Global Honors College

Global Honors College Partner(s): Kevin Griffin
Global Honors College

Access: Columbia only
Released: June 2010


Global Honors College, an inter-institutional program organized by Waseda University (Tokyo), convenes faculty and undergraduate students from leading universities worldwide to conduct joint, structured, and sustained investigations of enduring and emerging global issues.

The Global Honors College selected highly-motivated undergraduate students from nine universities--including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Peking, Korea, and Waseda, and others--to participate in the Global Seminar, an annual, summer-long intensive course in which participants collaboratively research, debate, and document a specific topic. The seminar began with a two-month online learning phase followed by an "onsite" phase in Tokyo in which students and faculty met for a rigorous three-week period.

CCNMTL helped design, develop, and implement the 2010 and 2011 Global Seminars; the 2010 Global Seminar focused on the subject of "sustainability;" the theme for the 2011 seminar was Food and Agriculture. (The face-to-face component held in Singapore because of the Japan earthquake.)

Faculty and student used a variety of tools including the GoingOn course platform that emphasizes social media interactions among students and instructors. Additionally, faculty enhanced course presentations using VoiceThread and Adobe Connect to interact with the students.

The GHC is a joint effort of Columbia and Waseda Universities, with funding provided by the CU Provost's Office and Waseda University.

Project Details

CCNMTL educational technologists worked closely with the Global Honors College organizers and faculty partners to understand the needs of the Global Seminar and to design a sequence of learning activities that would engage students at a distance and better prepare them for the intensive, in-person phase in Tokyo. In order to meet these needs, CCNMTL selected a platform to merge the functionality of a traditional course management system with capabilities more typically associated with social networking services, including content sharing, interactivity around multimedia, and blogging. The platform is supported by additional services for collaborative writing, presentations, and bibliographic reference collection.

The platform was in launched in June 2010 to coincide with the start of the 2010 Global Seminar. CCNMTL provided ongoing training and support to faculty and students as they utilized the platform and embedded tools throughout the seminar, beginning with a sequence of web-based learning modules on a range of topics related to sustainability, including biodiversity, economics and policy, and humanistic perspectives.

Upon the conclusion of the summer program, CCNMTL began working with Global Honors College faculty and staff to plan the next iteration of the Global Seminar in 2011, which built on the technical platform implemented in summer 2010.

The Global Honors College received funding from the Japanese Ministry of Education and from Columbia College.

Related news:
Aug-2011: Global Honors College 2011 Concludes
Jun-2011: Global Honors College 2011 Kicks Off
Aug-2010: CCNMTL Travels to Waseda University for Global Honors College
Aug-2010: Mendeley Blog Spotlights Global Honors College
Jun-2010: 2010 Global Honors College Launches with CCNMTL Support