Plos One | Development and evaluation of an instrument for the measure of the international learning environment status

At the same time with welcoming international students from all over the world, higher education institutions have the responsibility to provide international students with optimal support. The institutions need to hear students' voices, get a comprehensive understanding of their needs and expectations regarding the international learning environment, and provide according recourses timely and sufficiently. As international students are the most important stakeholders at ZJU-ISM, their perceptions of the international learning environment are highly valued and should be used for our education quality assurance.

On August 17, 2023, our researcher Xiaoming Xu at the Center for International Medical Education published her new research, entitled "Development and evaluation of the Measure of the International Learning Environment Status (MILES) in international higher education", on Plos One.

This study aimed to develop and evaluate an instrument to assess international students' perceptions of the international learning environment called the 'Measure of the International Learning Environment Status' (MILES). The authors based the development of the MILES on a solid theoretical framework from Moos by addressing three domains to measure the quality of the international learning environment, namely goal direction, relationships, and system change and system maintenance.

The authors have designed and constructed the instrument in three steps. Firstly, they collected items from relevant existing instruments and grouped them into the three domains via content analysis. Secondly, they applied a Delphi procedure involving international higher education experts from different stakeholder groups and from different cultural backgrounds to identify and reach a consensus on the items comprehensively covering important elements of the international learning environment. Thirdly, they carried out an initial questionnaire evaluation. The final MILES consisted of 47 items with 13 in the first domain, 17 in the second, and 17 in the third domain.

Xiaoming is attending a podcast producing program talking about international higher education

The content of the domains was clearly in line with Moos' theoretical framework and the authors interpreted the sets of items as goal direction, relationships, and supporting services, respectively. This study provides a comprehensive and systematically developed instrument for future research to better understand international students' perspectives towards the international learning environment that are supported by stakeholders from a range of cultures.

This paper collaborates with two researchers from University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, Nicolaas A. Bos, and Johanna Schönrock-Adema.

Link to the full article:

Dr. Xiaoming Xu at ZJU-ISM: