Title

The Azerbaijan Connections and Exchange Program : did Spring 2005 participation affect students' worldviews?

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Marla Solomon

Abstract

This paper offers an outcomes-based assessment of Azerbaijani and U.S. student worldview shifts following their semester-long participation in the U.S. State Department's Azerbaijan Connections and Exchange (ACE) online dialogue facilitated by Project Harmony. The author presents a thorough overview of historical and contemporary connectivity initiatives in addition to the program's descriptive analysis. The author uses pre- and post- online student surveys coupled with personal teacher interviews to detect participating students' worldview shifts by asking "What effects has ACE had on participating students' worldviews?" Following the survey data gathering, the author assigns the student groups a position along a worldview continuum. Using four benchmarks as indicators, this study ultimately concludes that the program had little impact on the students as measured by factual understanding of their counterparts' country, willingness to travel to their counterpart's country, recognition of cultural similarities, and security perception. Recommendations for further research and effective classroom connectivity projects are also provided. This study may be used by education advocates, information and communication technology (ICT) professionals and official regulators to defend the need for intercultural classroom technology use supported by adequate funding.

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