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Learning Plan 2007 - 2008

Final Learning Planning 2007-08 May 22, 2008

Goal 5

Interpersonal effectiveness and an appreciation of diversity and differences, so that students can establish genuine, trusting, and honorable relationships within the broad family of humanity.

1. Statement of Learning Outcome

Participants will gain awareness and knowledge of difference. The target audiences for these programs are all students that attend the programs.

2. Explanation of Activities

The office in conjunction with various campus partners will present diverse programs throughout the academic year that incorporated multicultural themes such as, Hispanic Heritage, Globalization and Pluralism Series, International Awareness Week, the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program, African American History, and the Diversity Days Celebration.

3. Explanation of the Assessment Plan

The Office will employ observation, individual feedback, and short questionnaires from the students, faculty, and participants after they have attended the specific program.

4. Results of assessment of progress toward goal

The office randomly selected participants after they left the following programs: What's wrong with Latin America? Can Faith be Guided by reason? International Dimensions of the Environment, and A China Update, What Do I need to Know About Globalization?, For Love of God in China, and The Courage to Dissent.

The majority of participants who responded agreed or strongly agreed with the following three questions.

  • I learned some new information at the program/event.
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject.
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised.

Also, data for both the International Dimensions of the Environment and What Do I need to Know about Globalization? surveys suggest that the more controversial the topic or the more the participants are struggling to find meaning and understanding, the lower the scores.

What's wrong with Latin America?
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 99%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 82%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 86%
Can Faith be Guided by reason?
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 78%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 72%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 68%
International Dimensions of the Environment
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 66%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 48%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 48%
A China Update
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 80%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 56%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 80%
Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagen: The Courage to Dissent
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 65%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 70%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 76%
Plunky and The Oneness Band
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 90%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 75%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. Question was not asked.
Professor John Peale: For Love of God in China
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 90%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 75%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. Question was not asked.
Nayan Chanda: What Do I need to Know About Globalization?
  • I learned some new information at the program/event. 89%
  • The program provides me with a different way of thinking about the subject. 88%
  • I am more aware of and sensitive to the issues that were raised. 55%

The following responses are samples of the range of comments made by participants to the following question: Name two things that you have learned from the programs:

  • Muslims translated Aristotle work and presented it in Arabic
  • Buddhism started missionary work
  • Dialogues between faith spur growth
  • Missionary work helped globalization
  • They promote learning
  • Promote spread of technology
  • Politicians cause clash of civilization
  • Did not explore many types of faith (mainly Christian).
  • Christians in the panel were more argumentative.
  • The remarks on the Jewish experience were very interesting to me.
  • I wish a more diverse panel was present.
  • Atheist philosophy.
  • Difficulties of minorities.
  • I learned that interfaith dialogue is important and challenging.
  • Did not learn anything new.
  • The hierarchy of the CCP
  • The in-fighting within the US over our Taiwan policy
  • Rate of economic growth
  • Taiwan update
  • Relationship between central group and provincial units
  • Attitude of leaders
  • Level of manufacturing and use of resources concerning
  • General situation of China
  • The number of billionaires is so great
  • The ecological issues are so critical
  • US-China-Taiwan relationship
  • US/China relation are more positive than I thought
  • China's environmental situation is more dire than I thought
  • Pollution
  • One child policy not effective
  • New Zealand has a very interesting past
  • Carbon Farming is a good but complicated concept
  • New Zealand land use
  • Maori
  • Land wars
  • History
  • The culture
  • Sheep farming hurts nature in New Zealand
  • You can make money improving the land
  • Carbon farming helps economically
  • What carbon farming is
  • New ideas at propositions
  • Why America is not more like Latin America
  • Growth of America vs. the shrinking of Bolivia
  • There are growing tensions in Bolivia
  • Issues facing Latin America
  • Policy issue
  • How the U. S. has increased overtime and Bolivia has decreased
  • How geography is important to the growth of a country
  • Growth of USA as a whole

5. Future plans related to assessment results

The office will continue to assess the participants and will additionally attempt to assessment both pre and post program classroom activities using a short questionnaire for the faculty who assigned their students to attend the programs. The questionnaire was developed during the 2007-08 academic year.

Goal 6

Responsible citizenship, so that students can do their best in ways uniquely their own and are motivated to contribute to a better life for all through community participation and leadership.

1. Statement of Learning Outcome

Students will gain knowledge and awareness of each other's cultures.

2. Explanation of Activities

The Director will advise the International Buddy Program participants and the University International Student community, both exchange (short-term) and matriculated (four year). Additional, the Office will sponsor and identify various programs periodically that both groups of students attend together.

3. Explanation of the Assessment Plan

The Office will employ observation, feedback, and questionnaires for the students (international and domestic) and program staff, (Roommates and Buddies) and RAs

4. Results of assessment of progress toward goal

The following "learning centered" questions were asked of the roommates of the International students and to Longwood students that participated in the International Buddy Program.

  • What has the International Roommate Program taught you about foreign cultures and about your own culture?
  • What has the International Buddy Program taught you about foreign cultures and about your own culture?

There were a small numbers of responses. However, most of the International Student Buddies and roommates (verbal comments) of international students felt that they had learned something about the others culture and about themselves.

When we asked both the European and Chinese Study Abroad students what they had learned from their interactions with American students and about American culture, there were many insightful and humorous responses. Comments from both international student groups reflect stereotypes and perceptions based on their personal interactions with American students and persons from the community.

Here is a sample of what they had to say about their American experience
  • Pre-occupied with rules and laws
  • Pre-occupied with eating (high calorie food)
  • Gun Crazy
  • Love of sports (baseball and football)
  • Pride of their county
  • Welcoming and sacred of strangers
  • Busy and lazy
  • Independent, passionate
  • Direct, time conscious
  • Not will to learn about other cultures
What has the International Roommate Program taught you about foreign cultures and about your own culture?
  • It has taught me a lot about where my world view comes from because I got the chance to explore the influences that have shaped that of the Chinese students.
  • So much, we are so alike even when we think we are different and we like to laugh about it.
  • We are more alike than originally thought.
  • By rooming with Angela, I have learned that our cultures are quite similar yet different.
  • It has taught me that I should be more thankful for the freedoms we have in America.
What has the International Buddy Program taught you about foreign cultures and about your own culture?
  • The program has enhanced my awareness on different countries such as China, Spain, etc.
  • That no matter what you do you have so many similarities!
  • It made me picture how much help I would need from someone if I was studying in another country.
  • Learned more about foreign politics.
  • We are different in many ways, but still the same. It has been very interesting learning about family values.
  • Allowed me to understand the similarities and differences of the culture.
  • I've already learned a lot from being a roommate but since I've been in the program I've learned that even though we are from totally different cultures we are very similar. Our customs and lifestyles are different but we are all humans and definitely have similarities.
  • It made me realize how different and similar our cultures are. We all seem to have the same life goals but the means of which we achieve them are different. It was interesting to sample new foods, music, and other aspects of popular culture. The amount of time and effort these students put into their school work showed me their dedication and their appreciation of this opportunity. This made me realize that not everyone is as privileged enough to get the education that I am receiving.
International Student Exit Questionnaire: What have you learned about American culture?
European Students
  • Longwood has good professors
  • Blackboard works
  • Very patriotic and entrepreneur
  • Always eating
  • Never kiss
  • Welcoming of other students
  • Always want to learn about other culture
  • Felt comfortable talking with students
  • You can buy guns is stores like Wal-Mart
  • Pride in country
  • Sports: baseball and football
  • Good academics
  • Pride in themselves
  • Vary scared about strangers
  • They know nothing about the rest of the world
  • Even more multicultural than I thought
  • Very confident in themselves
  • Sports and appearance are valued
  • Quite ignorant about other countries, but very friendly
  • Media orientated
  • Cliques of people who don't' mix with others
Chinese Students
  • No drinking under the age of 21
  • Country music
  • Time is important
  • We need to be honest with people
  • Education is good
  • Professors and students are nice
  • Loud music
  • Honor
  • Independent
  • Smile
  • Work hard
  • Busy and Lazy
  • Food has high calories
  • Activities are very many
  • Be on time
  • Be polite
  • Very direct
  • Group work
  • Freedom and independent
  • Openness and Passion
  • Crazy and diverse
Program Staff

The office employs several student assistants to accomplish its mission. These students work with both International and American students. At the end of the year, I sat down with these students and ask them to reflect on the year. Specifically, I ask them what they had learned from their interactions with both groups of students. The following bullets summarize comments regarding what they had learned.

  • Cross-cultural communication is very complex
  • How difficult it is to motivate American students to get involved with internationals
  • My personal knowledge and understanding has grown because of my interactions with both American and international students

5. Future plans related to assessment results

The Office will continue to assess the interactions and learning outcomes for the American and International students. Additionally, the office will try to increase the response rates for both roommates and International Buddies. I will develop a short survey to better assess all of the student assistants during the summer.