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Collaborative online international learning with Fayetteville State University and Schoolcraft College on Global Citizenship

March 09, 2022

In the course Topics in Global Citizenship, which is a part of the Global Citizenship Minor Program offered by the Global Education Center, Dr. Curtis Chu led students to explore the effects of war and poverty through collaborative online international learning (COIL). This is the first COIL-based semester-long course at Setsunan University, and 16 students from the faculties of Foreign Studies, Science and Engineering, Business Administration, and Economics were enrolled in this course.

For the first part of the course, in collaboration with history professor Dr. Sydney Pash at Fayetteville State University and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japanese and American students learned together about the Hiroshima atomic bombing. It was an invaluable experience for both the 16 Japanese students and the 62 American students to exchange their opinions before and after watching online lectures and survivor testimony. While there were different perspectives on whether the atomic bombs should or should not have been dropped, one common theme emerged by the end of the COIL, that all of the students emphasized the importance of peace and hope that such tragic event will never happen again.

As for the second part of the course, in collaboration with English professor Dr. Helen Ditouras at Schoolcraft College, students learned about poverty in Japan and the United States of America through conducting group research and film analysis. 18 students from Schoolcraft College partnered with Japanese students in the six-week-long collaboration, and they presented to each other on the current situation of poverty and homelessness in their respective countries. While Dr. Chu joined students at Schoolcraft College to give an online lecture on global citizenship and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Ditouras joined students at Setsunan University and offered an online lecture on techniques used for analyzing films. With the knowledge gained from lectures and research, students then watched and analyzed their chosen scenes from one Japanese film and one American documentary film related to poverty and homelessness. Lastly, students exchanged their viewpoints and were pleasantly surprised at how much they have learned through this collaboration.

With the successful experience of integrating COIL into Topics in Global Citizenship in the second semester of 2021, the course will be offered every year in the second semester, and it is planned to continue the collaboration with both Fayetteville State University and Schoolcraft College.