"Beforehand we didn’t talk at all": Contribution of online study groups to the social and academic integration of immigrant students

Nelly Elias, Meital Amzalag, Yael Kali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inclusion of immigrant students into higher education is of major social, political and academic importance. Hence,much effort has been made to identify factors that are essential for their successful integration into the academic world.One factor that has received only little attention is online networks, and specifically—the online study groups that offerimmigrant students important learning, cultural and social resources. Accordingly, this study aimed at (a) examining theobstacles that immigrant students encounter in their participation in OSGs; (b) identifying ways for a more active onlineparticipation; and (c) determining the role that such participation plays in immigrant students’ social and academicintegration. These goals were achieved using a case study of students of Ethiopian origin in Israel. The study wasconducted in two stages: without and with intervention, which included incorporation of a formal OSG into an academiccourse. The findings show that participation in the OSG enabled the immigrant students a better access to academicresources and new communication channels with the majority peers. As such, the study emphasizes that participation inOSGs can facilitate immigrant students’ integration into the student community as a significant step towards their betterintegration into broader social circles
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalResearch on Education and Media
Volume11
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2019

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