Participants of the workshop assessed what has been achieved so far in teaching Arab media in our AREACORE network. The mapping of achievements was a prerequisite to looking ahead towards expanding our cooperation in teaching, exchanging ideas and material and using our eLearning platform more widely as both a platform for student work as well as an online teaching resource.
Each workshop participant was providing input on various themes based on their own rich teaching experiences at universities in Arab countries but also in Europe and North America. Topics discussed were “Managing students’ demands in intercultural settings”, “Digital media production in teaching”, “Teachers’ responses to teaching interculturally”, “Syllabi development” to “Inclusion of intercultural competencies” and “Gender and diversity as teaching topics.”
Joint teaching programmes – experienced already in past common winter school activities – seem desirable and look like obvious fields for cooperation in theory but face various obstacles in practice. Different semester schedules at our network universities, the need to consider at least three time zones for setting up a course time, students’ language barriers, different concepts of academic freedom and different perceptions or expectations of students for course assignments and to work in international teams are just a few of the challenges to be taken into consideration for future joint teaching programmes. Everyone agreed that this should not hinder us from continuing such joint programmes but they have to be tailored differently to make them more successful. The upcoming Winter School addresses these concerns and will therefore have online bloc sessions on two weekends in November/December 2023 and a physical meeting with all course participants spanning over a week in Berlin in February 2024.
Everyone agreed that the existing eLearning platform would need to be expanded and structured differently so that it becomes more attractive, will have a higher visibility and impact and thus, will be more widely used both as an online resource hub for teaching Arab media but also as a tool for uploading students’ course work related to our programme. This will be a joint project for everyone in our network in the coming months.