The experience of international students. Do students whose first language is not English make more use of Brookes Virtual?

Georgina Ennis-Reynolds (BE) and Berry O'Donovan (BS)

This paper considers whether international students engage in e-learning more, or in different ways, to local students. If they do, then a better understanding of that difference is needed for course and learning development. The study explored, through strategic qualitative feedback students' use of Brookes Virtual, beyond that of individual module evaluation. The research has implications for widening participation and internationalising curriculum efforts.

The study had three stages: quantitative analysis of Brookes Virtual automatica tracking data on use correlated with whether students were international or local; a detailed online questionnaire (eliciting 160 responses from students), and four qualitative focus groups with international students. A correlation was established between use and whether a student has English as a first language, international students making more use of Brookes Virtual. However, the extent and how they do this is dependant on the 'culture' of the module and how it is taught online and the research gives a greater understanding of how standard campus-based modules with an online presence are being used by traditional and international students.