Understanding International and Domestic Student Expectations of Peers, Faculty, and University: Implications for Professional Communication Pedagogy

Linda R. Macdonald, Binod Sundararajan


In this paper we present findings from the analysis of a study of the expectations of students entering a Commerce program at a Maritime Canadian university. Comparing the results of surveys conducted at the beginning of one cohort’s first, second, and third semesters, we find evidence of negative disconfirmation in student expectations of accommodation, adequate preparation through first year courses for co-op term, adequate preparation for university in academic and writing conventions, and participation. We also find increasing evidence of convergence in expectations between international and domestic students. In addition, we find a greater gap in expectations between instructors and all students rather than between internationals and domestics. We outline these results and apply the implications to pedagogical practice in the Professional Communication classroom.


Expectations; globalization; business communication students; pedagogy

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