Innovative Pedagogies for International Development, June 2021

Innovative Practices and Pedagogies for Teaching Undergraduate International Development Studies

June 7-8, 2021
9am-4pm Eastern Time, GMT -4:00

Scholars have called for the decolonization of international development studies and raised important questions about teaching IDS theory while also adequately preparing students for professional roles in the field. While this work has been ongoing, the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the questions it has raised about international development provides a new opportunity to reconsider educational practices and pedagogies for the teaching of international development studies at the undergraduate level.

As the pandemic exacerbates inequities across the globe and raises new questions about the role of international institutions, the global distribution of resources, and the overall practices of international development, professors of development studies have an obligation to reconsider and reshape their educational approaches to development. This workshop brings together instructors of IDS from around the world to share new and innovative approaches to teaching development studies to undergraduate students.

Workshop Schedule

Below you will find an overview of the workshop sessions and their times. For a downloadable version of the schedule, click here.
All times are listed in Eastern Time, GMT -4:00

Day 1: June 7, 2021

Join us a bit early to check in, test your technology, and get settled in the virtual space.

Stephen Macekura and Elisheva (Elly) Cohen, Indiana University

Rikio Kimura, College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The deficit perception surrounding international students in English-based courses in universities in the West has been prevalent and is reminiscent of the process of othering and Orientalism (Said 1978). Through this lens, international students are considered deficient in English language abilities, seem less motivated and appear to be free-riders (Popov et al., 2012; Safipour et al., 2017; Shevellar, 2015) . This deficit perception is also applicable to Japanese students with weak English abilities who are in English-based courses in increasingly internationalized universities in Japan and thus need to interact with international students with stronger English abilities. Here both Shevellar (2015) and Cruickshank et al. (2012) suggest enabling them to enact the role of experts and bearers of resources rather than bearers of problems in multicultural classroom and group work, by creating a safe ‘third space’ for them to tell their stories. Such stories can be about their home country’s cultural practices and development issues that they are familiar with. A student-centered learning approach, such as Think, Pair and Share, can be utilized to gradually increase their confidence and capacities to tell and share their stories in English (Cruickshank et al., 2012; Shevellar, 2015). Equalizing the relationship between those with power (i.e., language abilities and dominant educational cultural background) and those without power is essential for inclusive multicultural group work where the powerful should neither dominate nor segregate the powerless, the powerless feel included, and their differences/uniqueness are valued and appreciated. As a result, both international and domestic students can learn how inclusive development is in an experiential way. 

In this session, I will share how I equalize the relationship between Japanese and international students through multicultural group work in my development project management course in an international university in Japan. One of my approaches is to have students share their stories in a safe environment as mentioned above. Another approach is to train students in facilitation skills, especially for soliciting the voices of Japanese students with weak English abilities, in the first session of the course (Arkoudis et al., 2010; Popov et al., 2012; Yefanova et al., 2017). Also in the first session, I conduct an ice-breaking activity that helps students acknowledge cultural diversity in the group and formulate group specific cross-cultural communication protocols (Popov et al., 2012). In terms of group member composition, I deliberately assign members from different nationalities to the group (Arkoudis et al., 2010; Shevellar, 2015). Finally, I embed reflection processes in course design in the form of evaluation surveys on multicultural group work (Arkoudis et al., 2010). 

This practice can be useful for the US higher education context in a reversed way from my context; namely, through this practice, domestic (American) students may become reflexive about their superior position in terms of language and educational cultural background, may decolonize their practice of using English and their learning approach for dominating and segregating others (namely, othering), and may develop a habit of being inclusive, which could have wider impacts on the current US and international contexts characterized by divide and polarization.

Sabyn Javeri Jillani, New York University Abu Dhabi

How do we decolonize our pedagogies in a globalized postcolonial & post-Corona world? How do we decenter our frames of reference, expand our standards of knowledge formation and diversify our methodologies to create a more inclusive syllabus? How do incorporate the local into the global, and most importantly, how do we reframe the center to include the margins? 

In this workshop I will share, through my own personal journey and classroom practices, ways we can all learn to be more inclusive and reflective of what we teach and how we position its context. Decolonizing our pedagogies requires challenging current perspectives through critical engagement and decentering power hierarchies in our learning and teaching, against the backdrop of a challenging history of colonial practice and cultural imperialism. It means being more reflective of what we teach, how we position its context, and how we are positioned as teachers and learners, especially in relation to others who may not share this position and privilege. Focusing on intersectionality as means of self-reflection to identify how interlocking systems of oppressions (e.g., racism, sexism, ableism) co-exist and fostering empathy and interconnectedness to create a safe and inclusive environment of growth that challenges unconscious bias, this workshop will provide ways of diversifying our pedagogies and decolonizing our syllabi.

Lee Rensimer and Kamna Patel, University College London

This session explores the use and value of reflexive diaries written by international development studies students to self-explore their norms, values and practices of engagement with subjects of development (including encounters in ‘developing countries’). A reflexive diary is a popular form of assessment in study programs where there is an expectation that students will encounter difference through field study, for example, and/or unfamiliar situations, which in the context of IDS includes the study of places and people in the global south as unfamiliar to lives lived in the global north. Reflexive diaries are claimed to promote the development of key skills such as observation and its analysis among students (Dummer et al. 2008), and prompt critical reflexivity engendering explorations of positionality (Hope 2009). Yet, their production can be fraught in IDS. In this area of study, many students wish to pursue a career in international development and undertake a degree to further this aim, thus learning to question the values attached to ‘development’ and their own values in seeking to be a development worker can be an unwelcome lesson. 

In this session we unpack and work through the tensions that can arise between valuable pedagogical practices like student reflexive diaries, necessarily critical engagements with the subject of development and northern positionalities, and student desire to engage. 

Laine Munir, African Leadership University

My 15-minute session will present the interactive political economy course I currently teach, "From Poverty to Prosperity" (P2P). The first five minutes will offer an overview of the goals of this term-long simulation, the second segment will allow workshop participants to experience a "flash version" of my course as if they were students, and the final part will outline considerations for such a non-traditional approach to engaging with political economy. 

It is not a coincidence that undergraduates who play Dungeons and Dragons have emerged as leaders for this course. For this 12-week role-play game, students adopt one of six imaginary societal roles and then work collaboratively to rebuild their fictional African country's economy after the financial shocks of COVID-19. Students may be politicians, business people, government workers, labor unionists, media outlets, voters, or international interests—each with competing or dovetailing interests. Each week presents a foundational concept to political economy and the instructor gives a relevant crisis scenario, e.g., workers' strike, coup d’état, environmental disaster, etc.  During our online discussion, students debate, make announcements, and negotiate in breakout rooms named for actual locations where policy-making occurs in Africa. At the end of the session, students vote for which politicians to keep in office and which media sources they trust. After assessing voting, instructors decide what the outcomes would be in the fictional country's storyline based on accepted theories of typical development patterns. These outcomes, represented in numerical indicators, lead to the following week's scenario that will then be tackled again. Every other session attempts to solve political and socioeconomic problems arising in response to students' prior behaviors.

The course's dynamism lies in part with the secret instructions each student receives privately. Some students have instructions to opt to change political parties, attempt to capture the state, engage in corruption, act as a foreign spy—or not. Students are also allowed to negotiate informally outside of class time. After voting, they explain their decisions in their weekly rationale assignments. In their rationales, students clarify why they did what they did. They outline why they chose to be a perfectly rational actor in their self-interest or place the larger social good at the fore, or why they emphasized short-term rewards or long-term sustainability. The rationales position them to think critically about why other actors approached the goal differently from them. At the end of the course, there are "winners" and "losers" in the game (an idea which the students seem to love). 

This workshop session supports learning outcomes at the levels of comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis. Participants will be able to apply and adapt my proposed course model to the unique dynamics of their own classrooms, distinguishing the elements that would ‘travel well” to their students. They can describe the game’s strengths and critique its areas of growth, and may then design their own similar activity.

Evan Easton-Calabria, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford

Anticipated learning outcome for workshop participants: To gain a concrete example of an activity to use or adapt to help students begin to understand – and challenge – existing notions and practices of development

Overview of activity: This activity draws on Eve Bratman’s compelling and contentious article, ‘Development’s Paradox: Is Washington DC a Third World City?’ Through a series of convincing examples, such as geographical marginalisation, suppression of voting power, and environmental hazards, Bratman explores to what extent DC constitutes a ‘third world’ city.

Student activity (spread out over several sessions):

1) The student reads Bratman’s article as well as several different articles examining the nature of international development (e.g. chapters from Sachs et al’s ‘The Development Dictionary). In a normal one-to-one Oxford tutorial, the student then writes an essay in response to the question: Is Washington DC a third world city?

2) In class, students/student and tutor discuss to which extent this argument holds up or falls short, and why. 

Core learning outcomes: 

  • A clearer stance and understanding of the (student’s own) definition of ‘development’ and ‘third world’, and the indicators for this (e.g. poverty, GDP, lack of voting rights, personal emancipation, radical inclusivity, etc). 
  • A clearer understanding of the relationship between power and the rationale behind these words and wider discourses.
  • Possible discussion questions include: Who created the term ‘third world’ and why might they have termed it this? How does this term feel to you to say? What other options might you choose to discuss differences between countries? When do you think ‘development’ ends and how is it reached? How might people/groups in positions of power benefit from the ‘development project’?

3) As a follow-up assignment, students then research a city/location of their choice, putting their own definitions and indicators into practice by considering the extent to which City X is part of the ‘developing/third world’.

4) An in-class discussion on this activity focuses on how definitions, indicators, and the scope of ‘development’ might have changed for the student, with a specific focus on to what extent physical geography can be used as a definition of ‘developing’ versus ‘developed’ countries/cities. 

The overall aim is to help students continue to challenge existing definitions and discourses on development, and think more critically about why and to which ends certain development pathways in both rhetoric and practice are taken and perpetuated.

We encourage everyone to use this time to step away from your screen, have something to eat, take a short walk, and relax.

We will keep the Zoom room open and invite you to keep your camera on and chat with your colleagues. You can use the open breakout room feature to join a separate room if you'd like.

Phyllis Ngai, University of Montana


Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) has become a required approach for international development projects/programs funded by major international aid agencies, including USAID and GIZ. A plethora of toolkits and practical guides have emerged for practitioners to use that IDS students can learn from. How can an IDS capstone, career-preparation course cover the latest cutting-edge SBCC strategies within one semester? This session will present an innovative pedagogical approach for incorporating both practical guides/toolkits and theoretical perspectives. The instructional method engages students in critical exploration of the full change process at all levels, namely individual, interpersonal, communal, societal, and national. The comprehensive treatment of SBCC in the classroom setting is an essential part of preparing IDS students for development work as the “real world” affords little room for deep reflection regarding the theoretical ideals of social change that underlie practical SBCC methods. Is one semester long enough to dig deep and go wide? In this session, you will find a tested efficient “collaborative learning” approach that makes it possible to engage students, virtual or face-to-face, with a large amount of material within a short time frame.

Kirchuffs Atengble, PACKS Africa

The field of international development has evolved tremendously in recent times, with the most recent evolution being accompanied by the need to alter educational practices and pedagogies, including migration of learning to virtual platforms, as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Whiles this is applicable to all facets of education, the field of international development studies has become most critical for various reasons that include potential disparities in development outcomes (including inequalities within the field). Cardinal limitations for learners from resource-constrained settings have expanded from difficulties in funding their international development scholarships to include (among others) difficulties in physically joining learning sessions due to the need for maintaining physical distances – as part of pandemic management protocols.

Digital technologies offer an opportunity to address these and many more barriers, but they need to be deployed with adequate understanding of the unique contexts of these learners, potentially militating against learning outcomes even when the technologies are deployed. This skill building session aims to achieve the following learning outcomes;

- help practitioner participants analyse the unique conditions under which undergraduate students in resource-constrained settings achieve maximum participation in learning sessions;

- introduce participants to some digital tools useful for facilitating learning for undergraduate students in resource-constrained settings;

- engage participants in the use of some of these tools in a virtual learning exchange session

This skill building session will equip practitioner participants with relevant technologies potentially deployable for learning within resource-constrained settings. Specifically, these technologies must be cost-effective in subscription, capable of running on low bandwidth, and adaptable to multiple synchronous usage for maximum individual and group learning. Some of these will be deployed for the experience of participating practitioners of the session.

The session will include a combination of storytelling; individual, paired and group brainstorming moments; demonstrations; as well as short practice and presentation periods.

Jonathan Langdon, St Francis Xavier University and Ajay Parasram, Dalhousie University

In this workshop, Jon Langdon and Ajay Parasram will invite participants into a pedagogic jam session. Jamming together implies coming together with intent, openness, grounded in our experience, and at the same time listening hard to the contributions of others. In this way, the session is intended to meet everyone where they are on the path of trying to decolonize their teaching. To facilitate our conversation, participants are invited to listen to a podcast created with several colleagues who have extended experience their teaching their teaching and curriculum; our session will begin by unpacking some of what this podcast shared. The session will then proceed to open a space where we can individually and collectively imagine new openings in our own pedagogy to decolonization.

John-Michael Davis, Worcester Polytechnic University

This case study session will discuss the pedagogic benefits and applications of classroom simulations in international development studies and present one simulation developed for third-year undergraduates who are preparing for a two-month community development project abroad. This simulation situates student teams in a hypothetical community development project and tasks them with navigating multi-faceted and multi-actor challenges by making informed decisions through a “choose your own adventure” pedagogical model. Participants in this session will participate in a condensed version of the community development simulation to provide a textured sense of how simulations can be prepared and implemented in the classroom (or online). Participation in this simulation will also demonstrate how this teaching tool can spur student engagement and offers a novel approach that bridges theory and practice and encourages reflexive thinking during complex community development projects. 

Participants in this session will learn to create well-designed simulations based on their own personal and research experiences that are high-impact and low-intensity. Well-designed simulations balance simplicity and complexity of the scenario, maximize student engagement, and provide robust learning opportunities at the preparation, interaction, and debriefing stages. The preparation stage provides students with the opportunity to study the theory and subject matter of the simulation (e.g., relevant readings or context of the hypothetical situation). Students put their learning from the preparatory phase into action during the interaction stage as they attempt to thoughtfully respond to the scenario that they are placed in. Finally, a debriefing exercise gives students the chance to reflect on and internalize the simulation lessons. Thus, the demonstrated simulation, or variants of it, can be directly adopted by workshop participants who teach or advise students conducting community development or community-based research, either as a development practitioner or researcher. Through this session, participants will gain a teaching tool that encourages students to reflect on their own biases, blind-spots, and myths of community while learning the processes and complexities of community development.

Stay on the Zoom session a while longer and enjoy more casual conversation with colleagues.

Day 2: June 8, 2021

Bring your tea or coffee to the Zoom room early and chat with your colleagues about the previous day's sessions.

Participants will experience an ice breaker and short activity to review and reflect upon what they learned the previous day.

Daniel E. Esser, American University

In 2016, I began teaching Mohsin Hamid's novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013) as part of my syllabus for an introductory course called "Global Inequality and Development," which serves as the gateway course for my university's International Development Studies curriculum (which I also used to direct). Hailed by New York Times as "a rags-to-riches story that works on a head-splitting number of levels," the novel offers myriad entry points for a decolonized approach to understanding and reflecting on the dynamics of socioeconomic change abroad. Written in second-person singular voice, its composition evokes the late capitalist language of entrepreneurship while offering a historicized perspective on a domestic political economy of development in South Asia. Country-specific references remain elusive ("No mangoes, no mullahs, no preconceived notions," the NYT reviewer quipped), which not only renders the novel relatable to a range of geographical settings but also supports the pedagogical objective of facilitating learning beyond prejudiced ideas about the Global South. At the same time, although the Global North makes scant appearances throughout the unnamed protagonist's life course chronicled by Hamid, structural effects become increasingly visible: from colonial city planning and the cultural allure of individualism to the dictate of transnational markets and an unraveling global war on terror, local events are shaped unmistakably by global forces. Notably, to most students' surprise foreign aid is not mentioned at all, thus allowing them to envision development principally as a national struggle and question the dominance of international assistance in public imaginaries. During the proposed case study session, I intend to briefly introduce (1) the novel's story line and (2) its main arguments about development as a cross-sectional historical process, followed by (3) an analytical overview of four themes that can serve as foundations for self-reflection either in synchronous class exercises or asynchronously via virtual learning platforms. I plan to reserve the session's final minutes for answering questions from the audience.

Breakout 1: Mainstreaming Gender and Values in Teaching and Learning International Development Studies: Why Some Development Projects Fail

Ian Mcintosh, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis , Eunice Kamaara, Moi University, and Hilary Kahn, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

This interactive session introduces participants to innovative, transformative and decolonizing pedagogies focusing on mainstreaming gender and values in International Development Studies (IDS). Multiple and complex issues (e.g. gender, good governance, stakeholder engagement, power and inequality, and ethics), as well as various pedagogies (e.g. storytelling, case studies, flipped classrooms, group work, reflection, guest lectures), are modeled and explored from multiple viewpoints.

Breakout 2: Urban Development in an 'Unlivable' City: Understanding Slum Dwellers' Mobility and Water Access in Dhaka through Role Play

Anke Schwittay and Paul Gilbert, University of Sussex

In this session, participants will learn about urban development in Dhaka, Bangladesh though a role playing (RP) activity. Participants will assume the roles of stakeholders involved in disputes about how urban development plans generate unequal access to mobility and water. RP is an active learning practice that enhances students’ engagement, learning responsibilities and knowledge generation and enables interactive learning (Stevens 2015). It also allows students to apply their theoretical insights to a ‘real-world’ context, thereby fostering learning-by-doing. The anticipated learning outcomes are: building participants’ understanding of the complex and contested nature of decision-making around urban development, enhancing their interest in relevant debates and fostering international development capacities such as communication with multiple stakeholders and empathy to understand others’ perspectives and lived realities (Wheeler 2006).

Dhaka, a city of 18 million, has evolved in a largely ‘unplanned’ fashion since Bangladesh’s independence. It has been repeatedly ranked as among the ‘least liveable’ cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and urban development is often shaped by donor, state and middle-class desires for an orderly ‘world class’ city. Millions of Dhaka’s citizens reside in slums (bostis/bastees) without secure tenure, and privatized property development is leading to a dearth of secure, affordable housing (Lata 2020). Slum dwellers cannot formally access public utilities including water, and rely on politically-affiliated ‘committees’ or NGOs to provide access. Dhaka’s slum dwellers include more than a million rickshaw pullers, who have long faced calls to ban rickshaws from middle class neighbourhoods, and have mobilised in the face of donor-led initiatives to replace rickshaws with mass transport systems which have been shown to increase inequality in other megacities. Our proposed role play will allow participants to explore the global and local inequalities which shape urban development decision-making and participation processes in Dhaka, and ask what it might take to make Dhaka ‘liveable’ for the majority of residents.

To ensure successful participant engagement, we will provide carefully prepared background, case and role biography material. Each role will have a dedicated ‘bio sheet’ with necessary characteristics, persona descriptions, and summaries of how real-life individuals and organizations occupying these ‘roles’ have acted in past contestations over urban space in Dhaka. These materials will be available via Padlet, and will include written information, images, short videos recorded by the session convenors, and links to relevant news articles for players of each role to further understand their character and position. A 20 minute introduction to the activity and case study will begin the session.

To enhance the ‘almost real life’ quality of the session, the activity will be structured around a set timeline, punctuated by the announcement of events that are based on real incidents that have affected the course of urban development planning in Dhaka’s recent past. Participants will receive short briefing cards (or very brief videos embedded in the Padlet will be made visible) at set times during the session, and adjust their demands and behaviour in response. Participants will then engage in 2 x 20 minute scenarios, with scenarios developed around access to slum dwellers’ mobility and water access. There will also be a 20 minute debrief session at the end where participants will share their learnings from the activity via a guided discussion, and responses to a live poll through PollEverywhere.

Presenters and participants will share with each other what they learned in the session they attended.

Ken Salo, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Ricardo Nasciemento, Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira (UNILAB); and Greg Ruiters, University of Western Cape

This session will share reflections on proposals for our students to digitally create story maps of local antiracist rebellions against racial inequalities to open dialog on possibilities for transnational antiracist solidarities between urban youth in Brazil, Cape Town and Chicago We will invite students that we teach to share their place based stories of projects that they think build the nonracial, nonsexist and nonexploitative future nation they desire. Specifically, mainly Afro-Brazilian students at UNILABE will be invited to share their views on how they mobilize their diasporic identities to challenge dominant Eurocentric visions of a multiracial democracy. Similarly, South African students will be invited share how they challenge state projects to create a nonracial 'rainbow nation' democracy. Likewise, North American students will share how recent unprecedented Black Lives Matter protests gave rise to calls for defund the police.

We encourage everyone to use this time to step away from your screen, have something to eat, take a short walk, and relax.

We will keep the Zoom room open and invite you to keep your camera on and chat with your colleagues. You can use the open breakout room feature to join a separate room if you'd like.

Rachel Ellett, Beloit College

This Case Study Session will share an experiment on interdisciplinary pedagogy at a small liberal arts college. Despite widespread acknowledgment of the importance of interdisciplinary pedagogy, disciplinary teaching remains the norm on most campuses primarily due to cost and institutional constraints. Bridging the gap between literatures on interdisciplinary teaching and active learning techniques, this presentation will describe an innovative and less costly approach, through the linkage of case study active learning techniques with interdisciplinary principles at a small liberal arts college. 

International development as a field is inherently interdisciplinary, yet we are trained and teach within our own separate disciplines. I will describe a practical solution to linking courses across three disciplines: political science, economics and anthropology. In this experiment we developed a case study on conservation in Botswana, where we asked students to utilize practical problem solving skills and policy analysis. I will share the implementation and assessment of this case study, its successes and shortcomings, and provide suggestions for expanded implementation. I will also discuss the broad applicability of interdisciplinary case study teaching to topics that require integration across disciplines in a variety of institutional settings.

Daniel Preston, Indiana University Bloomington

My contribution to the workshop is to lead an interactive presentation to highlight the concepts related to risk and return as well as working with the core instruments utilized by blended finance in a fashion that is understandable to undergraduate students. The session will include diagramming exercises that take common personal financial tools most people are familiar with and leverage their characteristics to help explain how similar financial mechanisms can be deployed in blended finance. This process will require participants' engagement and contributions. I then plan to have participants engage with a numerical exercise in teams to test how to teach quantitative skills and understanding for an upcoming course I plan to teach. This would involve determining how to make investment choices through the lens of risk and return and then seeing how blended finance alters assumptions in financial models to transform a development project into one that can also attract private finance.

Odessa Gonzalez Benson, University of Michigan

In this session, I will share an example of a group-based student assignment for engaging with organizations or projects related to international development, focusing on actors from the Global South. I provide details below for the case study.

Desired learning outcomes include:

Students will gain contextualized knowledge about organizations and/or projects in international development, in various parts of the world and about various issues.
Students will develop skills in interpersonal communication and engagement with actors in organizations and/or projects globally.
Students will apply critical analysis of organizations and/or projects in international development, taking account of historical, social, economic, political factors in specific contexts.
Approach taken:

As a group assignment, 3-4 students were to conduct a case study of an organization/project based on a specific region and specific issue, and then conduct a one-hour presentation to the entire class. Student groups were assigned to one organization/project in different regions and different issues, so that the entire class will gain knowledge on multiple contexts; see table 1 below. Each group conducted a zoom interview with a representative from their assigned org/project; the recording was then assigned to the entire class as required synchronous material. The groups developed their interview questions, and analyzed the interview content and other material about their case. 

The first half of the semester entailed readings and class discussions about international institutions, global distribution of resources and dynamics of power and inequity globally, including discussions about post development, post-humanitarianism, rights-based development, economics of global policies. The second half of the semester entailed student presentations for deepening and localizing discussions on specific cases/regions/issues and application of theories/concepts from the first part of the semester.

The assignment was two-part. First, students were to prepare and conduct a one-hour presentation: (a) background on the issue and region, (b) case study of the organization or project with critical analysis that takes account of historical, social, economic, political factors that contextualize and impact the org/project, including examining international institutions, global distribution of resources, and dynamics of power and inequity. Second, students are to write individual papers about their presentation and critical analysis. 

Opportunities and challenges this approach presented:

This course allowed:

-the decentering of study to focus on the Global South; and engagement with actors from the Global South.
-students to have intimate and personal engagement with real-world actors.
-students to apply theories and concepts learned in class to real-world contexts, with emphasis on critical analysis
-facilitated online learning and virtual exchange


-engaging with actors globally requires resources. I provided $50 thank you stipend for each interviewee for their time and participation.

Group 1, Asia: Poverty: BRAC, a top NGO (Bangladesh)
Group 2, Latin America: Climate change: journalism project w/ indigenous communities (Amazon)
Group 3, Middle East/North Africa: Migration: Carovane Migrante, grassroots org (Tunisia, Italy) 
Group 4, Sub-Saharan Africa: Refugee issues: Young African Refugees For Integral Devp (YARID), (Uganda)
Group 5, Latin America: Housing, informal settlements: Participatory budgeting project (Brazil)

Mary Jane C. Parmentier, Arizona State University; Jeanne Simon, Universidad de Concepcion; Tomas Javier Carroza, Universidad Mar del Plata; Lindsay Smith, Arizona State University; Octavio Mucino Hernandez,Arizona State University; and Martin Perez Comisso, Arizona State University

This session will first present the course “Global Research Challenge: Latin America” co-designed and offered by a robust group of faculty and Ph.D. students from Arizona State University (USA), Universidad de Concepción (Chile), Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico) and Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Argentina), who designed a collaborative course that incorporates reflexive learning grounded in intercultural collaboration to analyze and mobilize knowledge that addresses issues in the participating countries. We will share the syllabus and reading material for the course which sought to decolonize research in development studies and establish a collaborative engagement for faculty and students in North and South America to confront pressing issues in global development and mobilize knowledge for impact in these respective communities. 

Working from a decolonial feminist perspective, the design of the course included semi-structured research topics (resource extraction, water, ICTs and education, pandemic), building of multinational student teams with faculty mentors, bilingual English/Spanish delivery, and methods for mobilization of the research outcomes for impact. Due to the differing academic calendars, we co-designed a 10-week course that was adapted to the institutional contexts using online learning platforms and technologies, which we will present in an interactive way with hands-on activities based on this multidisciplinary global development research course. The session participants will form groups to apply our design and pedagogical techniques and adapt into their development studies course as appropriate and desired. 

The activities will begin with self-reflective exercises in positionality, cross cultural awareness, and disciplinary assumptions, followed by discussions and how to engage students in these exercises. Having students reflect on positionality is useful in many disciplines, but it is critical in development studies to have students gain an awareness of their own values, experiences, and cultural lenses, as well as an awareness of how others might perceive them. The first activity will involve a critical reflection about our positionality as faculty teaching global development studies and discuss how incorporating these activities into the classroom can contribute to the decolonization of undergraduate international development studies. To address the relationship between research, diverse local actors and beneficial research impacts, we will also introduce the participants to the concept of research knowledge mobilization that provides a framework to design strategies for positive applied research impacts, with examples of the research knowledge mobilization webinar presentations our students completed at the end of the course. 

Participants will role play students, coming up with research topics, and potential knowledge mobilization audiences and methods. We will also take the participants through the learning management system we utilized and discuss other possible technologies to enable  meeting in a more neutral and open access environment. Participants in the session will come away with ideas and literature for de-colonizing their syllabi, methods for engaging technically and pedagogically with colleagues in other countries, and strategies and methods for engaging students in reflexive and collaborative research activities across cultures.

Marylynn Steckley, Carleton University

Experiential learning is a priority for North American universities, with many broadening international experiential learning options. However, low-income, visible minority groups and students with disabilities are less likely to take up travel-based experiential learning. At the same time, students are cognizant of the carbon footprints associated with aviation travel, and are critical of traditional sending models. In this session, I will explore e-volunteering as model that might remedy some of these challenges. I will draw from student perspectives (n=52) and key informant interviews (n=10) to shed light on the potential of e-volunteering as an international experiential learning option.  Participants will engage in a discussion on the challenges of both travel-based international experiential learning; and virtual international experiential learning, and we will brainstorm solutions and best practices in teaching these courses.

Thank you so much for your participation in this workshop! Please keep in touch.

Schedule at a Glance

All times are listed in Eastern Time, GMT -4:00

June 7, 2021June 8, 2021
8:30-9:00: Login and get settled
9:00-9:40: Welcome and Introductions
9:40-9:55: Session (15 min)
9:55-10:00: Transition
10:00-11:00: Session (60 min)
11:00-11:10: Break
11:10-11:40: Session (30 min)
11:40-11:45: Transition
11:45-12:00: Session (15 min)
12:00-12:05: Transition
12:05-12:20: Session (15 min)
12:20-1:00: Lunch
1:00-1:15: Session (15 min)
1:15-1:20: Transition
1:20-2:20: Session (60 min)
2:20-2:30: Break
2:30-3:30: Keynote (60 min)
3:30-3:35: Transition
3:35-3:50: Session (15 min)
3:50-4:00: Wrap Up
4:00-5:00: Virtual Happy Hour (optional)
8:00-9:00: Coffee Chat (optional)
9:00-9:15: Opening
9:15-9:30: Session (15 min)
9:30-9:35: Transition
9:35-10:35: Session (60 min)
10:35-10:40: Transition
10:40-11:10: Share-out
11:10-11:20 Break
11:20-12:20: Session (60 min)
12:20-1:00: Lunch
1:00-1:15: Session (15 min)
1:15-1:20: Transition
1:20-1:50: Session (30 min)
1:50-1:55: Transition
1:55-2:10: Session (15 min)
2:10-2:20: Break
2:20-3:20: Session (60 min)
3:20-3:25: Transition
3:25-3:40: Session (15 min)
3:40-3:45: Transition
3:45-4:00: Wrap up and Conclusion

About the Presenters

Presenters at this workshop include scholars and practitioners of International Development Studies. Their research and teaching spans across multiple disciplines and takes interdisciplinary approaches to providing engaging and meaningful teaching and learning opportunities for undergraduate students. They will be coming together virtually from around the world including parts of North America and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information about the workshop presenters, click here.

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