Globally Networked Learning Project announces new seminar series, faculty workshops, student focus groups

Featured image for the Globally Networked Learning Speaker series
image for the Globally Networked Learning Speaker series

Building on the success of the fall 2016 faculty workshops and student focus group discussions at the Keele and Glendon campuses, the Globally Networked Learning (GNL) Project at York University will launch its winter 2017 program on Jan. 25.

This term’s events and activities include the Global Conversations seminar series, faculty workshops, and focus group discussions for graduate and undergraduate students. These interactive events will allow students, faculty members, and library staff, to develop a deeper understanding of the research, development, and institutionalization of internationalized classrooms here at York University.

The winter 2017 program begins with the first event in the Global Conversations seminar series, “Re-imagining Global Conversations: Exploring the Many Meanings of Social Media for the Internationalized Classroom”, on Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 1 to 3pm at S802 in Ross Building.

Facilitated as a roundtable discussion, this forum will explore how global conversations are made and sustained in the processes of research, learning, and teaching across political, socio-cultural and linguistic borders in the 21st Century university.

Hong Liang
Hong Liang
Yin Le
Yin Le

Guest speakers Hong Liang (Beijing International Studies University) and Yin Le (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing Normal University) will discuss one tool of such global conversations: social media. Liang and Le will discuss the use of social media and life-sharing in China, and explore how we might contextualize these practices in a GNL classroom between Canada and China to make sense of global and digital citizenship.

This discussion will serve to open up an interactive discussion with seminar participants on how social media might serve as a tool for research, learning and teaching within the internationalized classroom.

The winter 2017 program continues on Feb. 6 and 7 when faculty members and library staff are invited to join faculty workshops. “Conceptualizing Globally Networked Learning (GNL) Courses/activities: Pedagogy, Technology & Partnerships” will be held at York’s Glendon campus on Feb. 6 and York’s Keele campus on Feb. 7.

These activity-based workshops will discuss the range of pedagogical and technological approaches to GNL (problem-based learning, global dialogues and shared activities, and the range of technologies to navigate this emerging innovative pedagogy). By examining case studies, workshop participants will learn about GNL partnerships that expand research and teaching collaborations and foster sensitivity to cultural differences in the internationalized classroom. Attendees will gain applied training for embedding GNL strategies to either co-develop shared courses/activities, or modify existing curriculum with international partners.

John E Fowler
John Fowler

These workshops will be co-facilitated by John E. Fowler (executive director, Creative COIL Consultants at the SUNY COIL (Center for Collaborative Online International Learning), the GNL Project Team at YorkU, and Lisa Endersby (educational developer from The Teaching Commons at York U).

In effort to engage students, the GNL Project will host a number of student focus group discussion sessions throughout January and February. These student focus groups will workshop contemporary buzz-words such as global competencies, internationalization, global and digital citizenship, inter-cultural education, and inter-cultural sensitivities, to see how students themselves would like to apply these otherwise abstract ideas to their learning experience at York.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in, and shape the direction of, the GNL Project through the Student-Faculty Roundtable on Globally Networked Learning as “21st Century Competencies”, the second in the Global Conversations’ seminar series  on March 1 from 2 to 4pm at KT 519. The roundtable will build on the findings from the 2016/2017 fall and winter faculty workshops and student focus groups to bring together participants from both groups into conversation with each other. The aim is to explore the visions, opportunities and challenges that GNL presents to both groups in effort to understand how the teaching and learning of dynamic and evolving global competencies (skills and attitudes) are meaningful to the 21st Century university and to meet the complex demands of the global workplace now and tomorrow.

The discussions from the winter 2017 programs will serve as preparatory training for summer ‘bootcamp’ workshops on GNL curriculum design, as well as determine additional activities requiring student participation in the upcoming summer 2017 term.

“We hope faculty members, library staff, and students are as excited about the possibility of developing internationalized classrooms at York as we are,” said Dominique Scheffel-Dunand, current project lead of the GNL Project. “We have designed events that will prepare us to pilot several courses in the next academic year. The more input and participation we have from all three groups in the development stage of the project, the better prepared we will be to implement and troubleshoot challenges in fall 2017. We hope to see you all there.”

To learn more about this exciting York University initiative, and to follow the GNL Project as it develops, visit