Describing Students’ Intercultural Competence after Completing a Cultural Diversity Course Online or Face-to-Face


  • Shalyse I. Iseminger Purdue University
  • Horane A. Diatta-Holgate Purdue University
  • Pamala V. Morris Purdue University



intercultural competence, online education, teaching and learning, social justice, diversity


This study describes students’ development of components of intercultural competence after completing a cultural diversity course and compared degrees of intercultural competence between a face-to-face course and an equivalent online section of the same course. Analysis of final written reflections from students demonstrated that students gained a deeper awareness of their lack of knowledge related to culture. The analysis also revealed that students in the online version of the course demonstrated higher degrees of intercultural openness and cultural self-awareness than did those in the face-to-face context. Findings from this study contribute significantly to the research on intercultural competence and the teaching of cultural diversity courses.


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Author Biographies

Shalyse I. Iseminger, Purdue University

Shalyse I. Iseminger is a postdoctoral researcher in the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University (USA). Her research focuses on student experiences in multicultural education classrooms and overcoming resistance to social justice education.

Horane A. Diatta-Holgate, Purdue University

Horane A. Diatta-Holgate is a PhD candidate in the Educational Psychology and Research Methodology program and a graduate research assistant in the Center for Instructional Excellence at Purdue University (USA). His research focuses on diversity and motivation in university classrooms with respect to developing culturally responsive classroom environments.

Pamala V. Morris, Purdue University

Pamala V. Morris is an assistant dean/director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and professor of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University (USA). Her research emphasizes developing intercultural competence and using service-learning pedagogy through the lens of cultural diversity/social justice.


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How to Cite

Iseminger, Shalyse I., Horane A. Diatta-Holgate, and Pamala V. Morris. 2020. “Describing Students’ Intercultural Competence After Completing a Cultural Diversity Course Online or Face-to-Face”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 8 (2):114-27.