How Technology is Changing Study Abroad Research: Implications for Pedagogy

Abstract

Research in academia is experiencing a high-tech makeover and significantly affecting the ways in which study abroad researchers now plan and carry out their studies. The digital revolution (e.g., advances in communications technology, social media, data processing software) is affording more insight into the language and intercultural development of student sojourners and this, in turn, is providing much-needed direction for pedagogical interventions. In this session, the presenters will review key developments in the use of technology in study abroad research and provide concrete examples of the ways in which quantitative and qualitative data may be gathered at strategic intervals to deepen understanding of what actually happens on stays abroad (e.g., the use of technology to track the sojourn learning of Asian international exchange students/pre-service EFL teachers). As this presentation will explain, technological advances are assisting with the rapid processing of multiple types of data (e.g., statistics, hypermedia, digital images, interview transcripts). This is enriching our field, raising awareness of the complex internal and external elements that can impact sojourn learning. This presentation will stress the importance of bridging the gap between research and practice, and vividly illustrate how technology can play a pivotal role in this process.