Research studies have shown that not all cross-cultural collaborative projects can really benefit their participants. This chapter aims at illustrating how a collaborative project between two culturally different groups of students can be developed to ensure that both groups can benefit from the collaboration. In this chapter, three research studies on cross-cultural collablration reported by different researchers are reviewed. The author then presents three cases of cross-cultural collaborative projects in which she was personally involved. The first case was a collaborative project with Taiwanese students and American students as participants; the second case was joined by Taiwanese and American TESOL majors; and the third case was the collaboration between Taiwanese and French business majors. The three projects were different in terms of the objectives of the project: the nature of the students, how the project was conducted, and findings of the study.
The author applies the grounded theory method to compare and analyze her three cases of cross-cultural collaborative projects along with existing research studies on cross-cultural collaboration, and to look for important issues and patterns emerging from the data. Findings of the comparison and analysis showed that, despite the differences mentioned above, cross-cultural collaborations did share something in common and this is actually key to successful cross-cultural collaboration. The author finally suggests some important issues for practitioners to keep in mind while developing a cross-cultural collaborative project.
Collaborative Learning: Theory, Strategies and Educational Benefits, pp.15-34