Discovering OIL: The Role of Online International Learning and International Field Trips in Enhancing Student Engagement and Performance

Aaron Taylor


Online International Learning (OIL) is an innovative teaching paradigm that facilitates intercultural competence via meaningful online discussions between higher education practitioners and students in distant locations  (de Wit 2013). OIL has been elucidated as  a collaborative  form  of pedagogy that enhances ‘virtual mobility’, collaborative learning and the student experience (ibid).

Similarly, international field trips allow students the opportunity to enhance their cultural awareness by active learning and immersion in new, dynamic and exciting learning environments (Jakubowski 2003). Piggott (2012) argues higher education students revel in experiencing real situations that can often bring what is taught in the classroom ‘to life’.

The case study integrated OIL and international field trips as a combined pedagogical strategy with the intention to deliver a best practice policy in assessment. This platform provided the opportunity to share ideas and views, discuss good business practices, explore cultural differences and encourage debate on current global affairs. It is contended that this practice not only fills a ‘gap’ but is in fact a unique strategy that has not been identifiable in any literature to date and is much deeper than the OIL-only strategy conducted by Villar-Onrubia and Rajpal (2015).


Online International Learning; internationalisation of the curriculum; cultural awareness; best- practice assessment; international field trips

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