• Nancy Ruther, EdD

Design Pause Points

We are halfway through our Design process with Université de Lorraine! So far, we’ve been able to establish shared goals with a skeleton CLICK syllabus and are working on project content and structure.

This is an exciting time as the CLICK projects really start taking shape for our teaching pairs. While all the matches were based on their choices during the Connect workshop, some hesitation is natural as they actually start trying to mesh their teaching with someone else’s.

Sometimes, a project comes together immediately. This year, we have two drummers whose classes will be producing a fanzine analyzing popular music from each country.



We also have a teaching pair who teach Government and English for Engineering. They very quickly decided to have their students record a podcast comparing the voting culture in the two countries and even created a fun avatar of thumbs up, thumbs down!


Sometimes the points of compatibility aren’t as apparent at first glance. (There is always a language challenge, so beyond that!) Two typical pause points we see are classes at different levels or with seemingly disparate subjects. Our response? Great! What appears to be a challenge upfront provides more learning opportunities for everyone involved. Let’s take a look with two examples from this year:

One pair of teaching partners both teach biology classes.The French students are at a more advanced level than the Americans. Their CLICK project, YOU Are Biology, will involve a final project in which students will create informational posters on basic biology concepts to share with the general public in both countries. This will allow the French students to act as subject matter “consultants” as they work with the American students who provide the “fresh eyes.” This will highlight the differences in the way that each culture approaches science and help both groups learn to explain complex topics without technical language.

Another CLICK collaboration will involve American nursing students and French students studying industrial management. The teaching pair has come up with a project comparing the role of nurses in facilitating quality assurance in hospitals. This will push both groups to think outside the box as the French students adjust from questions of production to those related to healthcare. The Americans, as in our previous example, are able to help the French students understand the health field that is unfamiliar to them. Together they will develop a hospital service quality assurance guidance that will be all the richer because it takes into account the different cultural and operational contexts in France and US.

These are just some early ideas for upcoming CLICK projects. We are eager for our next meeting so our teachers can share their progress with everyone!