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Teaching and Learning

Internationalisation of the Curriculum - Strategies and Approaches

IoC aims to provide students with a broader knowledge base along with the values and skills needed to work effectively and appropriately in a global environment.

From a practical perspective, IoC refers to:

  • applying culturally inclusive design, delivery, assessment and student outcomes
  • broadening the range of international perspectives, methods, pedagogies, approaches, case studies and/or examples in your course or unit.

Examples of IoC at course level

When considering what IoC might mean for your course or unit, focus on your discipline and ask yourself "What should the curriculum look like to meet the needs of my students in today's world?" Course learning outcomes make explicit the relevant international dimensions addressed in the course. Take a look at how some programs addressed this:

  • think globally and consider issues from a variety of perspectives
    Students in a Marketing unit design an advertising campaign for a culturally diverse global community. As part of the task, the student conducts short interviews with several members of various communities to inform their campaign.
  • compare and contrast their field of study locally with professional traditions in other cultures
    Nursing students are paired with another student (from a different cultural background if possible) to prepare an oral presentation that compares and contrasts midwifery practices in Australian contexts and elsewhere.
  • apply international standards and practices within the discipline
    Accounting students are provided with a scenario in which, as a recent graduate, they are offered an international posting. As part of their pre-departure orientation they are asked to prepare a short report identifying the relevant international standards, the main differences to their current context, potential risks and risk mitigation strategies.

Strategies to internationalise a unit

This table provides strategies you may find helpful when looking to internationalise a unit of study, with discipline specific examples.

AreaStrategiesDiscipline-based Examples

Content and design

  • Include international case studies, examples, illustrations
  • Address how knowledge can be constructed differently across cultures
  • Examine how professional practices vary in other cultures
  • Include topics on relevant ethical issues in international contexts
  • Focus on the historical development of issues and practices
  • Draw on cross-cultural databases and sources of information
  • Ensure learning outcomes include values and skills as well as knowledge
  • Provide a broader knowledge base through including conceptual and theoretical work from non-Western sources

Education

  • Information on the main integration needs of second generation children of refugee backgrounds.
  • Research papers on mathematics teaching traditions from Asian countries

Forest Science and Management

  • History of the development of international forestry standards
  • International research on social impacts of logging

Law

  • Examples of customary law implemented in Australia and overseas
  • The role of international laws and how they are negotiated and enforced

Learning activities

  • Ask students to consider issues from multiple perspectives
  • Encourage students to contribute examples from a home country
  • Include international components in research activities
  • Explore comparative professional practices and influence of cultural values
  • Encourage students to engage with students in overseas universities
  • Include placements in international organisations

Education

  • Students watch videos of teacher training program from other countries
  • Poll students on experience teaching students from other cultures
  • International research on using technology with children with special needs

Forest Science and Management

  • Videos of overseas forest harvesting methods
  • Presentation from forester involved in international forestry program
  • Students participate in blog with forestry students from overseas

Law

  • Presentation from migration lawyer or community liaison police officer
  • Students research international laws to which Australia is a signatory
  • Students evaluate the language used by Government to describe refugees

Tools, materials and resources

  • Use resources that demonstrate respect for cultural diversity
  • Include recently published international journal articles and texts
  • Use materials and research with a global perspective
  • Include input from guest lecturers with international experience

Education

  • Materials from Amnesty International or UNESCO

Forest Science and Management

  • Research from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Law

  • Case studies from National Centre for Indigenous Studies (ANU) or Aboriginal Legal Aid

Assessment practices

  • Align tasks to development of global/intercultural perspectives
  • Make assessment criteria related to the above explicit
  • Map assessment criteria to international professional standards.
  • Require students to present to cross-cultural audience

Education:

  • Students interview a teacher who has experience working with students from other cultures, in order to identify effective strategies and techniques.
  • Students present to parents on current approaches to literacy education in relation to the cross cultural classroom.

Forest Science and Management

  • Students prepare a presentation on Australian forestry practices to present to a 'panel' of overseas investors
  • Students compare and contrast forestry practices in two countries

Law

  • Students study the case of Van Tuong Nguyen sentenced to death in Singapore for drug trafficking and discuss online ramifications on Australian - Singapore relations
  • Students research one aspect of customary law and present pros and cons for its use in the local community

Extra-curricular activities

  • Encourage students to join affiliated global professional associations
  • Encourage students to participate in exchange programs
  • Provide details of global professional associations
  • Invite exchange program to present to students

Using technology to internationalise the curriculum

Oxford Brooks University provides many examples of how technology can complement other teaching and learning strategies to internationalise the curriculum. Practical suggestions include:

  • Scheduling an online seminar in which students report on their research into the professional contributions of different cultural groups to their discipline
  • Tasking online discussion groups to consider the differing ways in which international standards and practices are applied in a range of contexts, thus harnessing student diversity in the process