Green Visions: educators co-opt social media (and selfies!) to teach international classes

Sep 28, 2016

Dr. Marcos Algara-Siller doesn't mess around.

He's an environmental engineer at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, and he's teaching a class on sustainability communication for environmental scientists - from Mexico - with Dr. David Syring of UMD's Anthropology department.

The online learning model is called COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning), a method that casts a wide net to incorporate technologies, platforms and applications from Survey Monkey to Skype to WebX to Facebook.

But the class is about more than just learning the content.  Almost as important is the chance for students to learn cross-cultural communication and collaboration.  And to make sure the students are getting the point, Dr. Algara-Siller demands proof of that collaboration in the form of selfies.