GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 21-10
Presentation Time: 10:50 AM


NARRO PEREZ, Rodrigo A., School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S4K1, Canada, MACLACHLAN, John C., School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada and LEE, Rebecca E., School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada

Internationalization in higher education is often directed towards bringing ‘international’ or ‘global’ experiences outside a student’s institution country of study. An understudied aspect of internationalization is capacity building from institutions in the Global North to students at partner institutions, often those found in the Global South. This talk will look at the experiences, lessons learned, and applications of a 5-day short-course run by McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) as part of an existing international research partnership at a research institute in Huaraz, Perú from the perspectives of the students, instructors and organizers. The aim of this short course was to introduce glacial sedimentology and associated surface processes to a group of 30 participants who had minimal background in the subject but were all environmental engineers, geologists or environmental scientists.

This paper will highlight the experiences of the instructional team as they planned, executed and reflected on teaching this non-for-credit geoscience short-course to a group of professionals whose first language was not English (the majority of the instruction was done in English). Attention will be paid to the following themes: one of the instructor’s being a Peruvian born fluent Spanish-speaker; a place-based educational approach to the cultural and societal considerations of the short-course; and ensuring students gained the necessary technical geoscience skills . Mid-course and post-course surveys were issued to gauge student engagement and thoughts on the teaching and delivery. The majority of the students communicated a positive learning experience and highlighted the importance of the field experiences as an effective pedagogical tool. There were concerns expressed by some students along the themes of linguistic barriers and length of the course.

Summarization of the lessons learned from this experience will assist other international partnerships wanting to implement similar style short courses. Attention to team-teaching, linguistics barriers, cultural and societal considerations, and the importance of field days are highlighted as important considerations.