This study examined the impact of an intercultural communication course in arts and humanities on the intercultural competency (ICC) among a group of university students. ICC was defined as “the capability to accurately understand and adapt behavior to cultural difference and commonality.” Globalization has led to increased contact between different cultures, so individuals must know how to communicate between one another and to understand the culture behind the communication (Melles & Frey, 2017). Students must strive for acceptance and understanding of religion, language, communication style, music, or any other aspect of culture. The research questions were: (1) What is the starting level of ICC among students in the intercultural communication course? (2) How does the ICC of students change after their experiences in an intercultural communications course? Data was collected using the computer-based, online Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), developed by Hammer and Bennett (1998, 2001), which identifies five orientations toward cultural differences: denial, polarization, minimization, acceptance, and adaptation. For compari-son data, investigators used previously collected data from more than 700 undergraduate students enrolled in a human relations course between 2010 and 2018. Additional data was collected at the beginning and at the conclusion of the communications 16-week course, in order to measure changes that possibly occurred as a result of the course experiences. This provided baseline and comparison data. Additional data will be reviewed after collection in an intercultural communications course. Investigators expect that the study may show that the instructional methods of the professors and the course work in the College of Arts and Humanities will lead to a positive growth in ICC among undergraduate students. The study offers insight to help determine the efficacy of teaching methods to develop ICC. Results were shared among faculty members seeking to infuse instruction with strategies to foster ICC.
Arndt, J., & Thomas, O. (2019, May 25). Intercultural competencies among undergraduates in the College of Arts & Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Presented at the 2019 World Congress on Undergraduate Research, Oldenburg, Germany.
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