Title: Teaching in virtual environments to enhance intercultural understanding between Germans and Peruvians

Authors: Kerstin Bremser; Mariella Olivos-Rossini

Addresses: International Business Department, Faculty of Business and Law, Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, Tiefenbronner Str. 65, 75175 Pforzheim, Germany ' School of Economics and Management, Universidad ESAN, Av Alonso de Molina 1652, Monterrico Lima 33, Peru

Abstract: This teaching brief describes a novel form of acquiring intercultural competencies and foreign language skills in the classroom through the use of virtual environments. Two universities in two different cultural settings (Germany and Peru) coordinated the lecture times of their classes on cross-cultural competencies in such a way that after a few theoretical introduction sessions, classes were jointly taught through the use of videoconferences. Empirical evidence showed that the main achievements of the videoconferences were a better understanding of the other culture (including stereotypes) and awareness of differences in communication patterns, differences between low context and high context, and different value orientations in regards to monochromic and polychronic use of time. In contrast, the main challenges were technological and administrative in nature.

Keywords: intercultural competence; cross-cultural competence; synchronous technology; virtual teams; internationalisation at home; mediated technology; Peru; Germany; teaching; e-learning; distance learning.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2017.10004864

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.13 No.5/6, pp.635 - 646

Received: 14 Dec 2015
Accepted: 06 Apr 2016

Published online: 04 Sep 2017 *

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