- A Mason faculty member partners with an international peer faculty to co-teach a course by linking their two existing courses via online technology.
- Shared sections of the courses focus on international student collaboration.
- Those collaborative learning activities are aligned to Mason’s Global Learning Understanding Outcomes.
The Global Collaborative Classroom (GCC) program is an exciting program and funding initiative, launched in Fall 2015, presented by the Office of Global Strategy and Center for Global Studies and funded by CISCO Systems. GCCs are courses that engage Mason students with students from universities abroad using interactive technologies. The key components of GCCs are integrated collaborative learning activities across classes and the integration of Mason’s Global Understanding Learning Outcomes.
Purpose and Goal:
Mason’s 2014-2024 Strategic Plan includes the goal to provide meaningful global experiences to Mason students. The GCC initiative is a tool designed to reach this mission.
Traditionally, study abroad was the primary way for students to be exposed to diverse cultures and languages, and obtain cross-cultural experiences. While study abroad is a good practice, the Office of Global Strategy believes that GCC classes are an added opportunity for global exchange in the local classroom and increase the number of students who can access some of the benefits of a “study abroad” education.
While students are enrolled in separate institutions and countries, they are connected via online communication tools. (GCCs can either be conducted entirely online, with face-to-face sessions using video-conferencing tools, or a blend of both.) GCC course sections will focus on global collaborative partnerships, both in faculty course development and in classroom dynamics that encourage cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. Virtual components of GCC courses include collaborative activities that are aligned to global learning goals. With the GCC model, doors to the world are opened through technology. This form of access is particularly helpful to non-traditional students who cannot travel because of family and work commitments, students in financial need who do not have extra funds to go overseas as well as special needs students who are not able to travel easily.
The elements of the GCC program structure were designed to create classes that offer meaningful global experiences, are logistically feasible and can be replicated at Mason going forward. We are achieving this by combining the best practices in Globally Networked Learning from existing successful models at other U.S. institutions.
While specific formats for how to achieve globally networked learning are flexible, a GCC must, however, include the following elements:
Faculty driven courses (at least six weeks of a course but preferably more) that will be team taught by a Mason faculty member and a faculty member from a partner institution.
- Created from existing Mason courses.
- Courses must be revenue neutral between institutions.
- Students are enrolled and receive grades from their respective institutions.
- Courses must include Mason’s three Global Learning Understanding Outcomes tied to collaborative activities.
- Students are assigned multiple collaborative assignments and at least one substantial collaborative project where they are linked with one or more students from the partner institution. A draft plan for student interactions is clearly laid out in application and syllabus.
- The faculty member must partner with a Mason instructional designer and attend training on creating successful Global Collaborative Classroom.
- Successful GCC candidates will have set up a collaborative partnership in advance of the GCC application process.
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