IMPACT Live!

  • 1.  IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 02-19-2021 13:40:00
    1.  What strategies would you use (or have you used) to make an entire course more globally oriented? Please share with us your semester long projects, posters, Discussion Board topics or other venues that reflect on a deeper student engagement with our discipline and the world.

    2.  How would you align your syllabus with a globally oriented course?

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Leitherer
    Professor of Mathematics
    CC of Baltimore County - Essex
    Baltimore MD
    bleitherer@ccbcmd.edu
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 02-23-2021 11:19:00
      |   view attached

    When working toward a more globalized course either for fun or to meet the needs of a Global Studies program at your college, some thinking and decision making are needed along the way.

    • Which mathematics course is best suited for a global approach?
    • How is a globally oriented course different from a non-global course?
    • Do I want to concentrate my efforts on one chapter under a specific global theme or do I prefer a signature feature, e.g. a project that spans the entire semester?

    In my own case I chose an introductory statistics course since it is a transferable, general education course that bridges nicely between STEM and non-STEM majors. At my college a subcommittee under the Global Education Action Board (GEAB) evaluates course applications that want to be considered "global". One criteria that must be met for the stamp of approval is that at least 50% of the course content is taught with a global perspective (see Globally Intensive Courses file).  While I agree that this may be easier in a liberal arts course, it can be achieved in our discipline as well if course objectives and global themes merge together to create a larger contextualized playground for teaching and learning. The signature feature for my globalized course was a global HIP semester long project that followed the old GAISE guidelines and recommendations from AMATYC's Position Paper on Mathematics and Global Learning. The project had to be flexible, rigorous and relevant with exposure to global issues. As I stated before on the February blog, in global learning we are aiming for a longer and deeper period of engagement so that students can make meaningful connections between their course work and their extra-curricular experiences. 

    In a nutshell, the global HIP statistics project required students to produce a trifold brochure that had to convince someone to either visit, study in, or support a good cause in a country of their choice. They were given a project description framework and a milestone document to keep them at pace throughout the semester. I chose that format, since I wanted students to be creative in their work and become problem solvers and better communicators in the process. Indeed, student engagement increased and a deeper involvement happened on three levels:

    • Between student and student(s) 
    • Between student and instructor 
    • Between student and material 

    Students discussed global themes, data bases, and probability concepts in small groups. They helped each other with grammar and spelling, and at midpoint through the semester used a critiquing technique to give constructive feed to two of their peers. They also received recommendations for improving their work from their peers. Critiquing each other's work is similar to editing a paper in an English class and worked wonders in this project-oriented course with a global twist. Students also came more often into my office hour to submit drafts before the final brochure was due. And students engaged with research much more than they had initially intended. In the end students owned their projects and proudly showed them off to visitors at their presentation event. 

    If you want to learn more specifics about this project that can be used to start a globalized course, or want to see student work, get inspired and click on A Global HIP for a Statistics Course

    On a last token I want to say that this project happened before the COVID19 era. Instead of a producing a brochure, students could now be asked to create a webpage for an agency and fill it with country-specific information. Maybe some of you have already started on this path and can share their work. Maybe someone has created a COVID project that can serve as a signature feature? Will we get a discussion going?



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Leitherer
    Professor of Mathematics
    CC of Baltimore County - Essex
    Baltimore MD
    bleitherer@ccbcmd.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 02-23-2021 11:33:00
    This is very cool! Thank you for sharing! I especially appreciate the sample student brochures and instruction sheet for students. Having students work in their teams throughout the semester (and meet with you) is great for building engagement and a sense of community.

    ------------------------------
    Leah Beck
    Professor of Developmental Mathematics
    Collin College - McKinney Campus
    McKinney TX
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 02-25-2021 16:16:00
    Thank you for your comment, Leah. I want to clarify that student groups were fluid throughout the semester. Sometimes students worked in pairs and at other times they worked in groups of 3 to 5, but they all collaborated for the entire semester. I also want to mention that the critiquing session around midterm was by far the highest rated strategy in the course as the practice of receiving feedback on their own work and giving feedback to the work of others helped students improve their own performance along with that of their peers.  
    Students practiced active listening skills and were not supposed to interrupt a speaker. In my role as observer those rules also applied to me and were not easy to follow. However, I learned a whole lot about my students, their work progress around midpoint, and their sensitivity toward each other. It seemed that students felt their voices heard and that they did learn from their peers.

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Leitherer
    Professor of Mathematics
    CC of Baltimore County - Essex
    Baltimore MD
    bleitherer@ccbcmd.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 02-27-2021 21:35:00
    At our college, we have grants for Internationalizing the curriculum. These are mini-grants lasting a semester that pay for 3 non-instructional units (like a 3 credit course) for any faculty member that wants to modify their course and add international focus in it. I have used a grant for internationalizing College Algebra. My intention was to add international data in novel ways. For instance, instead of modelling population growth in Asia, I had assignments to calculate number of cell phones in Indonesia.

    One strategy I sometimes use is to introduce a new topic with an international story. For instance, while teaching exponential functions, I tell them a folk tale from India that I heard as a kid. Once upon a time, there was a king who was generous, loved by his subjects, but he was arrogant. One day, he was pleased with a peasant and decided to give him a reward. The king told the peasant he could have gold, silver, whatever present he wished for. The peasant was a clever man. He replied, "O King, I wish for rice for a month as follows - 1st day, I would like 1 grain of rice, next day 2 grains, the third day 4 grains of rice, doubling each day, up to a month". Hearing this strange request, the king laughed, "That's all, no problem!". But to his surprise, as the month began progressing, the royal granary kept depleting and finally, it emptied before the month ended. The king couldn't keep his word. He learned his lesson. At this point, I have the students calculate the amount of rice on the 30h day. Interestingly enough, I have heard foreign students tell me that they have heard a similar folk tale in their native country.

    ------------------------------
    Manisha Ranade
    Santa Fe College
    Gainesville FL
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Working Toward a Globalized Course

    Posted 03-16-2021 00:16:00
    I love your idea to use story telling to gain student attention. I don't do it enough, but can see that it may help with a more inclusive learning environment. You make a valuable point that examples and data need to be relevant to the students, and technology oriented themes and data are spot-on. In my globalized statistics course I use https://internetworldstats.com/ to teach misleading graphs and visualization of categorical data. It's a great site to learn about internet usage in the world and internet user penetration.

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Leitherer
    Professor of Mathematics
    CC of Baltimore County - Essex
    Baltimore MD
    bleitherer@ccbcmd.edu
    ------------------------------