Develop communication and collaboration skills within international teams
“Cuyutlán salt in search of the European market” was the theme of a 4-week international collaboration initiative held in Oct/Nov 2016 through the Columbus Hub Academy platform (http://www.columbus-hubacademy.org/), which aims to stimulate the design and implementation of online international teaching-learning projects. Both Belem Barbosa (University of Aveiro) and Claudia M. Prado-Meza (University of Colima) volunteered to participate in an international collaboration activity. Columbus staff did the matching. The project took place in September and October 2016 and lasted 4 weeks.
The participants were 23 students from University of Aveiro’s Digital Marketing (BA in Marketing) and 10 students of University of Colima’s Integrative Business Management Workshop (BA in International Business). The Integrative Business Management Workshop features a set of case studies. One of them was about the development of an internationalization plan for Cuyutlán salt, whereas the assessment requirements for Digital Marketing included the development of a small website following optimization and content development procedures. These two regular activities were combined in the collaboration project. The Portuguese students acted as digital marketing consultants, assisting the Mexican students in their internationalization plan assignment, and developed an essential digital tool for that strategy: a website.
Team collaboration was processed using digital media, such as online conference calls, e-mail and online chat, presentation videos that were shared online, and recordings of class presentations. The Mexican students participated in the assessment of the Portuguese students by voting on the best website. They were also able to present the Xnal results to the managers of Cuyutlán salt (los Salineros), whose opinions were also taken into account in the assessment of all the teams that participated in this project.
According to three focus groups that were conducted after the project, amongst its main outcomes were:
Collaboration is a great tool for rethinking what we do, why we do it, how we could do it differently. Without compromising the normal functioning of the course unit, and using incremental innovation strategies such as the one presented in this case, it is possible to incorporate new and challenging learning outcomes such as those related to soft skills – linguistic, intercultural, international, digital, team work, etc.
Digital tools enable “real” communication with students elsewhere in the world, breaking the classroom walls and linguistic and physical borders, as well as collaboration with the community and businesses.
Created in 1973, the University of Aveiro quickly became one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in Portugal. Now a public foundation under private law, it continues to develop and implement its mission to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education, to generate research and promote cooperation with society.More information