Exploring a Standardized Training Framework that Provides Individualized Student Experiences

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Exploring a Standardized Training Framework that Provides Individualized Student Experiences
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Michelle J. Cummings-Koether, Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Germany
Oscar Blanco, Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Germany
James Larson, Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Germany
Ayelen V. Tocano Juanes, Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Germany


Since modern workplaces and universities are becoming increasingly diverse, there is mounting pressure for universities to provide intercultural competency training for students. Various approaches for teaching intercultural competencies exist and are reliant on intercultural experts. Not all universities can provide intercultural experts to deliver training internally. Meanwhile, outsourcing to external trainings may not adequately address context-specific theory or practice. To address this need, the UNIT FOUR framework was developed to provide a repeatable, standardized one-day workshop teaching intercultural competencies for university students. The modular framework’s combination of theory and practical components were designed to allow any qualified instructor to teach intercultural competencies and provide a regular positive educational experience while maintaining sufficient flexibility for individualized cultural experiences for students. The UNIT FOUR framework was intended to be taught virtually to accommodate modern teaching during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This framework was implemented at one of the most internationally diverse campuses in Germany to explore instructors’ and students’ experiences. Students reacted positively to the UNIT FOUR framework in terms of learning new information and having an individualized cultural experience. Interculturally-trained and non-interculturally trained instructors reported varied experiences with this novel training format while students reported positive experiences with both types of instructors. This early exploration into a standardized training format hints at an effective and repeatable format to support instructors in a virtual teaching environment.

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