Learning Goals

Here we described the learning goals for intercultural training. These learning goals focus on important elements of intercultural training (based on literature of existing intercultural training tools).

The learning goals described in D2.1 can be used in many different types of intercultural training. For an ideal tool one would want all of these elements to be present. However, creating such a tool would be very time-consuming. This is why we have chosen a specific aim for Traveller.

The aim of Traveller is to increase the intercultural communication in young adults between 18-25 years. Intercultural communication refers to the capability of people to communicate appropriately with people from different cultures.

One of the best known frameworks for increasing intercultural communication are Culture Assimilators. Culture assimilators are collections of ‘critical incidents’ that are valid for a certain pair of cultures. These incidents have certain characteristics based on work in completed 1954:

For the purpose of developing culture assimilators, the ideal incident must describe (a) common occurrence in which a [user] and a host national interact, (b) a situation which the [user] finds conflicting, puzzling, or which is likely to misinterpret, and (c) a situation which can be interpreted in a fairly unequivocal manner, given sufficient knowledge about the culture. Finally the incident must be relevant to the [user]’s task or mission requirements.”

Critical incidents are usually presented in a written non-experiential form. After a user has observed the relevant context, they can then choose between four different responses, of which one is considered to be correct. They then get feedback based on their choice. Learning happens in three stages: 1) when the user understands that their assumptions about the behaviour within the critical incident are incorrect; 2) When the user understands what other assumptions they should have made; and 3) when the user understands on which observations these assumptions can be based.

Within Traveller there is a different focus. ‘Intercultural communication’ would generally be associated with behavioural learning goals. However, this does not fit with most of the elements present within the ‘behavioural’ branch of the eCute intercultural learning framework. “Being able to unconsciously participate in a group as a native” is tailored to a specific culture, and our aim is to teach young adults more about the breadth of different behaviours and interpretations of people from different cultures, than the depth.

-> Attitude -> Emotional goals Cognitive goals Behavioural goals
v  Stage of learner  v
(conscious incompetence)
Be able to recognize your emotions (for example fear and anxiety) when dealing with strange behaviours of another group Start learning the specific practices and values of another group Be fully present in attending to the other’s verbal and non-verbal messages
Journeyman (conscious competence) Be able to observe the behaviour of another group without feeling prejudice Understand on a basic level the differences and similarities between another group and your own Practice skills learned in the previous stage and experiment with different forms of behaviour
(unconscious competence)
Be able to share the emotions (such as sadness or happiness) of a member of another group and other’s experiences through empathy Users should be able to discriminate and select appropriate strategies in cultural contexts Be able to unconsciously participate in a group as a native

Table 1: Intercultural Training framework for eCute adapted from Deliverable D2.1

For Traveller we will focus on the learning goals present within the top-left triangle of the intercultural training framework (Table 2):


Recognize emotions that arise from interacting with people from different groups
Observe behaviour of another group without feeling prejudice
Share the emotions of a member of another group


Identify practices and values of other groups
Understand the differences between another group and their own


Fully present in attending the other’s verbal and non-verbal messages

Table 2: Targeted Learning Goals for Traveller

References in:

D3.2 – Use cases for synthetic cultures – Scenarios for Traveller and MIXER (81)