Global Citizenship Example
Block U: Global Citizenship
Christine Jones and Ye Sun's Block U "Global Citizenship" course asked students to compile an ongoing portfolio of things they liked and ideas about things done in class. The instructors also had a few sessions where they let students present what they were doing with their portfolios to generate ideas for how to make them creative. They conceived of this project as a final but also as a "bridge" assignment because the students were coming back to the second semester in the spring. On the first day of the spring class, they asked students to think about questions that came out of the portfolios and what they hoped to get out of the spring, based on how they had synthesized the fall at the end of the semester.
This assignment includes the following best pedagogical practices:
- Social pedagogies: The assignment introduces the social aspect by asking students to present their portfolios and obtain feedback on their work to date
- Integrative learning: Clearly asks students to make connections among their Block U courses
- Identity development: Introduces the idea of being an "activist", as well as challenges to cultural identities that students may find challenging
- The assignment also introduces multimedia and different ways of knowing by explicitly asking students to collect their work in a way that is meaningful to them personally
Your ePortfolio and You: A User's Guide
This end-of-semester project will be your thoughtful reflection on what you have done in Da Block this semester and also serve as a springboard into next semester’s praxis work with Salt Lake City as your interconnected and multicultural case study.
A few words about the ePortfolio:
- It is YOUR (not the class’s) space
- It’s a lived experience of reflection (not an archive)
- Each folder you open can have its own purpose in charting your academic/intellectual life
- The ideas in the folder you make for this class are not a statement of what you will think forever, but of what you think now
Why are we doing this to you?!?
Block U is piloting this program because we want to give you formal opportunities to do what the Block is set up to do: help you integrate the various things you learn in college, so that they are not a series of disconnected subjects, but building blocks to a vision of yourself, the world, and what you want your role in it to be. Ideally, this is a tool you can take with you through your studies and into your major—a sort of virtual map of how you’ve walked the path of college.
The Assignment, due December 15:
- Post 5 statements/images drawn from materials we have encountered that you think capture important ideas about global citizenship and reflect on why they are meaningful to you.
- Post 5 points of connection you've found among your three Block U classes. Elaborate on these connections, preferably with specific examples.
- Post 5 questions that have come up for you around the question of global citizenship and that, ideally, you would like to begin answering over the course of next semester. State why these questions matter to you and to the work you do as you move forward in your academic career.
How to do it:
The ePortfolio gives you an opportunity to post text, images, websites, clips, and to annotate them all. That means your reflections on what we we’ve done can be more diverse and personalized than they might have been if you did this in a standard essay format. So, the idea here is to be creative in how you self-express. That passion we channeled into academic writing can now have a variety of outlets!
To make the most of this experience, begin thinking about ideas this semester that have been most meaningful to you and why. The end product—the folder you post to Canvas—should be a verbal and visual exploration of where you stand now on the subject of global citizenship.
- Are you feeling like an activist?
- Are you excited by the idea that travel and language acquisition might give you access to cultural systems and ideas that you at first thought were too “barbarian” to be meaningful?
- Are you wondering about where animals fit into our discussion of the human and natural environment?
- Are you worried that “crimes against humanity,” from human rights infractions to smog, are an overwhelming challenge?
These are just some of the many reflections you can have in this forum. Have fun! Be YOURSELF! Next semester we’ll begin class by sharing these folders and talking about our hopes for the spring.