Abstract

I want to demo for my Lesley colleagues the cross-cultural virtual exchange that my undergrad students are taking part in for 8-weeks this semester. Each Lesley student in my Modern Middle East History course is matched into a weekly two-hour live video discussion group of about 12-15 other undergraduate students living in the Middle East, Europe, and around the US. This is a structured, moderated, synchronous international forum with a trained facilitator run by an international non-profit called Soliya.

Intended as a deep-dive into diversity and difference, this innovative approach allows students to “explore how their identity impacts the way they view and approach the world, and how they communicate with those with different perspectives.” Interacting over the two months with the same set of international peers gives students the “ideas, skills, tools, and opportunities to make a positive contribution to relations between “Western societies” and “predominantly Muslim societies.” Students in my course on Middle East History learn about the region from peers who currently live there. And more broadly, I think at this juncture in our divided society, and within the mission of Lesley University, this is a new exciting venture which could potentially benefit many Lesley undergraduates who don’t otherwise have the chance for international experience.

Author Type

Faculty

Start Date

28-3-2018 12:10 PM

End Date

28-3-2018 1:00 PM

Presentation Type

Installation

Disciplines

International and Intercultural Communication | Near and Middle Eastern Studies

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Mar 28th, 12:10 PM Mar 28th, 1:00 PM

Cross-Cultural Virtual Exchange: Innovative Learning for Social Change

U-Hall 2-141

I want to demo for my Lesley colleagues the cross-cultural virtual exchange that my undergrad students are taking part in for 8-weeks this semester. Each Lesley student in my Modern Middle East History course is matched into a weekly two-hour live video discussion group of about 12-15 other undergraduate students living in the Middle East, Europe, and around the US. This is a structured, moderated, synchronous international forum with a trained facilitator run by an international non-profit called Soliya.

Intended as a deep-dive into diversity and difference, this innovative approach allows students to “explore how their identity impacts the way they view and approach the world, and how they communicate with those with different perspectives.” Interacting over the two months with the same set of international peers gives students the “ideas, skills, tools, and opportunities to make a positive contribution to relations between “Western societies” and “predominantly Muslim societies.” Students in my course on Middle East History learn about the region from peers who currently live there. And more broadly, I think at this juncture in our divided society, and within the mission of Lesley University, this is a new exciting venture which could potentially benefit many Lesley undergraduates who don’t otherwise have the chance for international experience.