The essence of the intercultural competences micro-module
Our Intercultural Competences: Guiding Practical Insights through Citizen Science micro-module (or ICCS for short) is a novel collaboration between innovative universities from the ECIU network. Together with seven universities, we have gathered expertise and insights to provide you with a new form of education: one that is targeted to your needs!
Intercultural competences form a foundation of our social interactions and are a required skill in your professional career. That is why we want to already provide you with the opportunity to gather and improve on your skills as a student. Find the development that you need in our new ICCS micro-module!
- You receive a professional assessment of your intercultural competences skill level.
- You take part in engaging lectures that you can choose on foundational insights of intercultural competences.
- You are coached by our professional coaches to continuously improve your skills and reflect on how you grow.
- You can immediately implement your newfound knowledge and skills in a real-life Citizen Science project, together with students from the other ECIU universities.
- All course components can be followed online.
Please note that this course is held entirely in English.
The ICCS course has three main components: the Citizen Science project, the Expert Meetings and the Coaching & Reflection, which are all elaborated below.
The most important aspect of learning any skill is knowing how to put it into practice! That is why the ICCS micro-module is centred around a Citizen Science project. Within citizen science, research or scientific work is done by members of the general public, often in close collaboration with professional scientists who guide or direct the process. This means that citizens, alongside scientists, play a key role within the purpose, structure and execution of the scientific work. There are different degrees of participation for citizens in citizen science, from only helping in data gathering (crowdsourcing) to setting up the entire project with limited (initial) input of the scientists. Some examples of citizen science are the following:
- Distributing intelligence to let citizens help classify galaxies, which led to the discovery of Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel of Hanny's voorwerp (Dutch for "Hanny's object"), an enormous green gas cloud in the cosmos.
- Designing an artificial pancreas for diabetes patients by combining a glucose monitor and administrator system through an online community.
- Citizens measuring the groundwater level in their region for national/regional monitoring, such as is done with the SmartPhones 4 Water project in Nepal.
Within the Citizen Science project, you will be working on a proposal for a citizen science project on a topic of your own choice. The end result of the project is a presented proposal in which you elaborate on the aim, purpose and structure of your chosen citizen science study and how you plan to execute your hypothetical study, taking into account the cultural aspects of the citizens who you would need to collaborate with as a scientist. For this project, you receive insights from the Expert Meetings and support in the form of coaching (see both below).
We have gathered experts from all over Europe to help you gain fundamental insights into intercultural competences, how you can further develop them and what (scientific) issues underlie them. In addition, we support your Citizen Science project by giving you hands-on information and examples of how citizen science works and what its strengths and risks are. During the 3rd, 5th and 7th week of the course, we will host a large variety of Expert Meetings on the topics of intercultural competences and citizen science that you can follow. These will be scheduled throughout the week at various times to provide a flexible course. You have to follow at least one Expert Meeting within each Expert Meeting week (so one in week 3, week 5 and week 7; at least three meetings in total, but more are, of course, encouraged!). Since each week will give you important insights for your project as well as your own development, you will need to divide and conquer with your team and reflect on the sessions you attended with your peers. A great way to already strengthen your communication skills! After registration, you will see the complete overview of all possible Expert Meetings that you can attend. A selection of the topics that we offer can be found below.
- International team management in an intercultural context (by INSA Groupe).
- Universal values at the core of cultures (by Kaunas University of Technology).
- Building blocks of citizen science (by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona).
- Use of digital devices and social media in Citizen Science project (by the University of Trento).
- Cultural differences and cultural orientations (by the University of Stavanger).
- The privilege of power (by the University of Twente).
In order for you to grow within your intercultural competences, you need to understand what your starting level is, how you can improve and check that your skills are improving. We provide the first two aspects to you by giving you a professional assessment of your intercultural competences level as part of the course (free of charge) and by giving you the tools to understand intercultural competences as a whole within our Expert Meetings. The final aspect of the learning cycle is to help you take a look at your communication and project skills and see how you can work more effectively in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team. We provide four Coaching Sessions for you and your team to assess your skills and form an understanding of how you can further improve. These sessions will take place in the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th weeks of the course. During these weeks, you can plan a meeting with your coach alongside your team to discuss your collective efforts and plan your continued improvements. In addition to the coaching, we ask you to reflect on your progress with a short Reflection Report. This will help you see your improvements over the course of the micro-module and will guide your efforts to continue growing, using the methods you received in all aspects of the module!