Highlights from the Integrating Global Learning Research Seminar

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One of the projects that at first, I
didn’t understand where they were going and as they’ve refined the project the
idea of doing mapping at institutions and mapping with intentionality so
mapping, using for instance those rubrics those AAC&U rubrics that I referred
to earlier and perhaps all three of those rubrics, coming up with an idea, an
understanding of what it means to have a student or students engaged in global
learning and not only students but the faculty members and the staff that
everybody in an institution would be in meaningful ways, engaged in global
learning, and that they’re interested in identifying a process that
institutions can follow, that will allow them to self-examine the extent to which
they’re fulfilling those various approaches. What I like about it
is it’s not an approach that says, here’s a list of activities or courses that
people need to do or to fulfill. It’s based more on the sense that there are
certain kinds of learning that can occur in certain kinds of areas, through certain
kinds of experiences. That’s really what they’re after. I think there’s real
promise in that. That’s one that has particularly got my attention. The
things that I’m most excited about as an outcome from this seminar would be
not just the theoretical and the the research that comes about it but
actually the kind of on-the-ground changes that could potentially happen to
teaching and the type of support that we give institutionally maybe, to how to
more effectively prepare faculty to you know to guide deep learning in these
global experiences. Maybe even preparing students to better be
able to navigate those, I guess be ready for those experiences with a
knowledge or an understanding of where they might go and where they could
potentially go. Even some of the pitfalls of saying what might also
happen that might not be so wonderful. An important conversation, a recurring
conversation, and a theme that we threw out that is the extent to which
our institutions, faculty, administrators are taking into account intercultural
learning. Our institutions, what I’m a hearing here and growing awareness
of this or in many cases people came with an awareness that the kinds of
structures that we set up in our institutions, which are designed to help
accomplish or achieve or increase the likelihood of certain kinds of student
learning are not necessarily connecting well with certain kinds of global
learning and among those intercultural learning. And it’s fun working with
people and teasing out that a little bit and seeing people grappling with and
questioning whether the things like certification programs or other
kinds of labeled programs with international in the title are in fact
necessarily helping students to grow and develop inter culturally. And that’s
for me a very exciting part of this. Our group has kind of coalesced on the pre
pre. We have the opportunity of a university circumstance where everyone
has to go. So the university has made the commitment that everyone shall go to
study abroad. And that particular university, it’s not mine, has
a wide variety of students in terms of what you might consider at risk for
college success in terms of first-generation college student, wide
range of SES, and variables like that. And so we’re really curious to know what do
you pick and do those kinds of things, do those sort of demographic factors alone
predict it. We’re also going to throw in a pre-departure self-efficacy
for socio cultural adaptation scale and so we’re going to look at what you
pick and then we also are going to be able, hopefully be able, to get
institutional data and some post data to look and see if it changes how many
global and globally engaging courses you enroll in later, if it affects rates to
graduation, if it affects the graduation rates. But I think when we
ask about access and is study abroad appropriate for everyone, I think that
pre pre question is a critical part of the story. Another project that I think
is really promising is a more traditional approach in terms of the
kind of research idea, and that is the idea of pre testing and post-testing
students with an eye to understanding to what extent the students are learning
inter culturally. And they’re trying to figure out ways instead of using one of
the many instruments that are out there for that purpose. They’re trying to
understand ways perhaps through examining artifacts, perhaps through seeing the way
that students respond to case studies, perhaps through seeing the way that
students respond to certain inter culturally based activities, they’re
trying to understand how they might code those activities and that might
speak to the extent to which that student is developed along something
like the developmental model of inter cultural sensitivity. I think that’s
really exciting as well. For me, the most exciting part about the outcomes of the
seminar would be to see real change at not just institutional, but cross
institutional wide to the profession of teaching. I’m accustomed to using the
inter cultural development inventory in a lot of my research, which is
fine and it’s a good thing to do and I’m glad that I’m able to use it. I’m also
really interested though in what happens to researchers when they’re looking
for ways not to replace that, but ways to complement that. What are the things we
can do qualitatively that will allow us to complement our understanding
quantitatively, that mixed methodology approach. That’s another one of the projects that’s I think is
really exciting, really promising. We’re trying to look at a bigger picture sort
of thing I think a lot of the examination of global learning has been
at sort of the course level and we’re looking at much bigger factors here,
institution level factors, entire faculty level wide factors. We’re looking at
bigger picture kinds of issues here at the seminar and we’re looking at the way
that those issues actually play together and I think that’s a very exciting way
to do it and really can only happen in this multi institutional context.

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