CLICK's Soil Spotlight: Future Global Learning in Agriculture

PD: A young person's hands holding a handful of soil. A small green plant sprouts from the soil.

After attending this year’s Global Learning in Agriculture conference, GLAG21: Taking Action, the Gazelle Intl team is excited to explore how CLICK virtual exchange can improve and enrich your agriculture courses. Let us share in-depth our “Soil Spotlight” of how one CLICK module worked for students, faculty, and campus-wide global education efforts. Then let’s start a conversation about making new connections, CLICKing new courses, and exploring ways we can help you advance your global agricultural educational goals.

CLICK Soil Spotlight

Check out this CLICK project, “Global Understanding of Antibiotic Resistance in the Soil,” between the IUT de Nancy-Brabois, part of the Université de Lorraine, and Northwestern Connecticut Community College, to see one way Gazelle Intl has been involved in agriscience. Organizing a CLICK project in which students contributed to the “real world” beyond the classroom and made a real difference in their field and community really increased student motivation and pride in their accomplishments. It cemented teacher and campus partnerships, too. One student shared about their experience:

"I learned [...] how everyone can work together regardless of where they live and their primary language. It was obvious throughout the project just how much the French students enjoyed working with us, as we did with them, to expand our knowledge on antibiotic resistance. I thought it was a great experience, especially when we compared plate counts and shared our [data] between US and France soil."

PD: A table that describes the details of the project as seen in the main text of the post.

The Connecticut microbiology teacher had been working with the Tufts University Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment (PARE) project and provided the connection for the student teams to contribute to this database. With Gazelle Intl training, the collaborating teachers on both sides of the Atlantic created shared learning objectives for their students:

1. Content learning:

  • Know how to and actually follow a microbiology protocol properly and analyze results thoughtfully.

  • Describe and explain regulatory, technological, ethical, and social contexts of organizations in a global society, to be applied to the PARE project.

  • Show evidence of selection of appropriate information pertinent to the subject.

2. Intercultural competence and global citizenship:

  • Demonstrate ability to work in a cross-national team and to communicate complex ideas in writing in English to different audiences.

3. 21st century skills:

  • Rationalize and present solutions to problems using technology and knowledge.

  • Identify how to ask the right questions during a scientific research project.

4. Personal growth and reflection:

  • Create a diary of the project from a personal as well as a scientific point of view.

Students in microbiology and statistics courses from France and the US worked in international, collaborative teams to collect field samples and conduct statistical analyses of soils near their homes and campuses. The collaborating language teachers supported cross-cultural and language learning. At the end of the module, the students’ research was submitted to the PARE database on antibiotic resistance. It was the first time that French samples were contributed and available for further study--and the students were immensely proud of this milestone!

Student, Faculty, and Program Connections

When we CLICK, we connect--the interpersonal relationships we build throughout our virtual exchanges are precious! They change the way we see ourselves and our aspirations.

In the CLICK Soil project, students were really pleased with this global learning experience per the post-CLICK survey results. Students reported many rewards of the process: meeting new people from other countries, learning about other cultures and analyzing the similarities and differences with their own culture, practicing new work methods and techniques, improving communication skills, making new discoveries, completing the overall project, and diving deeper into subject matter. One student noted:

“This project was more than just an academic project. Rather, it was an opportunity to learn more about other cultures and other countries besides my own.”

Another student explained in great detail how her participation in this virtual exchange awakened her interest to travel outside of the US for the first time and motivated her to begin language study.

One student who participated in this Spring CLICK module was able to travel to France for the Normandy Disruptors summer program. She marked “Strongly Agree” to the following statements in her post-travel survey:

  • The experience introduced me to a new outlook and new ways of thinking about how I relate to the world.

  • The experience changed my perception of another culture or country.

  • Learning to collaborate cross-culturally prepared me for the global workforce.

  • Through the experience, I made connections with students in another country that I will maintain beyond this program.

  • I feel I was well prepared to represent my school, Connecticut, and the USA during the program.

The CLICK module had helped prepare her to represent her school well while abroad and to value the importance of cross-cultural collaboration. The travel experience was an invaluable opportunity that changed her outlook of the world, and she reported that the greatest reward from this program was creating relationships with international students.