Global Modules: Building Cross-Cultural Understanding Through Virtual Communities
Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, USA has been a leader in online and international education. Global Modules is an attempt to bring the two concepts together. Professors at Champlain have begun to use the college's webCT software and technical expertise to create online short and flexible Global Modules with our international campuses. Champlain is now ready to take the next step and partner with other international institutions. Global Modules are designed to link the students and faculty at two or three international educational institutions for shared readings, discussion and teamwork. Their readings, chosen through consultation among the faculty at the different colleges, are designed to challenge unspoken cultural assumptions as well as promote critical thinking and collaborative learning. Students are broken up into groups with equal representation from the participating schools. As a group they try and solve various national, regional or international problems and present their findings to their peers. Group critique and reflection then round out the experience and place their work in a greater global context. The workshops will include a brief history of the Global Module program, a demonstration of the software, and a presentation of specific examples of student work. Most of the workshop will focus on a collaborative exchange of possible Global Module assignments, potential partnerships, technological limitations and opportunities, and participant feedback.
Keywords: Global Modules, International Education, Collaborative Learning
Dr. Gary Scudder
Professor of History, Arts & Sciences, Champlain College
Dr. Michelle Miller
Associate Provost, Academic Affairs, Champlain College