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Final Report - Draft
Task Group 2: Internationalizing the Curriculum

 

I. Introduction/Mission Statement

A.The Complexities of Creating International Intellectual Community

To help students begin the work of the 21st century, the University of Virginia is committed to expanding the international scope of its curriculum by building upon the goals and solid base of a liberal arts education. By deepening the teaching of other languages, diverse cultures, and international issues, and the international depth and breadth of the medical, scientific, business and legal disciplines, we will ensure that graduates at the University of Virginia see, experience and understand the global dimensions of life and leave the university with the skills and competencies necessary to be effective participants in an increasingly global world and marketplace.

We see the task of internationalizing the curriculum as fundamentally linked to the creation of an international intellectual community within and, facilitated by well-established traditional means and by technology, beyond the University itself. Curriculum cannot be confined merely to the realm of courses, majors, minors, and programs within every department, center, and school, but must, by the very nature of the long academic tradition envisioned by the University’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, reach myriad tentacles into the area of students and faculty abroad, international students and faculty on grounds, institutional liaisons, and student life. Therefore, the scope of our recommendations reflect this level of complexity and eclecticism. We think the ideals we give for the institution in 2020 are far-reaching, and, dare we say it, visionary. We make claim to being visionary because we see technology as being central to the international objectives represented by this Commission. Already positioned as one of the nation’s leaders in the development of digital libraries and in the use of technology in teaching, the University of Virginia is poised to be in the vanguard of those who create technological advances to internationalize higher education.

Making recommendations about curricula is a sticky business in an educational institution as large and complex as UVA. UVA has a long tradition of faculty driven initiatives and change borne of collaboration and consensus. One small body such as this Task Group making predictions about curriculum is bound to be controversial and may even miss the mark. Fundamental change can only arise in an active and engaged dialogue from all quarters: from the ground up and the top down. Creating a community in which international initiatives are deeply imbedded in the very fibre of the institution also implies deep changes in the culture that already exists. Therefore, inasmuch as our report strives to provide a snapshot of what international intellectual community may be like in 20 years, we are primarily providing recommendations for how faculty and students may be empowered to participate in formulating and implementing a shared vision out of the fertile ground of intellectual dialogue. The final product may or may not embrace part or all of what this Task Group is recommending. This is fine. We believe that successful change can only grow out of a democratic process rather than autocratic directives. Therefore, may our ideas stimulate visionary thinking at all levels of the university wedded with realizable goals carried out by practical planning through an active and inclusive intellectual dialogue.

 

B. The Basic Premises Behind our Recommendations

The first premise in our vision statement is that language training and support is the single most important element in any internationalization initiative in the 21st century. Whether we are talking about students being given the language skills that are needed to live and study overseas, about supporting international connections within all the disciplines in teaching, public service, and research—such as with our institutional partners abroad—about giving adequate training to international students and faculty so they can effectively teach UVA undergraduates, or whether we are talking about the ability of the administrative offices that facilitate these connections, providing the means to learn and maintain language competencies is central to internationalizing the curriculum. Therefore, we are embracing the paradigm of Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum as the means to nurture such goals and projects within the curricula. This paradigm will be explained in more detail in later sections.

The second premise in our vision statement is that in order for curricular changes to take place and to be far-reaching institutionally, the processes put in place to facilitate change must take place at all levels organizationally: in academic departments, in all research and service centers, in all the libraries and digital centers, in the administrative offices of each college and division, in development offices, in the offices of the Provost and ITC, and in the President’s office. All the efforts of these bodies must have a shared focus of serving and supporting the internationalization of the curriculum. Therefore, we are recommending that certain key Advisory Committees work closely with targeted personnel in the Office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities to determine the direction of change within the institution and that adequate funding be provided for the necessary research and surveys that will need to be done. A small body such as this Task Group cannot in such a short time, given all its members’ other responsibilities, do the type of outreach and development to departments, programs, centers, and schools that is necessary to explore what already exists and to make deep and meaningful suggestions for change.

The third premise of our vision statement is that technology will be a key component in the successful implementation of curricular international initiatives and the creation of international intellectual community. The objectives of institutional liaisons wedded with a robust technology infrastructure at the curricular level will make the concept of Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) achievable without needing to significantly rebuild faculty and curricula at home. In the year 2020, technology will have stabilized due to established manufacturing and platform standards, thus rendering barriers of time and space around the globe more permeable and flexible. As UVA establishes institutional liaisons and partnerships on a global basis, technology will be the single most effective way to establish and maintain those connections while both serving those populations in developing and underdeveloped countries that are currently sorely under-served and providing UVA students with immediate real-world access to the target language and culture in their second and third language studies. In this way, technology will actually enable UVA to preserve the rich academic traditions of a liberal arts education while building upon and developing new international courses and curricula and new learning constituencies. However, to get to that end point will take time and a rethinking of how resources are allocated and used. We must start to do this now, as technology developments within the corridors of this institution are already presaging new times ahead. Our recommendations reflect this reality.

Our fourth premise is that UVA is already well on its way to internationalizing the curriculum and to parlaying the power of technology to do so. Therefore, even as we keep our eyes level on our vision of the future, we must first capitalize upon the pockets of international curricula and intellectual activities and materials that are available here and now. In this way, we can build international curricula out of our strengths, acknowledging what we are doing right and pointing out areas that need further work and growth to really put UVA on the map in this area.

Our fifth and last premise is that we must preserve what we have done well for almost two centuries. Technology may not be able to provide access to resources and knowledge in many of the areas that are UVA’s strength. While technology remains in a transitional state institutionally and internationally and afterwards, internationalization of the curriculum must also continue to be supported by those highly successful and valuable means central to how curricula have historically been taught, accessed, or transmitted:

  • traditional classroom-based teaching methods;
  • the continuing development of a textual archive of rare paper-based materials and books;
  • the joy of in-person, face-to-face classroom discussion and visits and lectures by scholars from abroad;
  • the adventure of sending our own students and faculty abroad to live immersed in another cultural context;
  • the continued support of language houses, a language precinct, language tables, and other arenas where exposure to real-life culture and language is a daily, lived reality.

Our short-, mid-, and long-term recommendations grow out of and reflect these organizational and institutional philosophies and approaches. We feel they are inclusive and flexible enough to stimulate new thinking on the topic of internationalizing the curriculum so that our vision of the University in 2020 will be manifested in philosophy at least, if not in exactly the same form. This is a vision wherein resources and opportunities at the University for developing language skills and cultural knowledge, for developing cultural awareness in the practical application of knowledge (such as in the sciences and medicine), and for deepening language skills within an area of practical and/or scholarly expertise will be dynamically interconnected through institutional commitments at every level of the organization and through the ability of technology to create a bridge between UVA and the global community.

II.  Long-range Goals—2020

A.  Curricular and Research Enhancement

We envision a university in 2020 in which, through incentives provided by external grant funding and concentrated internal funding initiatives, every school, program and department will have enhanced and broadened their course offerings to include international topics and content either on-site, through study abroad and/or through international liaisons enhanced by distance technologies. So that students’ knowledge base will have both theoretical as well as practical applications in an international arena, they will be exposed to both in their major and minor areas. Interdisciplinary teaching and research initiatives, enhanced by cluster-hiring, based on the University of Wisconsin model, will be common practice. Faculty hiring and tenure decisions will take into consideration the degree to which the individual embraces this model of research and teaching, thus having by 2020 increased the number of faculty involved in international curriculum exponentially over a 20 year period to a critical mass of 50% of all faculty.

To support research that is the bedrock of instruction, UVA libraries will have state-of-the-art access to digital resources worldwide while also maintaining a traditional text-based archive in those subject areas where digital resources are not as readily available. Area centers will have been expanded to include South Asian, East Asian, Russian and Eastern European, Middle Eastern, African, European, Latin American, and American so that every major continent and national or ethnic group will be represented in teaching and research at the University. These centers will work closely with the departments whose constituencies they represent to fulfil the mission of an international curriculum.

By 2020, foreign language competency will also be part of almost every department’s, program’s and school’s requirements through a Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) program. FLAC is defined as providing students with the ability to do intensive, contextualized language training in a targeted area of expertise. This training will be provided through two means: 1) As a service to the university through currently existing language departments, in new departments and programs (for instance, we could envision an African Studies program or department in the future), and in departments where historically less commonly taught languages such as Tibetan and Swahili have been taught. Service is defined as providing the language and pedagogical expertise needed to develop and deliver language instruction and language-enhanced curricula in all the disciplines; and 2) Through commitments by schools, departments and programs to hiring faculty who are able to teach contextualized content courses in particular language areas; 3) Through computer-assisted language instruction combined with lecture and discussion sections either with instructors on grounds or at partner institutions internationally via videoconferencing technologies. A Foreign Language Center, funded by a Title IV grant and reporting to the Vice-Provost of International Activities, will act as the gateway for such services to be arranged and delivered and will provide administrative and technical support for departmental curricula and initiatives and for those languages that do not have a home in already existing departments and programs. When a particular language expertise is not available either through language departments and programs, the FLC will arrange for other resources in support of instruction in that language, such as through international students and scholars, or through partner institutions abroad. The Foreign Language Center will work closely with Area Centers to parlay these and other resources in support of language training. Foreign language departments will still offer their own curricula as they have in the past while broadening their mission to include this institutional service, while the Foreign Language Center

For instance, if the Darden School sets up a requirement that their students must have advanced language proficiency in their area of expertise, they will approach the Foreign Language Center, which will in turn coordinate with the departments to develop strategies for providing the needed training and in implementation. This could be a combination of classroom-based teaching, computer-aided instruction (CAI), and an arrangement with a partner institution abroad to provide tutoring, on-line learning modules, intensive language study abroad, and/or expertise to develop such programs at UVA. The Darden School would also offer opportunities to use the target language in selected courses through lectures in the target language, through certain research requirements in the target language, and through other means. In another example, if the Southeast Asia Center and the Department of Art are interested in students majoring in Southeast Asian Studies with a major in art to know how to read and interpret arcane orthography in Hindu art and architecture, if such expertise does not exist within language departments, the Southeast Asia Center would coordinate with faculty expertise in other departments in the university and/or with a partner institution overseas to develop technology modules on this subject matter which students will be required to learn and show mastery on through an on-line test. Once the resources are provided for developing these modules and the project is completed, no further personnel resources will be needed to support this instructional need.

There are other areas where UVA will take an active role in leadership and collaboration in the local community. For instance, the Foreign Language Center will also work with area high schools, middle schools, and Piedmont Virginia Community College to include active support for the teaching of foreign languages and cultures beginning at the elementary level. This will ensure that language curricula locally at each level and institution dovetail with UVA’s initiatives so that area students will be more promising candidates for admission and once they begin work here, will be more successful in their studies. In addition, PVCC is introducing an international studies major themselves, making the connection to UVA more rich for all participants. UVA’s Division of Continuing Education will also have a robust international component to its offerings taking advantage of the capabilities of technology, enabling adults wishing to learn a foreign language, travel abroad or gain further professional training to do so.

B.  Technology Support for Internationalization

By the year 2020, it is not unrealistic to envision that technology will be able to do things that now may seem difficult. For instance, technology will allow students and faculty:

  • To see and hear lectures and participate in symposia featuring prominent scholars from around the world;
  • To study languages under the tutelage of teachers living in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern or Western Europe and other countries supplemented by rich computer-based curricula and on-site lecture and discussion sections;
  • To tap into and even contribute to databases filled with text, images, audio and video recordings that will enrich learning and research, empowering even undergraduate students to become partners in international research projects with their UVA and international faculty mentors;
  • To take full-fledged courses that are offered by UVA’s partner institutions from around the world in a second language without ever leaving Charlottesville and/or to prepare for study and research abroad;
  • To exchange and/or collaborate on papers, multimedia research projects, and to carry on complex discussions on course topics electronically with colleagues, classmates and instructors at home and abroad;
  • To have one-on-one tutorial sessions with instructors abroad in English and/or the other language(s) she or he is studying as part of his or her major or minor;
  • To take and offer courses that are team-taught by instructors at UVA and at institutions abroad;
  • To watch the news and other programming, live, from any country all around the world in any class or dorm room and to integrate knowledge and interpretation of such media into course curricula.

The new technologies will enable students to encounter real life materials and to learn, review, and drill grammar and structure outside of the traditional classroom meeting three-, four- or five-day-week schedule. Instead, time face-to-face with faculty and teaching assistants can be spent on productive communicative activities and to address particular difficulties. Technology will also enable high-quality student work to become a permanent part of the University archive. Indeed, because of the highly public nature of work that is made available digitally, students are now and will likely continue to be motivated to produce more significant, well-written and conceived contributions to the fields they are studying. Technology will also enable language instruction to take place without extended instructor time commitment in what have heretofore been considered highly specialized and obscure areas, such as Old Church Slavonic in medieval texts and iconography. In addition, since technology will eventually enable students from all over the world to take classes and work collaboratively with teachers and students, courses that today only have small enrollments and that are in danger of being eliminated may still be able to be offered, either here or abroad. We have attached as an addendum to this report a day in the life of a student in the year 2020, Thomas Baggett in order to illustrate how technology can potentially change the landscape of teaching and learning at UVA.

C.  Internationalizing Student Life and Enhancing International Intellectual Community

By 2020, the average UVA student will be able to choose from a variety of residential learning environments modeled upon the International Living and Learning Center and the Foreign Language Precinct off of JPA. Within these residential environments, departments, programs and schools will work with Student Life personnel to coordinate colloquia, seminars, and lectures on topics relevant to the international curricula at UVA. These programs will tap the expertise of visiting international faculty and students, will bring international scholars to grounds for special programs, and, through distance technologies and videoconferencing, will expand the global scope of these offerings. Other opportunities for foreign students and scholars to become better integrated into international intellectual student life will be provided by participation in a Global Issues Forum, informal brown bag lunches on selected topics, contribution to weekly discussion groups about the international news, videoconferences with scholars and groups overseas, as well as by serving as advisors and informants on international research projects, and by pairing foreign students with UVA students majoring in an international studies topic area or in a regional studies program.

Opportunities for Study Abroad will be closely coordinated with curricular objectives, enabling up to 80% of the student body to study in their major and minor areas at reputable programs around the globe. In those regions and nations where technology is accessible, students will prepare for the Study Abroad stay via distance technologies prior to their departure. Through the Studies Abroad Office, graduate exchange programs will be supported by interdepartmental consortia so that the financial and administrative burdens are shared and a wider population of graduate students at the University can take advantage of this opportunity.

III.  Mid-range Goals—2010
A.  Curricular and Research Enhancement: College of Arts & Sciences

We envision the internationalization of the University taking place through carefully setting priorities in implementation and planning. It is important to focus initial energy and efforts in those areas where success is most likely to be achieved, which will be deep and far-reaching, and which can therefore be held up as a model to other schools and programs within the University community. Because Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum and internationalization efforts have traditionally been focused with the humanities and social sciences at the undergraduate level and because the Arts & Sciences is the largest school within the University, the first goal of set by the Office of the VP of International Activities should be focused on the development of international curricula within the College of the Arts & Sciences, particularly in the humanities and the social sciences.

The first critical step towards internationalizing these disciplines is to establish the Foreign Language Center (FLC) with adequate staffing (at least a Director, an Assistant Director, and an administrative assistant) and budget to enable it to fulfill its mission as the body to coordinate all FLAC endeavors. This should be accomplished no later than 2005. With the cooperation of Chairs of foreign language departments, an internal and independent assessment of the Required Course Sequence and the effectiveness of all levels of language teaching, including summer programs will be undertaken. This study will address some of the ways foreign language departments will need to deepen the Foreign Language Requirement (FLR) in the College of Arts & Sciences:

  1. Redefining the FLR not as an end in itself, but as a "gateway" to study abroad and to mastery measured as professional level of proficiency within their declared major.
  2. Ensuring that students know that the 2-year FLR does not provide professional level competency but is only a threshold to competency.
  3. Establishing competency levels for participation in FLAC courses.

We also envision that the foreign language departments and the departments of the social sciences and humanities will have made some progress towards internationalizing the curriculum no later than 2007. For the non-language departments, this would be measured by offering at up to three courses with international and some second language content. For the language departments, this would be measured by their having wholly embraced their mission as providing service to the university in language learning and teaching.

This Task Group also recommends that the following programs be established as part of each departments offerings and/or as a way to bring more students on board:

  1. 3rd and 4th year seminars (modeled on the USEMs) that address international issues and are geared towards students returning from abroad.
  2. Creation of an International Studies Honors program or certificate that will involve yearlong international research and a special citation on the UVA diploma to that effect. This Honors program would be done during the regular 4-year curriculum or during the 5th year should a student opt to do so.
  3. Creation of an introductory level courses on international issues, taught in English, to initiate students into the compelling issues of the geographic area studied.

However, foreign language and other departments in the humanities and the social sciences will also have to be offered incentives for change and for participation in reaching these objectives. Investment of resources on an institutional level in faculty development will ensure success; without such an investment, any internationalizing initiatives will be doomed to failure. It is not realistic for the institution to ask for more from faculty and departments than they are already giving without sufficient additional resources to make it worth their while and to ensure that their workloads will not be significantly increased. Further, convincing faculty to change the traditional ways that they themselves have learned and in the way they teach, is a daunting task, particularly in the foreign languages where many current approaches to teaching have been well-entrenched since World War II. Change must be perceived as coming with individual and departmental perks and benefits, rather than additional burdens and responsibilities. This change in perception can be done gradually over a 10-year period through concentrated faculty development initiatives and through changing and adding funding priorities at the College level. Certain incentives such as the following can be built in, some funded internally, some externally:

  1. Semester leave to develop international curricula for individuals or a group.
  2. Summer stipends " ".
  3. Tenure and promotion decisions weighed partially on to what degree participation in internationalizing objectives are being embraced by individual faculty.
  4. Increase in operating funds, graduate student fellowships, and staffing for foreign language departments who participate.
  5. Special programs with funding and course release to develop new courses and rethink old courses using technology tools.
  6. New faculty lines in areas where need is proven to be critical in order to be successful.

Such incentives should be focused, in particular, on the Required Language Sequence, since changing course content, integrating technology and retraining graduate assistants takes time and money. However, once course development has been completed, the need for resources will drop, including the number of teaching assistants, since existing TA resources will be more efficiently used.

Part of this process of building during this initial 5 to 7-year period should additionally involve expanding upon and broadening support for existing Area Centers so that they can more effectively coordinate with the FLC in supporting faculty and development of new curricula. Support for the administration of Study Abroad at the undergraduate and graduate level should be increased by the University, as well as funding for programming aimed at building and extending international intellectual community, and by extension, curricular objectives, in student life.

B.  Curricular and Research Enhancement: Professional Schools and Programs

The establishment of the Foreign Language Center will be a first step in encouraging the participation of the professional schools in internationalizing their curriculum, since it will serve the entire University community. The FLC, along with the Office of the VP of International Activities, will work with each school’s Internationalization Advisory Board (see below) to determine if and how a FLAC initiative would work. If a FLAC initiative is not seen as being the best "fit" for the school, then other modalities will be tried on an experimental basis with the goal that by 2010, several robust programs in each school will be in place.

For instance, the needs and goals of Medical School students at the graduate and undergraduate levels are very different than those of students in the humanities and social sciences. Currently the Medical School is working with the Arts & Sciences Center for Instructional Technologies to decide how to use technology to make available Spanish and English as a Second Language to graduate students and visiting fellows. In both languages, knowledge of specialized medical terminology is needed, while in English, students may already know basic English, but need help with pronunciation so they can be understood when they lecture and teach. In Spanish, students may need to learn Spanish quickly from the ground up while also incorporating special medical terminology as part of their study. Student workloads and course requirements in the Medical School are extremely heavy. Flexibility of access to language resources is critical to success, therefore, technology seems to be the best fit with their needs long-term.

In another example, the Darden School’s objectives might be to provide their students with cultural competencies, rather than with language proficiency since the parlance of business practices is predominantly in English all around the globe. Therefore, they might need to have short courses to develop cultural sensitivities and skills, such as on Japanese or Chinese etiquette or in differing needs for personal space among people of different cultural backgrounds. If a student in the Darden School needs to develop language competencies, he or she might need to do so very quickly without having had any prior language study or he or she might already know basic Spanish, for instance, and only needs to learn specialized vocabulary for specific business practices.

Starting in 2005, the FLC, working with the Advisory Board in each school and acting as a bridge between them and the foreign language departments, will parlay both human and technology resources to serve their needs. The office that serves international students and scholars will coordinate hiring them as tutors and teachers, thus providing visitors with what is often sorely needed income. The power of technology to respond to varying levels of need without requiring the hiring of teachers with specialized knowledge will be used by the development of modules targeted at particular professional vocabularies, oral and aural skills.

Given the specialized nature of this endeavor, the target date of this Task Force for the provision of adequate language tools and training in the professional schools will be 2010. This will involve hiring one full-time general faculty member in each participating school who will act as that school’s coordinator for language training and instruction in consultation with and using the resources of the FLC. An additional role of this individual will be to do faculty development in assisting faculty in envisioning how the curricula can have a greater international scope. Just as incentives need to be provided to faculty in the Arts & Sciences to internationalize the curriculum, so the same incentives should be offered to the professional schools.

 

C.  Internationalizin Student Life

By 2005-2007, in the area of student life, students will be exposed through orientation materials and a program of activities particularly designed for them through the First Year Experience in cooperation with first-year dorms. They should have an "International Experience" by October of the first year (i.e. invitation to dinner or a movie at one of the language houses, the Center for International Living and Learning, the International Center, or one of the many international student groups on grounds). International news programming will be delivered to all dorms and dining halls. In short, we feel that it is realistic with some coordination with the Office of Student Affairs, to have robust arenas of international intellectual community contiguous with internationalizing objectives in the curriculum and outside the classroom by 2010.

 

D. Technology Infrastructure for Internationalizing the Curriculum

Because international communications is central to the successful implementation of internationalizing the curriculum, easy and flexible access to and use of technology tools will be central to all internationalizing initiatives. In the area of curriculum development, by 2005, the following approaches and models should be in place in experimental modules, with the goal that by 2010, the following practices should be firmly esconsed in the delivery of instruction:

  • Pedagogies must be adapted with cultural differences in mind;
  • The choice of technology tools should be driven by the pedagogy so that, for instance, a choices can be made between synchronous (chat rooms, videoconferencing) and asynchronous contexts (email, Web-based technologies), blended with more traditional face-to-face discussion sections and lectures;
  • Self-instruction should be built in alongside traditional models of teaching and learning;
  • Student energy should be used in the classroom context to help build archives, collections, and forge international connections as part of their graded work

In order for instructional design to be successful, support as per the models currently provided by the Instructional Technology Group of ITC and the Arts & Sciences Center for Instructional Technologies will be critical to the success of any international initiative using technology. Therefore, we strongly encourage that the following practices be institutionalized by 2005:

  • Higher level administrative commitment to technology as central to initiatives;
  • One individual overseeing all technology efforts reporting to international dean or provost;
  • Encouragement of faculty participation and development of technology tools through incentives such as grants, release time and inclusion in tenure decisions;
  • Encouragement of collaboration between academic computing and campus-wide computing services and digital media centers;
  • Team of full-time multimedia developers and instructional technology advisors versed in international issues on the technical and the academic sides;
  • Faculty advisory committees on technology, teaching and research;
  • Robust programming to disseminate goals and curricular innovations with technology institution-wide;
  • Discipline specific training workshops for faculty on how to internationalize the curriculum using technology.

By 2010 the University should be able to support whatever technology tools are current at the time of implementation. This means that the following technical infrastructure should be well-established, with adequate support personnel and funding:

  • Funding for hardware, software, and server space;
  • Broadband ethernet connections and cable networks for satellite television in every classroom, office, and dormitory;
  • Site licenses to SCOLA, I-Channel and other satellite television programming reaching into dorm, office and classroom on campus;
  • Adequate funding for software and hardware in labs and classrooms supporting special international initiatives, including instructional software, conferencing software and hardware, and tools to facilitate international communication;
  • Institution-wide standards for foreign language fonts in word processing, email, and on the WebFunding for instructional software, conferencing software, and other tools to facilitate international communication in all offices, public labs and technology-equipped classrooms;

These institutional commitments should be in place for the foreseeable future to continue building and supporting that infrastructure and to keep abreast of new technological developments enhancing distance international communications of all kinds.

IV.  Immediate Goals
A.  Planning and Development

Given that developing new curricular objectives and programs involves many levels of the university and hundreds of individuals, the first institutional priority should be to do an extensive study of which courses, curricula, programs, departments, centers, and schools currently in place already fulfill a part the stated goals of this Task Group and to find the points of articulation between them. This is work that this Task Group has not been equipped to do given the size of the university and the timeframe of this Commission’s existence. We also feel that the strategies for internationalizing the humanities and social sciences within the College of Arts & Sciences may differ from the strategies used in internationalizing the Medical, Darden, Law, Engineering, Curry, McIntyre, and other schools by virtue of the highly specialized and professional nature of their programs. Therefore, our short-term recommendations in large part point to broad areas needing more rigorous and detail-oriented study and outreach upon which new goals and initiatives can then be based. These studies would be coordinated and undertaken by a full-time general faculty member in the Office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities in collaboration with and under the direction of Advisory Boards set up within each school:

  1. College of Arts & Sciences

    humanities & social sciences
    sciences

  2. Darden and Law Schools
  3. Medical School
  4. McIntyre School of Commerce
  5. Curry School

One Advisory Board called the University-wide International Curriculum Committee would be formed consisting of members from each of these schools to oversee and coordinate efforts between them.

Informational studies done by these Advisory Boards with support from the designated personnel in the Office of the VP of International Activities would involve searches on the University’s Web site, Web- and paper-based surveys of departments, programs, and schools, informational visits with faculty, staff, deans, and other administrators, and further research on how other institutions have started the process of internationalizing the curriculum, particularly with the use of technology. Funding for the operating costs (to include office supplies, travel funds, Student Wages and Work Study money, printing budgets, etc.) and personnel needed to undertake this research task should be provided to the office of the Vice-Provost recommended by this Commission. Our recommendation would be to hire one full-time general faculty position whose time will be largely committed to this outreach and development work with the Advisory Boards.

We anticipate it will take one person up to two years to collect and compile all this information, to work with the school-based Boards, and to oversee the creation of a Web-based database (discussed below). The person hired to do this work will report on their findings to the Vice-Provost and to the University-wide International Curriculum Committee consisting of core faculty members across departments and schools who are interested in pursuing and realizing the recommendations of this Task Group. Just as other Task Groups on this Commission with more self-contained areas of inquiry have been able to make concrete recommendations about implementation of short- and mid-term changes, we feel a more concentrated and well-supported effort by the office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities will eventually be able to make concrete assessments of and recommendations for broad-based institutional changes and initiatives at all organizational levels and will be able to take the steps necessary to implement those changes.

Specific areas of inquiry and exploration on the part of the Office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities and the participating Task Groups should be:

  1. What course offerings and programs already existing in the University point in the direction of the recommendations of this Task Group for 2020 and how can they be improved, expanded, capitalized upon and/or coordinated among in the short- and mid-term?
  2. How can the existing interdisciplinary major be expanded to support international objectives?
  3. To what extent are foreign language departments currently open to the idea of supporting a FLAC initiative short- and long-term as part of their service to the community and as a way of building and strengthening their own majors, minors, and graduate degree programs? What programs do they currently have in place that already do so? In what ways can language offerings and instructional methodologies and means of delivery be changed to embrace the goals of this initiative (course structure, class meetings, discussion sections, use of technology, etc.)?
  4. In what areas can each department, program and school expand their offerings to support the internationalization of the curriculum? How could language expertise in the disciplines—particularly in those areas other than the humanities where it is generally not common for knowledge of a language other than English to be required—actually enable students to apply their knowledge in a real-world, global market? How can this vision then inform the ways the curriculum is altered or added to?
  5. How can currently existing study abroad programs and institutional liaisons better support future current and future international curricular objectives?
  6. How can the Summer Foreign Language Institute be reshaped or better supported to enable us to realize the goals of internationalization of the curriculum?
  7. In what ways are library resources currently used to support building text and digital archives for use by students and scholars who are a part of an international curriculum? In what ways can these resources be changed to meet such goals? Should regional studies biographers be reintroduced? What areas of the traditional support provided by libraries to courses with foreign language and international content should be maintained in lieu of electronic resources?
  8. What areas of student life currently support international curricula and how can they be expanded to make future goals realizable?
  9. What core instructional technology tools should be developed that can serve a broad range of needs and interests in this effort?

This list may not be inclusive. We are sure that once the proverbial "pandora’s box" is opened up, other areas that need study and where recommendations should be made will appear.

A product of this survey of university resources and programs would include further specific recommendations to the Office of the President and to Peter Low for resources needed for expansion of existing or implementation of new programs. It would also result in the development of a Web site with a clickable image map by geographic or regional area to enable students and faculty to easily find courses and other researchers pertinent to the area of the world they are interested in. This tool would be linked directly to UVA’s first splash page as emblematic of the institution’s commitment to making UVA students members of a global community.

B.  Technology and Internationalization

We recommend that an Internationalization and Technology Advisory Committee be formed focusing specifically on how technology will be parlayed now and in the future in support of internationalizing the curriculum. This committee would consist of one representative each from ITC and the library, Rich Israel, from Arts & Sciences Computing Support, Rachel Saury, a member of this Task Group and Director of the Arts & Sciences Center for Instructional Technologies, home of the Multimedia Language Learning Laboratory, and one or two faculty members interested in issues related to technology and teaching in this area. This committee will work closely with the Office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities to develop strategies for creating more broad-based support for short- and long-term use of technology in support of internationalizing objectives.

If UVA is to truly develop international intellectual community, its faculty, staff and students will need access to many and varied technology tools in foreign languages, including:

  1. The ability to send and receive email;
  2. The ability to create and read Web sites;
  3. Creation of multimedia research and teaching projects;
  4. Videoconferencing here and at international partner institutions;
  5. Databases of text, images, audio and video that are easily customized to the needs of each course, program, and/or curricular objectives;
  6. The ability to keep abreast of media in other countries, from TV, to radio, to newspapers.

Currently, ITC has only slowly developed support for technology in research, teaching, and learning. Public labs for students are not at all set up to support any of the functions described in the list above. There is a small group devoted to the development and support of instructional technologies in ITC called the Instructional Technology Group, under which falls the Digital Media Lab, a resource for faculty needing help using technology in teaching. However, they are sorely under-resourced given that their mission is to serve the teaching and technology needs of the entire University. The Robertson Media Center and Alderman Library also provide support of technology tools in research and teaching. In the Arts & Sciences, Computer Support Services under the direction of Rich Israel, help faculty customize their desktops to foreign language computing needs. The Arts & Sciences Center for Instructional Technologies primarily supports the technology needs of the foreign language departments. This Task Group does not know what technology support exists for international or other computing in other schools and divisions. Nonetheless, the resources we are aware of will not be enough in the near and long term to enable teachers to bring international curricula to their students, for offices supporting those endeavors to have reasonable electronic means of communication with one another and partner institutions in a foreign language, and for students to undertake projects and reports for classes with foreign language content. Therefore, the tasks of the Technology Advisory Committee will be as follows:

  1. To explore what foreign language technology tools are available and where and where lacunae exist;
  2. To work with technical experts to create the image map described in Section A above;
  3. To foreground technology issues pertaining to international activities in ITC and other technology support divisions across grounds;
  4. To recommend standards for foreign language and international computing within the boundaries of the University that will permit sharing and broad-based applications of existing databases, images, digital texts, etc., across disciplines, on faculty and staff desktops, and in student computing labs;
  5. To made recommendations to the Office of the Provost, ITC, and other schools and divisions for future funding and development in this area.
  6. To disseminate information about and to coordinate between technology and teaching and research initiatives with international content.

Lastly, this Task Group recommends that the university expand the incentive program called the Teaching + Technology Initiative to include up to 3 fellowships/year particularly targeted at development of computer-based tools for use in FLAC and in courses with international content. The university should also hire an additional Instructional Technology Advisor as part of the Instructional Technology Group or the Multimedia Language Learning Laboratory to support these and other international technology projects. The number of projects that are currently being worked on at UVA is staggering and they are promising to develop into core tools for use in the future across disciplines and platforms. However, personnel and cash resources are inadequate to meet demand. It is critical if UVA is to remain a leader in the area of digital technologies and as a publicly-funded university that it makes the support of these projects a high priority.

C.  Fundraising and Development

We recommend that the one person or persons in the University Development Office and in each schools’ development offices be identified who will work with the Office of the Vice-Provost of International Activities, and the two Committees mentioned here to target potential private and corporate donors, grant programs, and other funding in support of international curricular initiatives as they are developed. Currently, development efforts among international corporations and international alumni are either non-existent or done on an ad hoc basis. We believe that the wedding of technology to international objectives as described for 2020 in this document are eminently fundable; indeed, we feel that if UVA aims as high as we hope it will, it will put this institution on the map as a leader in the use of technology in the internationalization of the curriculum and the University as a whole.

 

Addendum: A Day in the Life of Thomas Baggett in the Year 2020

Our student, called Thomas Bagget is in his fourth semester at UVA. It is Spring, 2020 and he is preparing for a year abroad at the University of Dakar in Senegal where he will study land-use issues and public health for his double major in Francophone African Studies and Public Policy. Part of the requirement for the major is to have near-native proficiency in French and at least one West African language.

Although this latter language requirement may seem unusual now, given the fact that technology has globalized the skilled job market for anyone with a Bachelors degree or above, and because of the social, health and environmental crises that have manifested around the globe, it is not unusual for the top-flight institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Europe to have language requirements in a major European language and one or two other languages native to the region being studied. This trend has also emerged because of the insistence of the tribal and indigenous peoples in many developed and developing nations worldwide to have their native languages and cultures preserved and to empower their own people to collaborate in finding solutions to their own problems. The socio-politial goals of these latter groups came to the fore in the first decade of the 21st century alongside a realization on the part of the governments of the industrialized and developing nations, public policy think tanks and grass roots and international relief organizations dealing with various health and environmental crisis such as AIDS, that social, educational and medical outreach would be more successful if team members were not only trained in policy issues, but also deeply understand the cultural roots of the people being impacted. Knowledge of the tribal language also enables them to work more closely with those they serve and their native collaborators. Responding to these new needs and pressures, various consortia of universities and institutes around the world developed and maintain distance technologies and digital databases to collaboratively preserve, catalogue, and deliver real life cultural, linguistic, literary, and artistic materials and artifacts.

Therefore, Thomas’ intellectual interests and career goals are in line with the trends of the time. To this end, he starts his day: Today he has his monthly discussion session for his French 425, entitled "French Readings in Public Policy and Cultural Preservation" class at 9 a.m. This seminar-style class brings together students who have an area studies concentration in a Francophone nation or region at UVA, Berkeley, and the University of Dakar. The students in the U.S. are required to do their research in French using various text- and electronic resources. Because the American students meet with their Senegalese classmates and instructor at the University of Dakar using a Web-based videoconferencing program, they also are getting critical language practice in their area of specialization. They only meet once a month for 4 hours because much of their discussion and research findings take place on and are posted to a Web-based threaded discussion and collaborative writing program. Their annotations of texts, Web sites, and other materials relevant to the topic are also entered into a shared digital database supported by the library. In this way, student work is saved and catalogued, helping build resources for future researchers and policymakers. One student per month is responsible for presenting orally a body of material assigned to her. The oral presentation is in French. This week is Thomas’ turn to present his material on the impact of the AIDS crisis in Senegal on the erosion of cultural identity.

As he grabs his towel, bathrobe and shower bucket, he flips on his computer so it can boot while he showers and gets dressed. It is 8:25 by the time he is dressed. With 15 minutes before he has to leave the dorm to get to class, he sits down at his computer to log onto the Multimedia Language Learning Laboratory’s Web site where he finds review modules for the language called Fulfudi spoken by the Wolof and Fulani peoples on the West Coast of Africa. He has to take a quiz by 5 p.m. today on new vocabulary on how to shop in the outdoor markets of Senegal. He didn’t get a high enough score on his first try, so he is going to take it again. Each time he takes it, the computer records which vocabulary he missed and which vocabulary items still have not been tested. Each quiz will test slightly different material while also reinforcing new materials. He logs into the Language Lab’s server using his personal login id and his password which pulls up a screen showing icons for each of the language courses he is taking. He clicks on "Fulfuldi at the University of Dakar" and a screen opens up showing him how many modules he has completed, how many quizzes he has taken and his current cumulative score for them.

At UVA, instead of developing a course in Fulfuldi itself with an instructor on-site—a project which would have been prohibitively expensive—they have a partnership with the University of Dakar in Senegal so that students can take on-line courses, including language study and the seminar in French readings also being taken by Thomas. What Thomas doesn’t know is that part of his tuition covers the cost that UVA pays to the University of Senegal for providing the Web-based language course and the native speaker with whom the UVA students will meet via a Web-based videoconferencing program 1 time a week in addition to their Web-based modules. It also pays for UVA’s own nominal administrative costs and the technical support staff who help out students who encounter technical difficulties. There are currently 6 students other than Thomas at the intermediate level of Fulfuldi at UVA: one graduate and one undergraduate in African Studies, two undergraduates majoring in African languages and linguistics, one undergraduate majoring in French and economic and political theory, one student from the Law School majoring in international law in developing nations, and one woman who is enrolled in the Division of Continuing Education because she wants to learn a little bit of Fulfuldi in preparation for a trip she and her husband are taking to West Africa in the summer to visit their son who is in the Peace Corps in a remote village. Their discussion sections are designed so that they will actively use the language they have been studying using the Web-based modules. However, the bulk of their learning takes place via Web-based grammar, culture, vocabulary, and reading modules reinforced by video and audio.

Thomas clicks on "In the Senegal Market" and several icons appear, each representing various activities. He clicks on "flashcard practice" and an easy-to-use interface opens up. He drills himself in three skills for each word and idiom: reading, writing, and listening comprehension. He realizes that he really doesn’t understand one idiomatic construction that he needs to know and he sends a quick message in French to the tutor in Dakar with his question. He has gotten so absorbed in what he’s doing that he momentarily forgets about the time until 10 of 9. He quickly logs off the system and runs out the door. He arrives at his Cabell seminar room two minutes late. The students and instructor in the U.S. and Africa in the French reading course are chatting and laughing as they catch up with one another since the last time they saw one another face-to-face. Even though they are accustomed to the way technology enables them to see one another from classrooms around the world, the first few moments of contact remain exciting and novel throughout the semester. Thomas sits down at his computer workstation and pulls up his materials for presentation. The room quiets down when he clears his throat indicating he’s ready to start. He gives a 45-minute presentation to the 20 other students in the class—6 in the U.S. and 24 in Dakar. Then, in the native tradition of the Fulfudi and Wolof peoples, each student in the class gets two minutes to respond to and make oral comments on his presentation. After that, the floor opens for his responses and general discussion.

At 1 p.m., the class is over. Thomas is satisfied with his presentation and the group response. Based upon his oral presentation, the instructor has made some suggestions for changing how the materials Thomas has entered and categorized the database for the past two months. He will do that this afternoon after he takes his quiz. He’ll also get some help from the reference librarian on the best and quickest way to change topic entries in the database. But first he goes to have lunch in the International Living and Learning Center’s café where he can knows he will find some of the other students and graduate instructors in the African Studies program hanging out. The café is a favorite place to go not only because it is the central gathering place for students majoring in area studies programs of various kinds, but because news broadcasts from all over the world are piped in every day. Individual computers are also available so that students can read electronic newspapers from all over the world and listen to live radio broadcasts. Since most students who are in area studies programs are required to know at least 2 languages other than English and since the international students and scholars also live in the Center itself, the café is a place where there is a caucophanous babble of tongues from all over the world. The food selections represent cuisine from all around the world.

Thomas finally tears himself away from an interesting conversation with a friend who is a graduate student on a one-year program from the University of Dakar. He needs to go to the Multimedia Language Resource Center to take his Fulfuldi quiz. He finishes the quiz in a half-hour and his score, shown to him in a pop-up window when he finishes, indicates that he has passed that module. His instructor will get a record of his score dumped into the special database that keeps track of Thomas’ work. Since he has set a personal goal to finish the intermediate Fulfuldi course by the mid-summer, he figures he has about 8 weeks to finish 14 modules. The pace will be fast, but because he is motivated by the fact that he wants to get approval by July 15 to leave for Senegal on August 15, he is willing to push himself. In addition to passing the final on-line test, he’ll also have a half-hour oral testing session with his instructor in Senegal before he’ll be given the go-ahead to leave. If he leaves for Senegal with intermediate knowledge of Fulfuldi, he anticipates he’ll be able to pass the advanced requirement when he returns because part of his stay in Senegal will include an internship out in the villages assisting healthcare workers disseminate information on AIDS prevention. During that time, he will probably speak a lot of Fulfuldi. He will be tested in Fulfuldi in another half-hour interview with his tutor before he leaves for the U.S. so that he can be placed in what is his new competency level after being in Senegal for a year. When he gets back, he will have to complete another 20 computer-based modules in Advanced Fulfuldi and pass the written test in order to get his certification for completing the African language requirement for his major.

As part of his African Studies major, he also has to take a course on the tribal cultures of West Africa taught by a professor of anthropology. This class also has an on-line component and is taught collaboratively by two faculty members: one at UVA and one at the University of Dakar. The next class meets via videoconferencing tomorrow at 8 a.m. Thomas wants to finish to assigned reading. He also missed the last lecture, so he has to watch the recorded session on-line. Since all these materials are available on the Internet, he decides to stay in the Language Learning Center to complete the assignment. By the time he has finished watching the lecture in French and reading the materials in French and English, it is 5 p.m. He has plans to meet friends for dinner in town after an intramural soccer match. Thomas goes back to his dorm to change for the game and for his evening activities.

 

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