e-Learning to Aid International Student Transition: A Case Study.
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The number of International Students at Australian Universities has grown substantially and this has been beneficial to University communities. However, this presents some challenges due to the diverse backgrounds of incoming students. Areas of diversity include English language skills, cultural backgrounds, technical knowledge, IT skills, exposure to e-learning, learning experiences and expectations. In order to address these issues, we have introduced an Experimental Design Module that is done at the beginning of semester. The students work towards producing a written piece of work but the process is divided into a range of integrated exercises. Through these exercises, the students are introduced to a range of e-learning tools such as discussion boards, e-quizzes, online lectures and tutorials. In the process, they get to know other students in the class which helps with social integration. They are also shown some examples of Australian professional communication skills and get to practice using them. All of the exercises improve their scientific English language skills. This exercise has improved independent learning and performance in the topic.