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A Virtual Educational Exchange: A North-South Virtually-Shared Class on Sustainable Development
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
Pearce Publications: Energy Conservation • Energy Policy • Industrial Symbiosis • Life Cycle Analysis • Materials Science • Open Source • Photovoltaic Systems • Solar Cells • Sustainable Development • Sustainability Education
- Augusta Abrahamse, Mathew Johnson, Nanette Levinson, Larry Medsker, Joshua M. Pearce, Carla Quiroga, Ruth Scipione, “A Virtual Educational Exchange: A North-South Virtually-Shared Class on Sustainable Development” Journal of Studies in International Education Vol. 19(2) 140–159 (2015). DOI: 10.1177/1028315314540474. free open access
Increasingly international competence is considered and important skill to be acquired from an undergraduate education. Because international exchange presents a challenge to many students, there is a need to develop and implement alternative means for incorporating international and cross-cultural experiences into the undergraduate classroom. We report on the implementation of a semester-long, virtually-shared course offering between a U.S. and a Bolivian university. Since STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors tend to be under-represented in study abroad programs, this class sought to provide a multidisciplinary experience that could be relevant to both hard and social science majors. Furthermore, the relevance and learning impact of this class was enhanced through the incorporation of a service-learning component in conjunction with a rural Bolivian partner organization. The results of this experience show that virtually-shared class-room experiences can successfully facilitate international experiences for undergraduate students.