Students Explore Museum Artifacts and Develop Intercultural Competence in Collaboration Between St. John’s Museum Informatics and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

By Christine Angel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

November 2, 2022
Karagoz Shadow Puppets, Turkey
Karagoz Shadow Puppets, Turkey

Intercultural Competence (IC) in hands-on projects within the virtual exchange environment encompasses teaching and learning practices that connect locally dispersed teachers and students to learn and work together fostering their intercultural competence in hands-on projects. Such collaborative projects provide an exciting opportunity for faculty to build on existing academic and research connections that one has with colleagues at other institutions located outside of the United States and to forge new ones and develop new opportunities for students.

My colleague, Alexandra Schreiber, leads training in intercultural competencies in the Department of Intercultural German Studies at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (UGOE). The purpose of this department is to help students grow in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. The main goal of the Intercultural Learning Lab is focused on helping students achieve the best employment opportunities while developing themselves as human beings who are respectful of others. This respect of others is demonstrated by students in their abilities to collaborate with others, communicate with people from other cultural backgrounds who also speak different languages, and their ability to use digital technologies efficiently. Virtual Exchange (vExchange), or GOLE as it is known here at St. John’s University is a teaching practice that specifically identifies these demonstrated student competencies.

Utilizing my LIS 258 Museum Informatics course as our platform, Alexandra and I engage students in the subject area of Intercultural Competence titled “Culture, Communication, and Museum Informatics.” The six-week workshop embedded into this platform introduces students to topics of museum information and intercultural communication. Together, German students and students from the United States, explore the connections of culture and communication through the use of museum artifacts. Taken out of their original context, students explore intercultural connections among a variety of museum artifacts within their intercultural teams, solve challenges and create their own online museum brochure (examples below) that comprises the group/class findings and insights through this intercultural virtual exchange collaborative program.

View Team 1 Museum Brochure (PDF)
View Team 6 Museum Brochure (PDF)