Ursula Valdez and Greg Tuke's COIL course “The Great Rivers” profiled by Stevens Initiative


IAS faculty fember Ursula Valdez and COIL collaborator Greg Tuke’s COIL course on “The Great Rivers” has been profiled in “Exploring Environmental Sustainability: Promising practices in virtual exchange,” as one of the three examples for virtual exchange programs that connect young people in different countries to develop solutions to environmental issues.

Valdez and Tuke co-taught this course in winter 2018, in collaboration with colleagues in Universities of Peru and Egypt, and focused in social, economic and environmental issues associated to the Nile, Amazon and Columbia rivers.

In the words of the editors “As the team of professors in Egypt, Peru, and the United States designed the COIL course, they sought to have students develop social, economic, and environmental answers to this question: 'How could we have international teams with members from all three countries working on these three rivers and proposing solutions for environmental sustainability?' The Great Rivers course was a collaborative learning experience where students worked in “global teams” and took a leading role in communicating with each other. Nine teams of four to six students were expected to connect multiple times each week. Over the 10 weeks of the program, a global team typically connected synchronously with all members approximately three times, and sub-teams working on specific pieces of the assignment connected more frequently.“

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