Online Collaboration between Arab and Jewish Students: Fear and Anxiety


  • Manal Yazbak Abu Ahmad Sakhnin College for Teacher Education
  • Elaine Hoter Talpiot Academic College



multicultural backgrounds, online collaboration, exploring minority culture, changing attitudes, small group work.


This study examines students in an online, collaborative, yearlong intercollege course. Arab and Jewish students from five colleges of education in Israel worked in virtual teams. The data includes pre and post questionnaires as well as open ended questions and ongoing reflective journals. The results of the t-test indicated that the perception of other participants  in the group improved significantly among Jewish and Arab participants -4.38. This was backed up by the qualitative data.  Initially, the students expressed apprehension towards working with people from the other culture and fear of leaving their comfort zone.

Author Biographies

Manal Yazbak Abu Ahmad, Sakhnin College for Teacher Education

Dr. Manal Yazbak  Abu Ahmad, Ph.D, is the Head of the English Department at Sakhnin Teacher’s College and the director of Access Micro-scholarship Program which is financed by the American Embassy. For seven years, she has been co-teaching a joint intergroup online learning course entitled “Dealing with Diversity” between the Arab students of Sakhnin College and Jewish students of David Yellin College in Jerusalem.  Furthermore, she is an expert in teaching and collaborative learning strategies in an online multicultural environment and international relations which is reflected through her courses: “Exploring Culture through English Literature” which she teaches with 5 different colleges in Israel and “Global Understanding” with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was a member in the EU International DOIT TEMPUS project in which they developed six syllabi for multicultural education. Her research areas are dealing with diversity in Israel, changing attitudes, e-learning/online collaboration, intergroup dialogues, organizational culture in the Arab colleges in Israel.


Elaine Hoter, Talpiot Academic College

Dr. Hoter is a pioneer of the Internet teaching an online collaborative course in 1995. She is senior lecturer and coordinates the M.Ed program in English as an international language at Talpiot College, Holon. She is one of the founders of the award winning TEC Center (Technology, Education and Cultural Diversity) where she is head of pedagogy for all the school projects since their commencement She heads the team building virtual reality Islands as a neutral place for  participants to meet learn and socialize as well as the TEC think tank on cultural diversity at the Mofet Institute meeting with the experts in the field on a monthly basis to further educational projects between Arabs and Jews. She is currently heading a team from 7 colleges writing a MOOC on multiculturalism where participants experience being part of the “other” group through simulations and avatars. 




How to Cite

Yazbak Abu Ahmad, M., & Hoter, E. (2019). Online Collaboration between Arab and Jewish Students: Fear and Anxiety. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 21(1), 62–81.