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An Interview with Mary Copeland

A look into the Global Classrooms Experience

May 1, 2019

Please describe a little bit about your course.

This course was a global classroom extension to a business 102 class, where Drexel students were partnered for 5 weeks with students at new partner institution, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to research and present different ways that a specific company may be marketed differently globally  in different cultural contexts. For example, one of the groups chose McDonald’s restaurants and analyzed ways in which the company’s marketing looked different in both countries. The students shared their experiences and perspectives about how the techniques that McDonald’s employs in their respective countries. The groups each had five students from Amsterdam and eight from Drexel, but all groups produced amazing final projects that consisted of a 10 minute video to present their findings.

What do you hope that your students gained from the experience?

I saw many of my students made global connections, and through that process, I concluded that students from different cultural contexts can often relate to relate to each other’s experiences in business and marketing. I also hope that I was able to give students an engaging and unique experience through their Business 102 course.

How do you think the Global Classrooms allow more access to international experiences for students?

I believe that the Global Classrooms absolutely allows more access to international experiences for students from all backgrounds. I also noticed that the course fostered global interest in my students and that many of them, early on may not have had interest in studying abroad or engaging themselves with global opportunities offered at Drexel. These students finished the course expressing that they wanted to investigate more experiences similar to the Global Classrooms.

Are there any funny moments that happened during the experience that you would highlight?

The communication awkwardness that can come from skyping across the Atlantic and being able to see their class but not always hear them was a little bit funny. Additionally, some of the things that the students discovered in their projects were valuable life lessons on cultural competence. One group, who chose Heineken as a case study, were surprised to find out that this type of beer is marketed and considered to be a common beverage, whereas in the United States, it may be seen as a premium product. 

How has this experience influenced you as a faculty member?

The experience as a whole allowed me to connect with other faculty at Drexel who teach global classrooms, as well as meet new colleagues and friends abroad.

Would you teach a Global Classroom course again?


What would you say to other faculty members starting out with a Global Classroom experience?

I recommend that faculty starting a global classroom find themselves an “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to help them through the process and that having connections to other faculty that have taught a Global Classroom in the past helped me a lot. Especially with the technology aspects and knowing little tips such as having someone there to help with Zoom the first meeting.