International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25

benefit from online exposure when physical travel isn't possible.
In the United States, fewer than 10 percent of all graduates have
participated in international study experiences, even as their
institutions are being charged with imbuing them with the skills
needed to be successful in a global society.
"Ideally every student would go abroad, but the reality is there
are barriers," says Mohamed Abdel-Kader, executive director of
the Stevens Initiative, a public-private partnership housed at the
Aspen Institute that promotes collaborative online learning programs. "Because the skills you pick up while abroad are important,
we have to make sure we can still deliver. That's where virtual
exchange comes in."
Indeed, one 2014 survey, U.S. Business Needs for Employees
with International Expertise, found that 40 percent of U.S. businesses reported missed opportunities because of a lack of internationally competent personnel.
"Students are entering a workforce in which intercultural,
team-based projects are going to play a major role for them,"
says Jan McCauley, assistant director of the SUNY Center for
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), which helps
train faculty and facilitate partnerships.
For many U.S. institutions seeing declining numbers of firsttime international students enrolling in full-time study, online
education may be an opportunity to provide students from
around the world-and on their own campuses-access to international experiences. Some are supplementing real-world study
abroad programs with online courses to help connect students'
experiences to academic objectives. And others are finding ways
to bring together students from around the world to work on
shared problems.
"It's just such a resource to have that kind of diversity," says
Nicole Lamers, international education specialist for the college
of liberal arts and sciences at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. "It has to be managed in a way that allows everyone
to have a space to contribute in a respectful and open manner."

Students and Faculty Collaborate Online
Across Borders
Fashion, entrepreneurship, and music students at SUNY Ulster
recently held an event highlighting local businesses, complete
with a fashion runway featuring locally made designs. Open to
the community, the event attracted some more far-flung guests: a
group of students visiting from Universidad La Salle Noroeste in
Mexico who had been regularly collaborating with the two-year
college's business students via online videoconferencing.
Using Internet-based tools such as Skype and Moodle, students
in SUNY Ulster classes regularly videoconference with peers
in institutions in Mexico on joint faculty-led projects ranging
from entrepreneurship and sustainability to human rights, water
management, and multimedia. These project-based collaborations
are the result of SUNY's COIL program, which helps support

educators at U.S. and international institutions as they develop
collaborative online programs of study.
"A lot of faculty members come to us with partners in completely different disciplines, but we always manage to find areas
of overlap in diverse curricula," McCauley says. "The intercultural
piece is built in."
Over the last two years, the SUNY COIL Center has helped
facilitate about 90 teaching partnerships in 27 New York campuses and 35 international institutions, which in turn have
engaged 3,000 students in online international collaboration.
The COIL model-individual teachers collaborating with peers
in other countries on discrete learning projects-closely mirrors
the approach championed by the Stevens Initiative. By the end
of its second cohort, the initiative's virtual exchange grantees
will have reached more than 30,000 K-12 and higher education
students in 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa and
31 U.S. states. The initiative prioritizes underserved students both
in the United States and abroad-for example, one partnership
connected students in high-poverty high schools in the South Side
of Chicago with peers in a similarly challenged neighborhood in
Casablanca to build an online STEM exhibit centered on a dinosaur fossil discovered in Morocco in 2008.
In both cases, online collaborations are purposefully technology and curriculum neutral-COIL and Stevens encourage virtual
exchange teachers to use whatever digital tools are available and
to work together to develop a program of study that's valuable
in both classrooms. But online experiences should be rooted in
academics, organizers say.
"Virtual exchange is not meant to be a simple pen-pal program," Abdel-Kader says. "It integrates into a lesson with rigor that
a teacher would teach in their class. It's simply removing a wall
between two classrooms and teaching that lesson together."
Meanwhile in Ulster, increased collaboration between SUNY
and Universidad LaSalle Noroeste professors led the two institutions to sign a formal memorandum of understanding to become
sister schools and increase exchange opportunities, as students
from both institutions watched-in person.

Online Programs Deepen Engagement
for Study Abroad Participants
As short-term study abroad programs grow in popularity, some
institutions are using concurrent online programs to strengthen
the experience.
"In the study abroad literature, there's a lot of talk about students
going on study abroad and coming back and not having an opportunity for reflection," says McCauley. "Incorporating a [collaborative
online] element before or after a study abroad assignment is a way
to deepen the engagement culturally for those students."
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, between
500 and 800 students participating in study abroad programs take
an accompanying online course that spans predeparture, their
M A R .+ A P R . 2018 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Canada
Quick Questions
Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Global Spotlight: Canada
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Forum
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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