Article by David Huerta Harris
How to create new and meaningful learning experiences in a virtual environment? In a seemingly never-ending global health emergency era where virtual classes have become a sort of commodity in most universities, higher learning institutions face the continuous challenge of designing, and effectively implementing academic experiences. The challenge is that the academic experiences add value to the students’ development, while keeping them interested, motivated and engaged.
Tec de Monterrey´s Vice Rectory for International Affairs works side by side with the International Offices of partner universities to link professors with their international hemispheric counterparts, so they can co-create a set of synchronous and asynchronous learning collaborative activities that increase the global scope of students. Is in this way students from Mexico and abroad could exercise and develop transversal competencies within multicultural environments. Such online experiences are simultaneously integrated into Tec de Monterrey one-week full immersion curricular learning unit: Diversity in a Globalized World, and to courses taught virtually at international partner universities.
Collaborative activities, guided by professors, invite students to engage in stimulating conversations recognizing the importance and value of diversity and multiculturalism and envisioning new ways of putting their societies on a better path. Tec de Monterrey students learned alongside students from the University of Miami (United States,) the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (Dominican Republic), Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador,) and York University (Canada).
All five universities are members of the Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC). Pedagogical experiences were designed by faculty from the hemispheric universities on the following topics:
· Refugee status: gender-related persecution by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, York University, and Tec de Monterrey.
· Diversity and Inclusion – The Fabric of Humanity by Tec de Monterrey and University of Miami.
· Climate Change – The Longitudinal Installation by the University of Miami.
· The Care Economy by Tec de Monterrey and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
· Inclusive Urbanism by Tec de Monterrey and the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
· Migration and Human Rights by Tec de Monterrey and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
· Unemployment Discrimination by Tec de Monterrey and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Global Week is more than just joining a video session with international students, is the co-creation and co-delivery of new meaningful experiences what makes the difference. The capacity building, faculty collaboration, and the virtual teaching-learning experience that is taking place in Global Week will enhance the teaching approaches of tomorrow’s post-COVID-19 classroom.