A university education, no matter what the field, needs to integrate learning that helps students become globally-aware, and globally-competent. A globalized curriculum is a strengthened curriculum and one that aligns with the realities of our inter-connected and diverse world.
Internationalizing Your Classroom
UK's Global Learning Outcomes
Given that UK’s degree programs aspire to prepare our graduates for the global communities in which they will live and work, the following overarching learning outcomes serve as guidelines for ensuring that international perspectives are infused across the curriculum of all degree programs.
While UK Core explicitly addresses global competencies, it is expected that the undergraduate majors and graduate/professional programs will build on this foundation, considering the transnational context and global networks of their own disciplines. UK’s globally educated graduates will be able to:
- Analyze the global context of their chosen profession, and apply perspectives gathered from a global community of scholars as part of their professional expertise.
- Describe how, in multi-cultural or multi-national situations, individual and collective decision-making often generates ethical dilemmas, conflicts, and trade-offs that must be thoughtfully evaluated, weighed, and resolved.
- Explain how local features (economic, cultural, social, political and religious) of urban or rural communities, ethnicities, nations and regions are often linked to global trends, tendencies, and characteristics that often mutually shape one another.
- Analyze the forces shaping international events, both now and in the past.
- Demonstrate effective and appropriate communication, interaction, and teamwork with people of different nationalities and cultures.
- Implement diverse frames of reference to critically examine and address complex global problems.
- Use world language skills and/or knowledge of other cultures to seek access to information, engage in experiences, and document new understandings.
- Demonstrate respect and support for the common good of the world community, including attention to internationally recognized human rights, self-determination, the welfare of others, economic development and international trade, and sustainability of natural and constructed systems.
- Demonstrate awareness of the complexity of cultural systems by describing the role that cultures play in influencing individual behavior, attitudes, and beliefs.
- Justify openness to difference, and tolerance of ambiguity and unfamiliarity. Seek clarification and explain the benefits of being in the position of a learner when encountering others in multi-cultural or global environments.
- Demonstrate an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities, and describe how personal and social responsibility has been demonstrated through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
Global Dynamics in UK Core
The University of Kentucky’s general education program – the UK Core – is foundational to a university education at the University of Kentucky. A university education is more than simply learning a set of skills in a specific area in preparation for a job or career. A university education is designed to broaden the students’ understanding of themselves, of the world we live in, of their role in our global society, and of the ideals and aspirations that have motivated human thought and action throughout the ages. It must help individuals effectively put into action their acquired knowledge, to provide the bases for critical thinking and problem solving, and to develop life-long learning habits. The UK Core is composed of the equivalent of 30 credit hours in 10 course areas that address four broad learning outcomes. Depending on choice of major or courses, some students may take more than 30 credit hours to complete the UK Core.
Learning Outcome IV of UK Core, titled "Citizenship" states:
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of citizenship and the process for making informed choices as engaged citizens in a diverse, multilingual world. [6 credit hours]
- Students will recognize historical and cultural differences arising from issues such as ethnicity, gender, language, nationality, race, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class; students will demonstrate a basic understanding of how these differences influence issues of social justice, both within the U.S. and globally; students will recognize and evaluate the ethical dilemmas, conflicts, and trade-offs involved in personal and collective decision making.
- Students will take two courses, each with a topical or regional focus. The first course will include critical analysis of diversity issues as they relate to the contemporary United States. The second will be a non-US based course that includes critical analysis of local-to-global dynamics as they relate to the contemporary world.
- In addition, each course must address at least 2 of these 4 topics: societal and institutional change over time; civic engagement; cross-national/comparative issues; power and resistance.
This is the Global Dynamics requirement in UK Core. Global Dynamics courses equip students to participate in a diverse, multiethnic, multilingual world community. Toward this end, students consider issues of equality, ethical dilemmas, global trends, social change, and civic engagement in the context of local cultures outside the U.S.
Faculty are encouraged to develop new and innovative Global Dynamics courses. For a current list, click here.
A template for Global Dynamics courses may be found here.
To propose a course be approved to fulfill the Global Dynamics requirement of UK Core, faculty should consult the Chair of the University Senate's Core Education Committee for up to date information on the approval process, click here.
Tips for Working with International Students
Promote Listening Comprehension
- Slow down - enunciate carefully so that words are not run together.
- Provide concrete examples for any difficult concepts.
- Use visual aids.
- Provide an outline of the lecture for students to follow or use for note taking.
- Be aware that cultural references (including most jokes) will not only not be understood, but will make international students feel even more like outsiders.
Promote Student Speech in Class
- Encourage students to speak.
- Provide opportunities for students to practice speaking with a partner or in a small group before speaking to the entire class.
- If possible, provide a list of discussion topics and questions before the day of class.
- Because international students often sit together in class, it may be beneficial to assign students to mixed (international and domestic) working groups who they sit next to and collaborate with during class. Form the groups yourself, and make them intercultural.
- Don't ignore international students.
Working with Language Learners' Writing
- For any written assignment, provide an explicit set of instructions for handout or download.
- Provide at least one example of a final product (the same or similar assignment) and discuss it carefully in class.
- Emphasize the importance of budgeting time in the writing process.
- When reading and commenting on papers, focus on content.
- Realize that rhetorical structure is not a universal - students may need help organizing the paper the way you want it, but this may not be a sign that they do not understand the content.
- Try not to be distracted by surface errors and mistakes with articles, prepositions, punctuation, spelling, and grammar that do not obscure meaning. This is not to say that these misuses are ok, but that they should not be of primary importance.
- Know a little about morphology. Many languages either lack prefixes and suffixes entirely (Chinese) or use them quite differently (Spanish).
- It bears repeating that knowledge of English does not correlate to intelligence or potential.
- Encourage use of the Writing Center, but teach students how to use it in productive ways such as taking a draft of your paper or a list of topics for review with a tutor.
Help Students Adjust to UK's Academic Culture
- Allow international students to audio record classes.
- Discourage note taking in the first language
- Provide structure for group work by clarifying roles such as organizer, recorder, questioner, encourager, etc. to the class (or even assigning them to individuals).
- Compile a list of relevant background information that you expect domestic students to bring to a class but that international students might not.
- If a student is habitually tardy, please meet with this student (or refer him or her to UKIC) to discuss his or her reasons for tardiness and the significance of what the student is missing during the beginning of class.
- Emphasize to students both the percentage of the final grade that assignments are worth and a suggested amount of time that students should use to complete the work.
- Encourage students to teach each other about their cultures so that they can understand the cultural implications or background of what is going on.
- Recognize factors in poor performance that might be attached to stress, such as an unwillingness to admit difficulty to their family back home, a scholarship that doesn't allow flexibility in changing a major, culture shock or unfamiliarity with campus resources or U.S. academic culture.
- Help international students to understand that U.S. universities often require assignments more often rather than just 1-2 exams in an entire semester.
- Discourage word for word memorization of content whenever possible unless it's simply to learn vocabulary terms. International students may be from academic cultures where memorization is highly valued while critical and independent thinking is much more valuable in a U.S. academic culture.
Considerations for Teaching International Distance Learning Students
Click to access pdf "Important Considerations for Teaching International Distance Learning Students."