Problems arising with cooperative learning of students of different backgrounds at master programs at LTH
Keywords:adaptation of international students, cooperative learning, , team building
AbstractInternational students from different backgrounds who participate in the MSc program in Food Technology and Nutrition take courses together with Swedish students for around 1 and a half years. The international students start their program in September every year and, at once, start taking the courses of the program together with the local students. Teachers of the courses of the program have experienced problems regarding the cooperative learning of mixed working groups of local and international students during the courses. Swedish students have, in previous years, developed an efficient way to work together and problems arise when international students are assigned to the groups. For Swedish students, it is not a positive experience when the teachers mix the groups with international students and they feel that the results obtained are not as good as if the groups would be formed only by Swedish students. Strategies for improving the cooperative learning in the mixed groups need to be discussed and implemented. A mentorship program for the newly arrived international students, team building activities with the mixed groups as well as seminars for the teachers on international education are either being implemented during 2012 or planned to be implemented in the near future.