A new course add-on option adds short-term travel to international, online collaboration — helping more students to have rich global learning experiences, at home and abroad.
Teaching sustainability through international partnership
Kristi Straus, lecturer in the College of the Environment, knew that her students could learn an enormous amount about sustainability issues if they could place them in more global context. But traditional study abroad programs aren’t always feasible, or accessible, for many students.
So when Straus was approached by the Academic & Student Affairs in Fall 2017 to design and pilot a new “global flip” course model, she jumped at the chance to add a short-term study abroad option to her introductory course on sustainability.
Straus partnered with professors at Tsinghua University in Beijing to design an international — and internationally collaborative — component to her ENVIR 239 Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts course. The 15 students who enrolled in the “global flip” option (of 80 total students in the course) worked alongside their peers in China to tackle real environmental issues in both countries — first online, then in-person — without the time or cost of traditional study abroad.