The Creation of Short-Term International Study Courses

Carolyn Zerbe Enns, Professor of Psychology, Cornell College
Erin Davis, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Cornell College
Joan Ericson, Professor of Japanese and Director of Asian Studies Program, Colorado College

This Collaborative Research and Teaching proposal builds on earlier work supported by a FaCE Project grant in 2008 for discussions and a field visit to develop an off-campus course in Japan offered jointly by Colorado College and Cornell College.

The current proposal involves aspects of teaching of the linked/intersecting Colorado College and Cornell College courses in Japan in March 2010, creating materials that can inform the work of other faculty members interested in teaching such a course, and disseminating the results of this project, including:

  1. Honoraria for guest speakers and an on-site consultant;
  2. Partial support for attendance at various cultural sites (e.g., temples and shrines), fine arts events, and museums, with the goal of gathering information about a wide range of cultural activities and sites that are of educational value to liberal arts college students; and
  3. Organization and dissemination of the outcomes of this experiment in inter-institutional teaching of off-campus courses. Some of these materials are likely to include:
    1. Commentary about pre-departure activities and methods for making the most of short-term study-travel abroad.
    2. Syllabus materials from the Colorado College and Cornell College courses and bibliographies of resources according to topic area.
    3. Lists of educational activities and sites (especially in Tokyo), along with discussions of how these activities can be integrated with the goals of short-term study-abroad courses. List of suggested guest speakers.
    4. Activities and writing activities that encourage immersion within the culture (instead of spectator mentalities). Writing assignments that support self-reflection and self-investment in cultural learning. Research projects that are feasible during short-term study abroad class.
    5. Methods for assessing cultural competence and/or attitudes toward cultural learning. Pre and post measures may be useful, and knowledge survey (metacognition) tools may be adapted for this type of learning situation.
    6. Discussions of costs and benefits of short-term travel and study abroad, a list of housing resources, and post-travel reflection experiences.