Global Collaboration

Q2. Collaborating With Other Cultures

20. Global Collaboration


In this Quest, you will review the skills needed to connect and engage with learners from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. Take some fun quizzes to find out how open you are to working with people from different backgrounds and reflect on how you would handle cultural differences when you experience them.

Key Vocabulary

Culture: Culture is the beliefs, attitudes, and values that a group of people share. This may affect their dress, their behavior in a given situation, their religious customs, and more.

Cultural empathy: Cultural empathy is having an appreciation and consideration of the differences and similarities of another culture in comparison to one's own. People with cultural empathy are more tolerant and understand cultural differences.

Non-verbal communication:  Non-verbal communication refers to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, eye contact (or lack thereof), body language, posture, and other ways people can communicate without using language.

Gesture:  A gesture is a deliberate body movement, especially of the hand or the head, that signifies meaning to the person observing the gesture.

I Can Statements

  • give examples of how cultural differences can impact a global collaboration opportunity

  • explain why understanding and respecting non-verbal communication and cultural differences is important when doing a global collaboration.

  • explain how non-verbal communication can have an impact on communication


1. Your teacher will ask you to participate in an activity that helps you understand the importance of non-verbal communication.

2. Now review the Non-verbal communication rules for doing business in Japan. 

Options for viewing and access: Use the slide show embedded below, or this document Non-verbal communication rules for doing business in Japan.

3. With a partner, brainstorm three-five behaviors you would avoid in a Japanese business meeting. Your teacher will direct you to place your ideas on an index card (to post to a board or wall) or to use a technology resource such as Padlet, or an online word cloud tool to share your ideas with your classmates.

4. Open this document about the US Business Culture, and compare this to the suggestions for doing business in Japan.

5. How would you describe the Japanese business culture? How would you describe American business culture? How are they alike and different? Either individually or with a partner, create a  Venn Diagram to explore these cultural differences. You can do this on paper, or using an online Venn diagram creator such as the one in Creately. Be sure to take a screenshot if you use an online tool.

6. Discuss in class what conclusions can you make about communicating and doing business globally?

7. Culture Quiz

7. Take a quick culture quiz from an organization that helps people collaborate globally.

How much do you know about working with other cultures? Find out by taking this quiz, “Working Globally Across Cultures.”

8. Share your thoughts about the quiz in a way your teacher directs, such as a group discussion or a Padlet.

Guide to Business Cultures

9. When you are finished with the quiz, use this Guide to Business Cultures to choose ONE of the cultures from the quiz.

  • Your teacher may assign one or allow you to select a culture.
  • Pay special attention to Etiquette and Customs and Meetings to find out how you would need to show respect for this culture in a global collaboration.

10. Copy or download and fill out the Reviewing Global Cultures template. Your teacher may ask you to:

  • Work in partners or small groups.

  • Communicate your learning about this culture by sharing out key ideas with your classmates in some way, such as creating a digital poster, a hand-created poster, or a slide or two for a short slide show. Be sure to highlight key ideas about business and communication in this culture.

11. Why is cultural awareness important?

11. Consider what you have learned about cultural empathy, non-verbal communication, and preparing for cultural exchanges.

Your teacher will review the options for you to reflect on these questions, possibly with the class as a whole, in small groups, with partners in a pair and share, or on a discussion board or some combination of those activities:

  • Why is it important to be aware of the cultural preferences of a group when doing a global collaboration?

  • What might a good global collaborator do to prepare for cultural exchanges?

  • How can non-verbal communication have an impact on a conversation?

  • What skills and actions will we use as a result of these new understandings? In other words, what competencies will we demonstrate?

11. Save the answers you develop to these questions to help you with a future Quest, where you will create a “Global Citizen in Action Guide” to demonstrate the competencies you have mastered as a global collaborator.

12. Readiness for Global Collaboration

Now, let’s look at your readiness for Global Collaboration. You will take a Global Collaboration Survey to review your skills in these areas:

  • Cultural Empathy
  • Communication
  • Team Work

12. When you are finished, you will set two goals that will be used to evaluate your progress through this Thing.

  • Choose two questions from the survey that indicate areas where you could develop your skills.
  • With a partner, brainstorm ways that you could improve these skills.
  • Use this template to:
    • identify your goal
    • 2-3 steps to take toward improvement
    • a statement about how you will know if you have met your goal once you have completed the Quests and a Global Collaboration.
    • You will return to this goal sheet in your final quest to reflect on how your skills have changed.

Completing this Quest

In order to successfully complete this Quest you will submit the following resources as your teacher directs:

  • Venn diagram showing similarities and differences between Japanese and American meeting culture
  • Digital poster, slide or slides, or hand-created poster sharing the meeting customs from other cultures
  • Global Collaboration Survey
  • Am I Ready to Collaborate Globally? Goals Chart

  Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

   I am ready for the next Quest, Speaking Out about Global Issues

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

Empowered Learner
1a. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Global Collaborator
7a. Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.