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  • Dallas C. Tatman

“Two nurses, an electrical engineer, and a physical therapist walk into a classroom…”

What's it like to start a CLICK project?

Teachers sometimes worry.

Whaaaaaat?! Teachers worry? Quelle surprise!

Or, they start to feel overwhelmed as they realize they need to transition from design and start to implement a Virtual Exchange experience. A polished, final, and jointly designed project that will meet their own dreams as well as the expectations of their partner, AND be exciting for students? It feels daunting!

How will I ever get to that point?

The entire CLICK/VE process—planning, execution, reflection, and retooling for the next project are all included in Gazelle’s wrap-around support! We currently have lots of amazing teachers and exciting projects, but let’s take a live look at just a few projects germinating in our current USA-France cohort who just recently completed their training. Remember, no project is easier or harder to design than any other; all projects have their own unique challenges and rewards!

First up, we have an example of a CLICK/VE project in which the subject matter and goals are similar but the composition of the different student populations requires different strategies for grading/evaluation.

Both architects of this project are dynamic educators who work with nurses, but their challenges are not the same. The USA teacher is working with new students who are volunteering for a brand-new CLICK/VE program because they understand that cultural competence is integral to patient care. In France, the teacher has an established group with familiar faces who want to learn medical English so they can help a greater pool of patients. Realizing that patient care goes beyond what nurses can read and verbalize, these teachers are emphasizing the importance of culturally empathetic non-verbal communication. These teaching partners hit it off during the Connect phase of CLICK and are now working collaboratively to solve challenges like evaluating students across linguistic and cultural divides. By using tips and applying techniques from Gazelle workshops, these teachers are well on their way to developing a CLICK/VE experience in which participating students develop and practice specialized communication skills that will help them connect with their patients.

Secondly, we have a multidisciplinary project that brings together two different areas of study to accomplish common goals.

In this project, the teachers bring together French electrical engineering students and physical therapy students from the USA to explore and demonstrate health care applications linking physical therapy and electrical engineering, particularly in assistive technology/remote health monitoring. In addition to specific content goals, students will develop the “soft skills,” such as cultural literacy and teamwork, that are necessary to participate in an increasingly globalized workforce. The architects of this project are planning a common syllabus that allows for each of them to present material in a way that will not only resonate with their own student populations but will connect with students outside their cultural context and academic discipline.

One final thing these two groups have in common—the teachers really enjoy working together! I find myself inspired and invigorated as they brainstorm solutions to challenges and feed off each other’s creativity.

Sound like something you might enjoy? Let Gazelle match you with like-minded educators and support your vision for a CLICK/Virtual Exchange experience. Just drop in for a VE 101 session to get started!

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