President's Teaching Scholars Program




Professor Diane Conlin
Department of Art & Art History
Department of Classics
University of Colorado Boulder

Collaborative Learning, Study Abroad, and the Global Student

As a teacher and researcher working closely and regularly with CU students in a foreign country, I am interested in the pedagogical value of partnerships between CU faculty and undergraduates on international projects that involve collaborative research and creative works. For my PTS project, I propose to investigate educational objectives, outcomes, and assessments of undergraduate experiential learning and research collaboration on faculty-led projects in the arts and humanities that are based outside the United States. How do faculty-led international programs in the humanities and the arts (e.g., field work, art exhibitions) contribute to students’ education in globalism, diversity, and citizenship? What do undergraduate collaborators contribute to the goals and results of international research and creative work? How do self-directed and experiential learning processes develop as a result of the diverse environments of the study abroad experience?

The Institute of International Education reported this week that the number of American undergraduates traveling abroad to study continues to grow significantly, increasing 8.5 percent last year, and an astounding 150% in the last decade (B. McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Education, v. 54). From my own experience, arts and humanities students also are increasingly interested in actively contributing to internationally based research and creative projects – projects that would allow them to build lasting professional partnerships with citizens of other countries. My pedagogical research would explore issues of undergraduate education and globalism, cross-cultural identities, and international research collaboration. The study would focus on the academic and cultural experiences, expectations, and evaluations of the growing number of CU juniors and seniors who have completed a CU-sponsored study abroad program or participated in an international research/creative project. I plan to develop this study with colleagues and administrators at the Office of International Education, SHIP residential college, FTEP, and UROP in the Division of Student Affairs. A final report assessing data from interviews, group discussions, surveys, and international program reports will help guide current and future faculty-led study abroad programs and CU-sponsored research projects that foster both international partnerships and undergraduate participation.