When taking online courses at a U.S.-based university or telecommuting for a U.S. company, foreign-born
students and professionals oftentimes run into pitfalls, no matter how technologically
savvy they are in their native environments. This is because U.S. online
environments tend to be based on American culture and American ways of doing
things. This may make even ordinary things confusing to non-Americans abroad.
In order to better understand and master American eLearning and other U.S.
virtual environments, international students and foreign-born professionals
need to know how American universities and companies use the Internet to
organize work and study, develop and execute projects, communicate ideas,
collaborate and solve organizational and technical problems. By taking this
course, you will learn how to enhance your cultural knowledge and assess
potential skill gaps that may hinder your online experience or negatively
impact your performance in U.S. virtual work environments. Throughout the
course you will systematically review competencies required for online work, come
to better understand common barriers for non-native students and professionals
in U.S. virtual work environments, learn about effective strategies and develop
plans for self-improvement
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
Recognize six key competency areas (domains)
that you should better understand in order to master American eLearning and
U.S. virtual work environments.
For each competency area, you’ll systematically
review and examine required levels of proficiency in terms of awareness,
knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Examine how gaps in awareness, knowledge, skills
and attitudes can cause barriers to learning and work performance in American
eLearning and other U.S.-style virtual environments.
Identify and explore effective strategies, best
practices, skill-building techniques and helpful resources that can be used to
eliminate gaps and alleviate barriers; discuss those with peers across the
Self-assess your perceived level of mastery in
various levels of competencies, identify gaps in your awareness, knowledge,
skills and attitudes and develop personal strategies for improvement.
As a result, perform more effectively in
American eLearning and U.S. virtual work environments, develop self-directed
learning skills and enhance employability skills.
The course can be used in a variety of ways. It can be taken as a
stand-alone course on Coursera or it can be integrated with credit-bearing
courses offered by the State University of New York’s Empire State College (see
Module 8 for details). In addition, it may be integrated with orientation
courses offered for incoming and on-campus international students by SUNY and
other U.S –based universities and adopted as part of credit-bearing activities
by international universities outside the U.S.
Download course poster.
The course consists of eight modules.
Module 1: Introduction: Learn about barriers to effective online
learning in U.S.-style virtual environments and how a competency-based approach
can help overcome these and other barriers
Module 2: Review technology-related competencies
Module 3: Learn how to overcome barriers of language and culture
Module 4: Learn how to communicate ideas effectively
Module 5: Understand the United States academic system
Module 6: Examine the specific competencies and prerequisites
required to successfully navigate American professional contexts
Module 7: Conclusion: Learn how to make sense of
self-assessments and to plan for the future
Module 8: Find out how you can get U.S. college credit for this