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An @Home Spin on an @Guatemala project: How Durham College turned an International Classroom Experience into a Sustainable Global Learning Opportunity from Home (E) (HE.10)

Track: Hacking Education

COVID-19 robbed post-secondary students of many co-curricular opportunities in 2020-21, among them participation in international learning projects abroad. Durham College has taken a unique approach to meeting this challenge through its innovative Faculty-led Classroom Abroad@Home.

Building on the success of the college’s Faculty-led Classrooms Abroad (FLCA) program and two previous FLCAs to Guatemala, the Journalism – Mass Media program created a four-part workshop series. Over the course of one month, students in Oshawa, Ontario mentored high school students in the rural Mayan community of Las Arrugas, Guatemala to produce podcasts focused on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The project was a collaboration between Durham College’s International Education Office, the Journalism – Mass Media program, and the NGO Students Offering Support (SOS). The aim of this initiative was to enhance students’ journalism skills in a real-world context, while also providing opportunities to gain insight into Guatemalan culture and global education through interaction with local students. The success of this FLCA@Home spawned a larger project in the winter semester, which included students from across the School of Media, Art & Design and was funded by CICan’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program.

The FLCA@Home has demonstrated a new model of global learning for students who cannot afford to travel or lack the confidence to do so. This model can also be used to prepare students for outbound opportunities once travel resumes.

This presentation is aimed at faculty and administrators interested in taking on complex international projects that challenge students as learners and global citizens.

Session Speakers

Dandan Shi

Internationalization Coordinator

Durham College

Danielle Harder

Professor, Journalism/Mass Media Program

Durham College

Janine Knight-Grofe

Manager, International Education

Durham College

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