Developing Engineering Virtual Experiential Intercultural Learning (VEIL) Programs

Session Fr1: Nov 12, 12:25 PM


This session explores curricular design and assessment strategies for a newly developed Engineering Virtual Experiential Intercultural Learning (VEIL) program. The VEIL program was a collaboration between Purdue University and Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) in Colombia. The program followed a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) model that connected two courses, one at Purdue and one at Uniandes. In this project-based course, Cross-Cultural Leadership Skills for Engineers, teams composed of students based in the United Stated and in Colombia worked on a project related to NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering, and/or to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students presented their project as an academic poster in the Shah Family Global Innovation Lab Expo in April of 2021. The teams received mentorship from expert faculty members as they developed their projects. In addition to the technical components, the program incorporated global and intercultural competence development into the curriculum. Students had the opportunity to work with developmental tools such as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), the Beliefs, Events and Values Inventory (BEVI), and the Intercultural Communication Edge (icEdge). Students also received one-on-one intercultural coaching and a tailored development plan. The assessment results showed a statistically significant increase in intercultural competence as measured by the IDI. This supports the idea that intentional program design and mentorship can lead to the development of these skills, even in virtual exchange programs.