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Friday, March 16 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
High touch and high tech solutions for intercultural and cultural adjustment preparation for study abroad

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Developing global competence is a must, with diversity everywhere: in our communities, the workplace, global economies. Research shows that mobility programs build global competence, but only when accompanied by a comprehensive educational global competence program with evidence-based methodology and content. These programs are mostly done in-person and are based on the belief that best global competence educational programs require a high-touch, low-tech learning environment.

At AFS Intercultural Programs we found serious limitations to doing purely in-person training, related to scalability, affordability, and accessibility. Technology is a necessary companion to in-person learning. We find that well-designed blended learning programs -- high-touch and high-tech -- are even better.

SCALABILITY: In-person programs are often too robust to be scaled up. With a blended learning program, this issue is directly addressed and resolved: the same number of facilitators can deliver the training to more participants.

We shouldn’t be concerned that time spent online is not of as high quality as in-person. It is crucial to choose what elements of a training program will be best addressed online.

AFFORDABILITY: In-person programs are often beyond the reach of those who need or benefit from them most, especially in the developing world. While there is a substantial initial cost in setting up the online environment, they are much more affordable than fully in-person trainings. Also, the online component can add methods of learning that weren’t possible before, such as forums with global cohorts.

ACCESSIBILITY: Differently abled people are sometimes left out of in-person programs, which goes against the idea of accepting diversity on all levels. The right Learning Management System, following international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), makes blended learning programs more accessible. Plus, with blended learning, learners access content at their own pace and can go back anytime they want/need, accommodating each learner’s specific needs.

avatar for Bert Vercamer

Bert Vercamer

Chief Program Innovation and Educational Products Officer, AFS Intercultural Programs
bert.vercamer@afs.org - As a professional, Bert focused on international mobility, global education, intercultural learning, organizational development, facilitation and training. He has worked in the intercultural and educational field over the past 16 years, having lived in 6 countries... Read More →

Friday March 16, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Room 8 FIT Conference Center