The essence of good collaborative online international learning is a seamless continuum between course content and intercultural dialogue. So said Henry Shepherd of the Stephens Initiative in his keynote at the recent COIL Conference in New York. He was referring to an exciting initiative between Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in South Africa and SUNY Rockland where graphic design students had shared similarities and explored misunderstandings between their cultures while creating posters around themes like xenophobia, rising university fees, cyber-bullying and gun control. Hendali Steynberg and her SUNY Rockland colleague, Eileen MacAvery Kane, encouraged their students to produce “video icebreakers” to give each other a sense of the different environments. Says Hendali: “A project with soul where there is so much to learn from each other!” The project points towards future successful joint online classes using graphics as a meeting point.
Posters by South African students (starting top left): Nsovo Manganyi, Nombuyiselo Gogwane, Mafemo Phillimon and Mashie (TUT students, 2015). See more at http://rcc.macavery.com/south-african-students/