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Effect of two reflective strategies on the development of multicultural competencies among students in an online multicultural course

Cline, Lauren Lewis

Changing agricultural workforce demographics have heightened the importance of multicultural competencies needed to be successful in the industry and a multicultural society. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of two different reflective strategies (online reflective discussion with peers as compared to individual reflection worksheets) on the development of multicultural competencies among undergraduate students completing an online multicultural course. An experimental pretest-posttest design (N = 111) assessed changes in multicultural competencies using the Everyday Multicultural Competencies/Revised Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy instrument. Completion of the online multicultural course positively effected undergraduate students' development of multicultural competencies. However, there was no difference in the development of multicultural competencies between undergraduate students who completed individual reflection worksheets and students who completed online reflective discussion with peers in the online multicultural course. Pre-test multicultural competencies scores and multicultural personality scores did predict post-test multicultural competencies scores. When considering the six constructs of Everyday Multicultural Competencies individually, completion of the online multicultural course, regardless of reflection strategy or gender, did not effect the development of Anxiety and Lack of Multicultural Self-Efficacy among undergraduate students. The constructs of Resentment and Cultural Dominance and Empathic Feeling and Acting as an Ally were also not effected by completion of the online multicultural course among male students. Implications and recommendations for practice and further research related to online multicultural courses in undergraduate agricultural leadership curriculum are discussed.