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Dr. Schlichting-Artur and the Global Classroom Program

December 22, 2014

The Global Classroom Program, created by the Office of International Programs, is an innovative approach to allowing students to gain international experience without leaving the Drexel campus. The program connects Drexel students with individuals and institutions abroad to complete a course, leading students to think global while staying domestic. It is all of these attributes that interested Dr. Simone Schlichting-Artur in the program and led her to apply. Dr. Schlichting-Artur is a part of the Culture and Communication Department under the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Director of Modern Languages, so it’s no surprise that she’s drawn to intercultural learning. “I believe that you can find a university wherever,” she says, highlighting the fact that intercultural communication is an important part of higher education and every student has the ability to learn even when not in the classroom.

To date, Dr. Schlichting-Artur has completed two global classrooms, one of which being “Writing on Work Identity” that she completed with 30 students from Nankai University in China during the Fall 2014 term. This past June, Dr. Schlichting- Artur travelled to Nankai, meeting with students at the university there, where she learned that they were interested in academic writing and how it differed in the United States compared to China. It was from this trip that a Global Classroom was born, with Dr. Schlichtig-Artur collaborating with Professor Jianhua “Danny” Su at Nankai University to teach a writing course for these students, utilizing BlackboardLearn to complete discussion boards and journal entries. "Nankai students and faculty ¬†greatly value the opportunity offered by Professor Schlichtung-Artur in taking this genuine cross-culture course. From this course Nankai students not only have learned the content but a unique way of teaching, which combines theories with personal experiences, and opens a channel for cross-cultural discussions. We certainly look forward to further collaboration,” says Professor Su.

The end of Fall term doesn’t signal the end of “Writing on Work Identity.” Dr. Schlichting-Artur plans on continuing her collaboration with students in Nankai, adding a virtual discussion group component to the course this Spring. This discussion group will bring all the students together, virtually, for open discussion, further amplifying intercultural communication. If all goes well, Dr. Schlichting-Artur hopes to repeat the course next Fall. Continuing her “Writing on Work Identity” course isn’t the only long-term goal for Dr. Schlichting-Artur in the Global Classroom program. Currently, she is developing another Global Classroom revolving around Jewish identity in modern Germany. Through this course, Drexel students will collaborate with a university in either Germany or Israel and, at the end of the term, the two student bodies will travel to Germany together and meet with the Jewish community. This course is sure to be another example of Dr. Schlichting-Artur’s innovative use of the Global Classroom Program, and we look forward to what other classrooms she develops in the future.