Innovative pedagogy and twenty first century learning skills assign substantial importance to cross-border collaboration, especially leveraging modern technology to harness learning and skill development in virtual setting. Furthermore, as with increased globalization, students need an applied global perspective to their classroom learning to be successful decision makers in the future. Based on these two pedagogical underpinnings, the Business Division of the DBW (Dubai Women’s campus) plans for a few student discussion forums in regards to student international collaborations each year.
On November 13th, 2018, DBW faculty members, Dr. Bharti Pandya and Dr. Louise Patterson led two virtual collaboration events between DBW Business students and undergraduate students of the Konkuk University, South Korea. The DBW students were from a diverse range of Human Resource Management (HRM) courses that had second and fourth year students. The Korean students, too, were from HRM courses offered at the Konkuk University. DBW students exchanged ideas on many topical subjects including professional ethics, collective dispute resolution and employability of HRM graduates in expanding multicultural economies. This international perspective was of particular interest to the DBW students given the international dynamics of the UAE workforce. The fourth year students focused on technological innovation in modern HRM practices, especially harnessing the promise of artificial intelligence in effectively managing a global workforce.
Professor Heajung Lee, the counter party to the “virtual class room” collaboration, was happy that the students were able to mitigate language and cultural barriers to find common professional issues to harness mutual knowledge and comparative learning. This learning experience was greatly enhanced with the participation of an international student, Ms. Christine Hader from Germany who focused on HRM practices in Europe, Korea and the UAE. DBW student, Hamda Aljallaf, responded to post-virtual session survey of the Korean collaboration as a “highly beneficial learning experience” and stressed the importance of comparative learning in an international setting, especially for the UAE given its highly diversified workforce.
The lead faculty members, Dr. Pandya and Dr. Patterson, stressed the need to expand the “virtual classroom” concept for enhanced learning outcomes for DBW students. Dr. Syed Bashir, the Chair of the Business Division, emphasized that the HCT pedagogical eco-system has many touch points for our students to engage in international collaborations thus bringing the world to HCT classrooms!
Two virtual student exchange sessions took place at Dubai Women’s College on November 13, 2018 wherein Business students from HCT interacted with the HR students from Konkuk University, South Korea. The purpose of this exchange was to bring to the classroom environment an international perspective on course related topics like Ethics in HR, Collective disputes, and Employ ability of graduates. Students from Year 2, studying Organizational Behavior discussed Ethical practices and Artificial Intelligence implemented by HR professionals in UAE and South Korea. Students from Year 4 discussed the Collective disputes resolutions implemented in South Korea and UAE. The cohort also shared the best practices embraced at their respective organizations to prepare them to become part of global workforce.
The students from both countries were enthusiastic at the end of the discussion forum and are anxiously waiting for the next virtual exchange. Christine Hader, an international exchange student at Konkuk University brought her knowledge from European countries and stated that “There is a vast difference between how labor disputes are legally handled in Korea, Germany, and UAE. I never knew that such difference existed”. Students from Konkuk University provided a positive feedback to their Professor, Heajung Lee. The response from their professor was that students “had interesting and insightful discussion and enjoyed interacting with your students”. Hamda Aljallaf was proud to actively participate in the forum and found it a beneficial learning experience.
From the faculty perspective, Dr. Bharti suggested that “in future we should consider expanding this exchange program to other fields of Business Management and to implement virtual teaching sessions between international Universities”. Dr. Louise recommended that we expand our network with global universities to have such meaningful exchanges. Dr. Syed Bashir, Division Chair of Business appreciated the organisers stating that “The feedback received from students is very encouraging. I believe, the virtual exchange program provides an eye to see the world from different perspective. It brings the World to a classroom.