Assessing Intercultural Competence in Writing Programs through Linked Courses
Internationalization of higher education is a collaborative responsibility academic and non-academic programs share to facilitate the integration of various student populations within the broader culture of the university. My dissertation project links First Year Writing (FYW) classes of domestic and international students to promote and evaluate their intercultural competence development. My research questions explore the use of reflective writing as a genre for formative assessment in the writing classroom and investigate the data it provides about students’ continuous learning. My research methodology combines qualitative analysis of reflective writing and quantitative analysis of intercultural competence development. Participants come from four sections of FYW courses spanning two semesters – Spring 2016 and Fall 2017. I collected reflective writing data from four embedded reflective journals and a final reflective essay assigned to students in each section. Using a grounded scheme, I applied thematic coding analysis of reflective writing and traced frequencies of codes. I also mapped students’ reflections onto the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS; Bennett, 1993). Results from both coding methods contextualize and interpret students’ development in both intercultural competence and writing skills. I also share pedagogical, assessment, and administrative implications for more effective teaching of reflective writing and better continuous assessment of intercultural competence skills within the context of the linked course model curriculum.