The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Intercultural Knowledge Development in Culturally Mixed Group: the Role of Student’s Perceived Task Values and Task Relevance

Weiwei Li, CIE Centre for Internationalisation of Education, Campus Fryslân, the University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

Sabine Otten, Department of Psychology, University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

Robert Coelen, CIE Centre for Internationalisation of Education, Campus Fryslân, the University of Groningen (The Netherlands)


Inconsistent influences of student diversity and calls for intercultural communication competence in higher education raise questions about how and when intercultural group work leads to intercultural learning among students. This study leans on expectancy-value theory and research findings on engaging diversity in the classroom, with a strong representation of research from intercultural education contexts. Conducted in the Netherlands, this study investigated home student (n=80) and international (n=153) students’ perceived task values and task relevance and intercultural knowledge development in intercultural group work. While both groups had similar levels of perceived task values and intercultural knowledge, the international students (M=3.36, SD=.82) significantly perceived more relevance of group task than the home students (M=2.85, SD=.72). The results showed that these three variables were significantly inter-correlated and individual perceived task values and task relevance explained 4% and 15% of the variance in intercultural knowledge respectively. The complete mediation role of Individual perceived task values between two other variables was supported well in this study. Together, our findings suggest that teacher’s engaging diversity through task design in the classroom may promote student’s motivation and the effectiveness of intercultural group work.



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