Towards meaningful intercultural interactions: a case study of service-learning in a business writing classroom Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bk128d22s

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  • The following thesis presents a case study analyzing a service-learning project implemented in a second-year level Writing in Business course at Oregon State University. The classroom project required business writing students to serve as cultural ambassadors and conversation partners with international students through INTO OSU's Cultural Ambassador Conversant Program. Relying on what Thomas Deans labeled a "writing-about-the-community" pedagogical approach to service-learning, I required students to write about their service experience through an ongoing reflective writing assignment and a final newsletter assignment. Using data gathered from a self-evaluative end-of-term survey, I assess the effect of the project and related classroom assignments on student-perceived understanding of selected OSU Learning Goals for Graduates and understanding of cross-cultural communication. I then analyze this service-learning classroom using activity systems theory in order to further examine the service-learning project's effect on the classroom. Through this study, I argue that this service-learning project stretched the business writing classroom, connecting course skills with the broader global learning values expressed by OSU's Learning Goals for Graduates while also addressing a local need in the community. In so doing, I expanded this business writing class from skills-based to include values.
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