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NACTA 2019 Building Global Engagement Through Classroom Content

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NACTA 2019 Building Global Engagement Through Classroom Content

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A session exploring building applied global content into a university classroom. Presented at the 2019 annual conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

A session exploring building applied global content into a university classroom. Presented at the 2019 annual conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

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NACTA 2019 Building Global Engagement Through Classroom Content

  1. 1. Building Global Engagement through Classroom Content Noel B. Habashy Nicole S. Webster Pennsylvania State University
  2. 2. Overview 1. Problem 2. Two Cases: a) Grant proposals for an NGO in Kenya b) International organization to address a local need 3. Lessons learned for application 4. Questions
  3. 3. Problem How do faculty build applied and globally relevant assignments into their course curriculum?
  4. 4. • Grant Proposals for a small NGO in Kenya Objectives: • Develop practical skills for students • Create a meaningful product for an organization to promote their work Case One
  5. 5. Findings | Case One Qualitative assessment: Reflection journals students responded to three prompts: 1. What did you learn about yourself through completing this assignment? 2. Please describe a challenge you faced when working on this assignment that did not have an easy solution. 3. How did you navigate that challenge? (n=16)
  6. 6. Findings | Case One “During this grant process, I may not have enjoyed myself the whole time. But, I can confidently say this has helped me to not only refine skills I have used before, but also build upon ones I was missing. While I am by no means a professional in writing grants, this project has been a huge step in the right direction in improving upon these skills… While many will complain, it is by far one of, if not the most helpful assignment I have been given throughout my college career.”
  7. 7. Findings | Case One “I learned that I have a weakness in being able to fill in the little details. At the beginning of the project I knew exactly what we wanted to build and why we wanted to. But as we turned to writing the actually grant proposal, I found it more crucial to know all of the little details that went along with building [the project]. Writing the grant proposal made me expand my knowledge of writing professionally and more along the lines of what a large company would like to see…
  8. 8. Findings | Case One …I also learned that I enjoy trying to play devil’s advocate for the project itself. The ability to try and understand issues that might occur in the future was definitely a highlight of the project. Trying to solve these issues and find the best solution for the situation was challenging but rewarding.”
  9. 9. Findings | Case One “Not knowing what grant proposals even where in the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t shocked that I had no idea it was a highly competitive process. Therefore, I’m thankful for this class because it has set me up for real life career experiences. Not only will grant writing skills set me apart from other competitors but it allows me to understand the funding process that goes behind every project.”
  10. 10. Findings | Case One “This grant proposal assignment taught me a lot about grant writing in general and made me realize that this process interests me more than I thought it would. For somebody who genuinely enjoys writing, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed developing this project throughout the semester. Creating something that you know can truly help people in another part of the world is extremely fulfilling…
  11. 11. Findings | Case One “… Whether the grant idea gets adopted or not, the process of building an entire project around improving the lives of the youth was intriguing. Most importantly, this experience has given me the skill of grant writing which makes me a better candidate for potential future jobs and internships in international development.”
  12. 12. Themes and Lessons Learned from Case One - Underscore the significance of this work throughout - Don’t assume students recognize the transferability of related work - Provide structure, but allow ambiguity
  13. 13. Case Two - 5 undergraduate students (n=5) - Identify an international agency or organization with which to partner to address a need defined by the organization - Objectives: - Understand skills to match organizations with community needs - Develop partnership building skills
  14. 14. Case Two - Weekly assignments - Students developed deeper understanding of work of agency/NGO - Partnership development plan – weekly plan built on conversations/research for the org - Joint work efforts with organizations
  15. 15. Findings | Case Two “Although I was pushed out of my comfort zone, this assignment pushed me to believe in myself....to use the skills I learned in my other courses and put them to use in a [good] way.”
  16. 16. Findings | Case Two “I wanted to work in an organization that was internationally based, but after this assignment, I have realized that there are a number of global organizations that are working here in the US and not just in DC. I have stretched my idea of what is global and what is international and how I might fit within these types of organizations.”
  17. 17. Themes from Case Two - Exposure to international organizations is more than just searching a website - Students want to dive deep early (can have negative consequences) - Partnerships can develop over time
  18. 18. Lessons Learned from Case Two 1. Provide students with a list of organizations prior to the start of class. 2. Incorporate a virtual meeting(s) with a partner organization to talk with the students about the benefit of this type of assignment. 3. If there are more students in the class, give them the option to work in pairs.
  19. 19. Questions or Comments?

Editor's Notes

  • Stemmed from feedback of students wanting Both students and professors want class content that is applicable and can actually “do something”
    Challenges of logistics, of traveling, travel restrictions, costs, etc. that students as well as faculty are increasingly facing
    Must think about building classes that bring in as rich of as an enriching experiences as if they were traveling in country- recognize not the same as travel, but if we can be intentional with types of content we bring into the classroom, we can being to create awareness and plant the seeds for global awareness
  • NGO connection through another faculty colleague
    Areas to write proposals identified by NGO
    Wanted to be purposeful that this will actually be something that is useful for the NGO, and not a nuissance
  • I assumed students would understand the value and significance of this project. Some did, some did not. I need to share more about the significance of this work -- both from the skills learned and the potential application of the work.
    My students really struggled with the ambiguity of writing a grant proposal. In the second semester I created more phases for the students to work on things, but even still they struggled. I believe there is value in challenging them to wrestle with ambiguity, however, I would provide more time to workshop the projects and check-in over the course of the semester to help them solidify their ideas.
  • Purpose of this class assignment is two fold- 1) assist students in becoming aware of global issues, the impact on communities, systems, etc. and 2) to learn how to identify the goals and missions of organizations that are tasked with
  • Students developed deeper understanding of work of agency/NGO - (learned goals, mission and values of organization, how they priortized their work to working with communities, and how they implemented and assessed programs
  • Provide students with a list of organizations prior to the start of class so they can begin to think about the type of organization they would want to partner with for this assignment. Would eliminate some of the lag time experienced by a few students. 
    Incorporate a virtual meeting(s) with a partner organization to talk with the students about the benefit of this type of assignment.  What do both parties gain from this type of partnership (moving beyond the idea that this is just an internship --- which is not how it is structured)
    If there are more students in the class, give them the option to work in pairs should they have an interest in the same organization or if the 'partnership' lends itself to more than one student working to address this need. 
  • Provide students with a list of organizations prior to the start of class so they can begin to think about the type of organization they would want to partner with for this assignment. Would eliminate some of the lag time experienced by a few students. 
    Incorporate a virtual meeting(s) with a partner organization to talk with the students about the benefit of this type of assignment.  What do both parties gain from this type of partnership (moving beyond the idea that this is just an internship --- which is not how it is structured)
    If there are more students in the class, give them the option to work in pairs should they have an interest in the same organization or if the 'partnership' lends itself to more than one student working to address this need. 
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