U.S. online learning and
virtual work environments
The iMOOC Project:
Dr. Val Chukhlomin
Dr. Bidhan Chandra
Dr. Anant Deshpande
Center for Distance Learning
SUNY Empire State College
Saratoga Springs, New York
Online = Global
Online global learning adjustments
One lecturer (program,
institution) projecting to the
whole world (MOOC)
A divided online classroom
(a SUNY COIL model)
Both sides must
learn how to adjust
A non-U.S., international online
student in an all-U.S. virtual
classroom (an IDL model)
The student needs
International online learners
in U.S. universities
• 33,561 students from abroad take regular, for-credit
online courses in U.S. universities
• 974,926 international students are studying in the U.S.
(IIE Open doors, 2014/2015)
• 1/3 of students in the U.S. take at least one online course
(Babson survey, 2014)
• Closely related populations:
– First generation immigrants in U.S. educational institutions
– Working professionals outside of the U.S. employed by U.S. companies.
Denver, June 2, 2016
Institutional Context: Empire State College
A SUNY solution for
Accredited by Middle
34 locations around
New York State
Over 18,000 students
A large online program
Small classes (up to 25)
New York City
Typical barriers for IDL students
• Organizational (distance, textbook delivery, costs)
• The use of technology in distance learning environments
• Language, culture, expected role and behaviors
• Academic system, classroom structure
• Academic writing, oral communications, formats
• Professional language and contexts
• Self-directed learning, motivation, time management.
Chukhlomin, V., Deshpande, A., & Chandra, B. (2013). Strategies for bridging
cross-cultural barriers for international students’ success in American
asynchronous online degree programs. The South African Journal of Higher
Education, 27(6), pp. 1477-1486.
• Attract and retain international online learners
o Better understand barriers for IDL
o Learn how to overcome barriers
o Develop a competency-based approach
o Identify and map required competencies
o Design competency gap detection tools
o Suggest self-developmental techniques
• Create a multiuser online platform
o OER + Coursera xMOOC
o + Partner universities
• CDL+IP, SUNY-wide and beyond.
iMOOC as a multiuser online platform
• A MOOC for INTERNATIONAL students
• An INTEGRATED MOOC
• Pilot length: 6 weeks (March 23 - May 2, 2015)
• Students: 4,671; countries: 141
• Original content guides (23 units, 83 elements)
• Videos (85+)
• 27 self-assessments
• Self-reflective final paper (peer assessed)
• Discussions: 16 pages of threads, 1,300+ posts
• Student-generated videos
• Statements of Accomplishment:
• Survey and assessment.
1. International (non-U.S.) students residing outside of
the U.S. and studying online at U.S.-based colleges
2. International (non-U.S.) professionals residing
outside of the U.S. and working remotely for a U.S.-
based company or organization.
3. Incoming to the U.S. international students
4. U.S.-based working professionals interested in
refining professional skills
Major barriers Some examples of challenges for non-native learners
Technology - Unfamiliar with specific ways of using technology
- Unfamiliar with technical terminology used in U.S.
- Not skilled in communications with U.S.-based
helpdesks and IT personnel
- Not skilled in conducting teleconferences
- Not skilled in the use of American English
- Unfamiliar with idioms, professional slang
- Unfamiliar with American culture, ways of doing
things, expected behaviors
- Cannot adjust to the way American classes function
- Unfamiliar with ways of discussing/debating things
- Not sufficiently skilled in academic writing
- Unaware of academic integrity requirements
- Unaware of the need to use style manuals
- Lack of presentation skills
Major barriers Some examples of challenges for non-native learners
- Unfamiliar with the organization of American education
- Do not know how to use the college intranet
- Not aware of typical classroom roles, expected
- Not used to learning independently
- Do not know how to get academic support
- Didn’t take required prerequisites
- Unfamiliar with the organization of professional life
- Not experienced in conducting teamwork activities
- Do not know local professional contexts, legislations.
Local contexts - Unaware of local contexts, events, popular themes
- Insufficient motivation
- Low self-efficacy (self-belief)
- Not used to self-regulated, active learning
- Close mindedness, low interest to other cultures
- Unable to change.
A competency-based approach
to overcome barriers
1. To overcome barriers and master American eLearning,
non-native students need to develop a set of
2. Competency: an ability to perform tasks based on
awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes (AKSA)
3. 6 majors competency areas (technology, language and
culture, U.S. academic systems, communications and
professional contexts, personal attributes)
4. Barriers are conceptualized as AKSA gaps; to help
students detecting gaps, we use a self-diagnostic tool
designed for this course.
• Course logo
• Course poster
• Course homepage
• Outreach (Metro)
• SUNY GLOBAL
• Department of State.
Thanks to ESC OCGR!
Organized “satellite” groups
• ESC International Programs
• SUNY New Paltz (two cohorts)
• EducationUSA and American corners in Indonesia
In search for new partners!
• Orientation for outgoing students to the U.S.
• Support for dual degree programs with U.S. colleges
• An ESL resource
• A community of practice for educators (researchers).
iMOOC: Expected learning outcomes
• Identify and examine key competency areas needed to
effectively navigate U.S. online learning and work
• Identify required levels of proficiency in each
competency area in terms of awareness, knowledge,
skills and attitudes.
• Explain how potential gaps in awareness, knowledge,
skills and attitudes can result in forming barriers to
learning and work performance in U.S. online learning
and work environments.
continued on the next slide
Expected learning outcomes (continued)
• Discuss effective strategies, best practices, skill-building
techniques and available resources that can be used to
eliminate gaps and alleviate barriers.
• Assess perceived levels of proficiency in each
competency area, identify gaps in awareness,
knowledge, skills and attitudes and develop individual
strategies for improvement.
• Develop self-directed learning skills to perform more
effectively in U.S. online learning and work environments
and enhance employability skills.
Thank you for attending this session!
The courses are accessible at:
On the photo: The iMOOC101 course development team,
Saratoga Springs, NY. November 2014
A Presentation at the annual NAFSA Conference, Denver, 2016.