Global Learning Courses

COVID-19 Update

We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and following guidance from public health authorities. A decision about holding the workshop will be made by April 13. Participants should not book an airline ticket or apply for a visa until an announcement is made.

The Global Learning Courses program is part of the Global Crossroads Initiative and is focused on internationalization of the curriculum at GLCA schools. Like the Global Course Connections program, the Global Learning Courses program seeks to complement internationalization efforts by connecting courses in ways that leverage the expertise and cultural diversity of the thirty colleges and universities in the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. (See How to Participate)

Courses offered through the Global Learning Courses program differ from courses in the Global Course Connections program in three respects.

  1. Developing cultural competence must be an assessable outcome of all Global Learning courses.
  2. Global Learning courses must have at least two thirds of their syllabi in common.
  3. At least one of the schools in each connection must be a GLCA school. The partner may be any school in the Alliance (this includes the thirteen schools of the GLCA).

The departments offering connected courses need not be the same, and the courses may include additional topics and materials, reflecting disciplinary differences. Course instructors collaborate on the creation of a shared conceptual framework for their courses, including learning outcomes, concepts, topics, readings/viewings, assignments, and rubrics. Assignments students work on in cross-course groups leverage cultural, geographic and/or disciplinary differences to enrich the conversation and deepen students’ understanding of course content. Planning for Global Learning Courses will have a longer time frame than Globally Connected Courses.

Course Topics

There is a wide range of topics that can leverage the expertise and cultural diversity of the Alliance in ways that create powerful learning opportunities for instructors and students. A short list of possibilities includes: gender, food, the environment, communication, human rights, freedom of the press, political systems, area studies, health and wellness, inequalities, and peace/conflict studies. It is expected that courses that fulfill a “global learning” graduation requirement will be good candidates.

Global Learning Course Requirements

Global Learning Courses should have the following characteristics:

Cultural competence is an assessable course outcome.

They share at least two thirds of their syllabi.

The common portion of the syllabi explores course topics through the cultures of the campuses’ host countries and/or the disciplinary perspectives of the connected courses.

There is significant interaction between the students through joint assignments involving cross-course groups resulting in a collaboratively developed product. Collaboration must be between sets of partnered students and go beyond mere exchange of information.

Materials developed for the common part of the course (syllabus, readings, viewings, assignments, guides, rubrics) will be shared through a repository using a Creative Commons License.

Course instructors attend an annual workshop. A GLCA instructor might also travel to a partner’s campus to plan the course.

Course instructors and students participate in course and program evaluation.

Past courses have been most successful when enrollment has been limited to 20 and the numbers of students between the paired courses have been relatively close.


Faculty members who offer a Global Learning course are supported through stipends and professional development opportunities.

Stipend for initial course development and delivery: $2,500 per instructor – $1,500 to develop the course and $1,000 to offer it (for subsequent offerings $500 to update the course and $500 to offer it, as well as travel support for GLCA faculty member to go to the partner’s campus).

A summer workshop to learn about cultural competence, to co-develop the syllabi and to design the course, including learning about relevant technologies. June 11-14, 2020 at Universidad San Francisco do Quito. Both course partners must attend the workshop. If needed, there is support for the GLCA partner to travel to their course partner’s campus for additional course development before or after the June workshop.

How to Participate

Step 1: Expression of Interest – Complete the course description form to let us know that you would like to offer a Global Learning course. The form asks for course title, level, prerequisites, description, when the course is to be taught next, and expected enrollment. The course description will be posted on the Global Learning Course Matching page.

Step 2: Find a Course Partner – You can suggest a course partner, or we can help find one. You can express preferences if you wish. For example, connect to a course in a specific area,  department, or Alliance school.

Step 3: Submit a Proposal – Once you have a course partner, you and your course partner complete the Global Learning Course Information Table and submit that with a completed proposal to offer the course.