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Building Community with CLICK-Virtual Exchange

Gazelle International, as our namesake invokes, works with education innovators, the ones ready to break out and lead the way for students to thrive as globally ready graduates. CLICK/Virtual Exchange provides us with a powerful tool to build communities of “gazelles,” enabling teachers and students to collaborate across countries deploying the skills and knowledge needed to build our common future.

Building Community

Our CLICK system creates the space for an “international community of like-minded individuals.” CLICK teachers collaborate, encourage, exchange ideas, and learn about new practices as they join our workshops and run their first projects with our wraparound support. Our cohort model builds synergies with each stage of matching, training, support a,nd assessment. Take a look at the video below and hear what two of our teachers have to say!

So how does our cohort model work to create this sense of community among CLICK teachers? Teachers usually join Gazelle’s CLICK training cohort without prior partners. This parallels the formation of student teams in the actual CLICK projects with no prior personal connections. In our first two training workshops, teachers explore learning goals and compatibility while learning the strengths of all the teachers in the cohort. Teachers have agency in matching by rank ordering their preferred partners within the cohort, cheekily called “speed dating.” In our third training workshop, we work with these new teaching partners to design their collaborative CLICK project to run the next semester.

Supporting Community

The “special sauce” in Gazelle International’s CLICK system of Virtual Exchange is our wrap-around support. And a key ingredient is the CLICK Coach, who participates in the Explore-Connect-Design training workshops and then continues working with all the teachers in the cohort as they launch their projects with their students. Indeed, the CLICK Coach is with the teachers right through the end of their projects, applauding both faculty and student accomplishments and sharing metrics to measure their own and their students' success. And Nancy Ruther, as the lead facilitator, is always on-call with an anecdote from a past project or with a fresh idea to spark the teaching team’s solution or to suggest a next step. Here is another short video of teachers commenting on support and CLICK’s value for their students.

Are you one of the “gazelles” on your own campus? Do you want to create a CLICK community on your campus? Join us in creating your virtual exchange cohort in Fall23 - see the Workshop Schedule. Have questions? Contact us, and let’s talk about how to start your own VE experience!

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