UMD: A Globally Connected University

Global Classrooms Initiative


Call for Proposals

The Office of International Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of the University of Maryland's 2017 Global Classrooms Initiative Call for Proposals.

The Global Classrooms Initiative provides financial support to faculty to develop innovative, project-based courses that bring together UMD students and students from partner universities around the world using various digital technologies. These exciting new courses aim to provide our students with international experiences that mirror the kind of work they will encounter throughout their lives: cross cultural, project-based and virtual.

Pre-proposal application deadline: February 15, 2017

To start your application process, please:

  • Submit your contact information. You will receive an email including your personalized link to the online pre-proposal form.
  • Schedule an appointment with Dr. Raluca Nahorniac in the Office of International Affairs. This appointment/discussion can take place in person, via phone or videoconferencing.

For more information on the Global Classrooms Initiative, please contact Dr. Raluca Nahorniac in the Office of International Affairs.

Learn more about our Global Classroom courses.

2015 Awards

Matthew Thomas Miller, Associate Director, Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities The Islamicate World 2.0: Studying Islamicate Cultures through Computational Analysis

The Islamicate World 2.0: Studying Islamicate Cultures through Computational Analysis is a project-based digital humanities course that will be co-taught by Matthew Thomas Miller (University of Maryland, College Park) and Maxim Romanov (Universität Leipzig). It will introduce students to theoretical debates in the field of global digital humanities and train them in basic techniques of computational textual analysis while also simultaneously engaging them as student researchers in the nascent project of exploring the vast—and largely unexplored—tomes of textual data about the Islamicate world. Like the digital humanities field that inspires its approach, The Islamicate World 2.0 will be a highly interdisciplinary course that studies texts from multiple genres (lyric poetry to historical chronicles, legal treatises to the Qur’an) and languages (Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, etc.) with the aid of computational textual analysis tools. Students will be made into “student researchers” by the end of the course, becoming genuine collaborators in the People, Places, Events (PPE) and Persian Digital Library projects (both of which are related to the larger Perseus Digital Library project) through the research projects that they will design and develop in consultation with the instructors and their fellow student research team members. Each student research group will be required to produce a piece of digital scholarship or research tool (e.g. Python script) by the end of the course, which will be disseminated through the projects’ websites and Github (with their permission) and presented in an annual The Islamicate World 2.0 “virtual conference” for the full Roshan Institute and Alexander von Humboldt-Lehrstuhl für Digital Humanities teams.

Jeffrey W. Herrmann, Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Systems Research, QUEST Honors Program Global Consulting and Innovation Practicum

Students at the University of Maryland, the University of Queensland, and Linköping University will work together on virtual teams (approximately 2 or 3 students from each university to create a team of four to six students) for an entire semester (approximately 14 weeks) to solve real-world problems provided by off-campus clients (both here in Maryland and near our partner institutions). Each team will work with one client (project sponsor). The assignment of students to project teams will depend upon student availability, expertise, interest, logistical considerations, and project requirements. The problems will be related to quality management, process improvement, and systems design.

Muhiuddin Haider, PhD, MS, Associate Research Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health (MIEH), UMD School of Public Health Addressing Pressing Global and Environmental Public Health Challenges in Bangladesh

This global classroom will provide public health students and faculty from both Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) a virtual classroom learning experience in practical project implementation, research techniques in global health data collection and analysis, and report writing on community based health and environment related projects of global health interest. An assessment of ongoing public health program implementation work will be conducted. Specific projects to assess will be selected with careful consideration of mutual academic interest, opportunity for meaningful public health population impact and student involvement and learning, and sustainability within communities with which project work is carried out and the partner agencies that are implementing the work.

One of the following 4 projects will be selected for the focus of the global classroom after consideration of mutual interest, opportunity for meaningful public health population impact and student involvement and learning, and sustainability within communities with which project work is carried out:

  • Assess a community household waste collection process in Dhaka city.
  • Assess the work of NGO Bastob’s microfinance project that provides health services along with the credit services in Dhaka city.
  • Assess the public health relevance of a drinking water supply in a Dhaka slum (Korail slum) established by the NGO Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK).
  • Assess indoor air pollution in relation to use of traditional cookstoves and efforts to improve access to clean cookstoves and fuels through the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and various local partners.

Dr. Natasha H. Chapman, Coordinator, Leadership Studies Program Technology Beyond Borders: Service Learning and Leadership across Cultural, Ethnic and Community Lines

The purpose of this course is to introduce the concept and practice of “learning as a way of leading” through service-learning in a complex, global context. The class will consist of undergraduate students from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and will be co-taught by instructors from both institutions. This course will aim to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of communities that are culturally, ethnically or socially distinct from their own. UMD students, PolyU students, and community partners will work on a collaborative project that involves the development and implementation of a science exploratorium in a local community center in Kigali, Rwanda. The service-learning component of this course will expose students to the needs of appropriate, sustainable technology in under-resourced communities and the role of addressing social issues through global partnerships. Through the use of digital technologies and on-going virtual interactions, students from both universities will become acquainted with one another and with the critical social issues regarding need, justice and ethics related to the information age. The collaborative project will emphasize the importance of cognitive and behavioral leadership skill development and will allow students to study and apply leadership concepts such as problem-solving, innovation, social perspective taking, facilitation, teamwork and communication in order to reach shared goals. The course will also highlight a community based research approach, requiring students to put into practice “learning leadership” tasks such as self-reflection and evaluation, asking constructive questions, storytelling, and building community.

2014 Awards

Dr. Janet Chernela, Professor of Anthropology Indigenous People and Conservation

This project will transform a course previously taught under a field school format in Brazil, using video and audio conferencing technology to allow UMD students who are not able to travel to collaborate with peers at two universities--Universidade do Estado do Amazoas (UEA) & Universidade de Brasilia (UnB)—and with indigenous peoples of the Amazon.  Working in virtual teams mixing students from the three universities, they will consider how peoples form alliances with NGOs to generate local income, protect nature, and safeguard human rights.  Team projects will explore traditional indigenous knowledge and land management, new contributions by indigenous peoples to changing landscapes, the legal mechanisms and instruments through which indigenous peoples have rights to the resources they occupy and utilize, and the organizations created by them to articulate with international bodies established to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Dr. William Dorland, Executive Director, University Honors College Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Afghanistan

This course will wed traditional “role playing” pedagogy with the latest learning technologies.  UMD Honors students and peers at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul will jointly re-examine both the longer and more recent history of Afghanistan.  Working in teams of four—two students from UMD, two from AUAf—participants will then prepare for and re-enact the “Bonn Conference” of December 2001, where US, UN, Afghan and other world leaders came together and made pivotal decisions affecting the country’s future.  To better understand the interests and policies of the various stakeholders, students at UMD and AUAF will hear different perspectives on the conflict in Afghanistan since 2001 from former senior U.S. and Afghan government officials.  Against this backdrop and informed by the lessons learned over the past 12 years, each team will represent a country and/or organization and advocate for a particular course of action the team feels will advance that country's or organization's interest.

Dr. Marie Howland, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Industrial Districts, History, Theory and Practice

Professor Howland and her long-time professional collaborator, Prof. Leonid Limonov of the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia, will use digital learning technologies to link their students in a comparative study of US and Russian industrial development and urban planning.  Graduate student from HSE will team with graduate and advanced undergraduate students at UMD to compare and contrast the reasons for and results of development policy in these two very different political and economic environments.  Participants will gain both theoretical background as a basis for analysis, and professional skills for presenting their joint proposals to public officials in both Russia and the U.S.

Dr. Roberta Lavine, Associate Professor of Spanish Cross-cultural Communication in Latin American Business

This project enhances Spanish 422: Cross Cultural-Communication by linking UMD participants to colleagues at Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial in Quito, Ecuador.  Teams of students from UMD and UTE will carry out tasks appropriate to a business environment (e.g., a formal oral presentation, or an international negotiation) as well as academic tasks that explore culture, joint ventures, marketing, and negotiation in Latin America. UMD-UTE teams will also participate in a simulated negotiation to create a new joint venture. As part of the simulation, teams will create business and marketing plans, and an executive summary in which they reflect on the entire experience, emphasizing the process of win-win negotiation and the impact of culture.

Dr. Mark Wellman, Director, Business, Society & Economy Program - College Park Scholars UAE Global Immersion Experience

This project will link students in the Business, Society & Economy Program of College Park Scholars with peers at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates, to examine the skills and abilities leaders and managers need in a global business environment. Student teams will be formed combining UMD and AUS students, to foster collaboration and interdependence.  After an initial exercise on the qualities of transformational leaders, the teams will then engage in a series of virtual simulations that place them in real-life management situations that require them to make critical decisions while challenging ingrained assumptions. The simulations allow the teams to gain knowledge through experimentation and explore the impact of multiple variables within each simulated business scenario. The course will make use of digital communication and learning technologies to foster virtual collaborations, but also include an in-person encounter in the UAE during UMD’s Spring Break.

Dr. Bennet Zelner, Associate Professor of Logistics, Business and Public Policy Family Capitalism, Shareholder Capitalism, and the Role of Immigrants

This course will bring together students at UMD’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and students at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy.  Students at each school will be teamed with peers at the other via digital technologies for a comparative examination of US, “Shareholder Capitalism” and Italian “Family Capitalism.”  The relative experience of immigrant communities in the US and Italy will serve as a basis for examining the broad institutional and ideological differences between the American and Italian systems, with UMD students analyzing phenomena in Italy and Bocconi students considering the situation in the US.  Team projects will produce policy briefs, which will include analysis of the economic or social implications of these phenomena as well as recommendations for industrial or social policy.