Q: Have the tools been used before?
A: The Toolkit was developed as part of a Teaching Support Grant through the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and co-sponsored by the University Office of Global Programs at Pennsylvania State University. The tools were developed in cooperation with Penn State faculty from a range of disciplines and experience in international education. Tools were piloted during the 2008-09 academic year and adjustments made accordingly.
Q: What are the primary focus areas?
A: To further refine and extend the purpose, goals and objectives of embedded programming, the Toolkit has been developed and organized around two primary focus areas: Global Citizenship and Academic Development. Global citizenship is understood as a multi-dimensional construct that entails three interrelated domains: social responsibility, global competence and global civic engagement. Academic development is broadly understood in relation to two interrelated domains: academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy.
Q: How were the primary focus areas chosen?
A: Given that more and more colleges and universities are integrating global citizenship as an essential element in the definition of an engaged campus, attention is turning to the role that education abroad can have in developing global citizens. In cooperation with the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and in reference to an emerging literature on outcomes assessment, the primary focus areas were deemed essential to underpinning the Toolkit.
Q: Are the course objectives in the index different from the objectives on each tool?
A: The Toolkit has been developed and organized around two primary focus areas: Global Citizenship and Academic Development. Each focus area is sub-divided into interrelated domains with associated course objectives. Particular tools supporting each objective have been noted, though a given tool may target multiple objectives. Objectives have also been specified for each tool and have been written to be read from the student’s point of view.
Q: How do I choose a particular tool?
A: Two indices have been developed to help with locating a particular tool. The first organizes the tools by primary focus area and objective. The second organizes the tools by content thread. Course professors should select tools that closely align with individual course objectives and the context of the international travel component.
Q: Can I edit a tool for my particular class?
A: Course professors are free edit selected tools to their specific course objectives and academic discipline. Each tool is supported with a student handout and/or related instructional documents. While these documents have been prepared to be used as is, they can be easily adapted to suit the needs and goals of most embedded courses.
Q: Are the tools discipline specific?
A: Tools have been developed independently of any academic discipline. As such, course professors are free to edit selected tools to the specific course objectives and academic discipline.
Q: What do the threads mean?
A: The tools have been developed and organized around five broad content threads: Communication, Utilization of Technology, Primary & Secondary Research, Experiential Learning, and Culture & Identity. These threads have been chosen for their appropriateness to education abroad programming. In some cases, individual tools may involve multiple threads, but only one primary thread has been indicated on each tool.
Q: What does learning type mean?
A: The Toolkit consists of a range of tools from those that are facilitated in structured learning environments to tools that are positioned outside formal learning and teaching settings. Tools may be written into course syllabi to be implemented over the duration of a course or facilitated as one-time activities. It is especially important in education abroad programming to be attentive to the interplay between formal, non-formal and informal learning and to develop and implement courses that respond to different learning situations.