Globalizing Your Curriculum

In addition to opportunities for going abroad, there are rich global offerings across the curriculum right here in Boston, aimed at preparing our students to succeed in a globally connected world. Fields as diverse as management, writing, hospitality, engineering, medicine and others are finding new ways to introduce global perspectives and comparative content to their courses. Faculty are bringing their research back to the classroom to share, and because Study Abroad works closely with the faculty in schools and colleges, that coursework becomes integrated with the overall curriculum. The increase in internationalized courses reflects a changing world and evolving expectations of our diverse student body.

If you are thinking about adding international elements to your courses, the resources below offer helpful advice and ideas to consider. Please let us know about your efforts to internationalize international your courses so that we can share your success, advice, and insights with others across campus.

Teaching Centers at BU

The Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching (CEIT) was established in 2001 to promote and support exemplary teaching, to facilitate the continued professional development of faculty as teachers, and to introduce new faculty to the culture of excellence in teaching at Boston University. The center provides a forum for discussing the knowledge, tools, and spirit of inquiry that are central to the teaching and learning processes, and cultivates teachers who can transmit their own passion for inquiry and curiosity about what remains to be discovered. The center encourages teachers to motivate students to participate actively in their own education and to become lifelong learners.

Each March, CEIT holds the annual Instructional Innovation Conference, an opportunity for faculty to share their classroom and curricular innovations—small and large—with faculty and doctoral students throughout the University. Past presentations on global themes include:

  • 2013 Instructional Innovation Conference
    • Examining the Bi-Directional Benefits of Language Exchanges by Mariko Henstock (CAS)
  • 2012 Instructional Innovation Conference
    • Economics in a Foreign Language Course, Beate Alhadeff (CAS)
    • Making Global Public Health Education Real: Expanding the Classroom with International Partners, Malcolm Bryant, Jessica Charles & James Wolff (SPH)
    • Developing Critical Thinking Through Content-Based Language Instruction, Mariko Itoh Henstock (CAS)
  • 2011 Instructional Innovation Conference
    • Expanding the Ivory Tower: Creating Educational Partnerships for Global Health, James Wolff & Montia Baba Djara (SPH)
    • London Calling: Bring a course text “alive” via Skype!, Sophie Godley (SPH)
    • Lights! Camera! Action! Students Film Commercials in Business English Class, Eileen Kramer, Linda Wilkins & Lisa Pontoppidan (CELOP)

The Teaching, Learning & Technology office (OTLT) at the School of Public Health organizes teaching circles, brown-bag lunches, and technology workshops to encourage collaboration among faculty, staff, and students, and to disseminate information about innovative teaching and learning methods and tools. Individual consultation on course development and/or teaching strategies is also available.

NAFSA—Resources on Internationalizing the Curriculum

NAFSA programs and resources on internationalizing the curriculum serve as a catalyst for transforming coursework and co-curricular activities and support faculty in infusing global knowledge, awareness, and cross-cultural competence throughout. The programs offer strategies and model practices and help build communities of practice among discipline faculty members and deans and related international educators.

Global Learning Resources from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

The Global Learning resources from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) addresses diversity, global engagement, and social responsibility as compelling educational and institutional priorities that help students and campuses engage the social, civic, and economic challenges of a diverse and unequal world. AAC&U supports colleges and universities in their efforts to create settings that foster students’ understanding of the intersection between their lives and global issues and their sense of responsibility as local and global citizens. AAC&U works to increase the capacity of colleges and universities to help all undergraduates understand and engage the diversities and commonalities among the world’s peoples, cultures, nations, and regions. Additional resources include:

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    Internationalizing by Design is a free online workshop by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Teaching and Learning. This workshop is designed to help you integrate global perspectives into either a new undergraduate class that you intend to teach or one that you have already taught. The workshop asks you to reflect on the following questions as you consider ways to infuse your classes with international elements, themes, and lessons:

    • Are your students learning culturally diverse ways of thinking, solving problems, and collaborating?
    • Are your courses (and disciplines) teaching new knowledge and skill sets needed for future-oriented careers in an international arena?
    • Upon completion of their degrees, are your undergraduate students able to understand diverse philosophies and cultures within and across societies?

    Relevant Webinars

    • What Does an Internationalized Curriculum Look Like? The Promise of Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum
    • International Joint and Double Degree Programs: Prospects and Challenges
    • Building Virtual Bridges for Cross-Cultural Learning

    Available via the Global Programs Resources page.