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  • Nancy Ruther, EdD

Crafting Shared Goals for Virtual Exchange

CLICK: Collaborative Learning for International Capabilities and Knowledge

On Friday, March 27, we held our first Design Workshop of the Click Training Series this spring. We are happy to welcome six new teachers to our network and pleased to see the participants who have returned to design a new Click project. In these difficult times where social distancing keeps us apart physically, the enthusiasm of our network of Click teachers brings us together. Our sessions have been filled with sharing stories, laughing, and offering compassion and strength with our fellow teachers. With uncertainty surrounding future study abroad programs, now is a better time than ever to think about providing an international education experience through Virtual Exchange. By sharing some of our workshops with you all, we hope to show you the value of Click and motivate you to join us.

In the first Design Workshop, we focus on creating shared goals between teaching partners. These goals take into account a variety of levels of goals:

- Meta-goals of Virtual Exchange including global online citizenship and greater cross-cultural awareness

- Click Global Learning Goals, i.e., what specific skills, knowledge, attitudes students will have by the end of the Click module

- Discipline-specific goals: What are the goals for your home course and discipline more largely? How can Click help your students reach those goals?

Workshop participants came up with some great goals in their groups including improved written and oral communication skills, greater critical thinking, and demonstrating awareness and understanding of cultural differences in business practices. To get a better idea of some of the Click project goals that teachers have come up with, take a look at our CLICK Project Samples! You may notice that some of the collaborations are very interdisciplinary while others share almost identical home courses. Using the Backward Design approach allows our teachers to come together with shared goals before considering all the minutiae of the discipline. This affords the opportunity to create shared goals with teachers in disciplines very different from one another.

The graphic below provides an overview of our design process. Note that the goals come first and at the top! They are the most important piece of the design puzzle.

After creating shared goals, participants began developing ideas for a capstone project, which would encapsulate and help students achieve their learning goals. In two weeks, we will be working on creating the three main elements of a Click project: team building, an intermediate project, and a final (capstone) project. Stay tuned for a recap of our next session!

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