Barzinji Project Fellows underwent extensive training on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and plan on having their students work together on joint projects. The Fellows will work towards the Project’s mission of mutual understanding in diverse societies and innovation in higher education through global collaboration.
Fighting Animal Blood Cancers With Music
- Amela Livnjak, University of Sarajevo
- Alanna Tierno, Shenandoah University
Blood malignancies like lymphoma and leukemia are devastating to domestic animals and their owners. Many dogs and cats cannot receive treatment due to lack of knowledge or late recognition by their owners, or because of financial constraints. Our veterinary science and popular music students will help raise awareness about these diseases.
During the four four weeks of our COIL project, student teams will create brief videos that will educate targeted audiences about animal blood cancers, the need for early detection, and the need for research and treatment funding. Veterinary students from Sarajevo will collect data and medical information, and popular music students from Shenandoah will select music to pair with that content and create videos that will inspire viewers to take action in fighting animal blood cancers.
We want students to feel compassionate toward suffering animals and recognize that helping the animals is a multidisciplinary effort that requires a variety of skills and expertise.
Religious Freedom in a Multicultural Society
- Amal A. M. Elgharbawy, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
- Nancy B. Klancher, Bridgewater College
The project focuses on stimulating informed discussions with multicultural societies about religious laws, duties, and obligations, and how they are accommodated, ignored, or challenged in those societies. Students at Bridgewater College and IIUM will be analyzing the values, norms, attitudes, and obedience regarding religious laws in children, teenagers, college students, and older adults. The project will be based on interviewing the proposed audiences to obtain their feedback. Students within each COIL group will interview as many people from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as possible, after first evaluating their interview questions through interviewing each other. Following the interview, each COIL team will analyze the interview data qualitatively (looking at values, reasonings, and themes) and quantitatively (looking at similarities, differences, trends, overlaps, and divergences). We are expecting each COIL group to create a video that encourages and guides their target audiences and others they interact with on the diversity of values, reasons, and commitments that inform religious behavior. We expect the students will gain interfaith literacy and intercultural/interreligious collaboration skills. As with our students, so also with us: we aim to contribute to, and advance, virtual collaboration between Malaysian and American faculty teaching in diverse societies.
Finding the Significance of SDG 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
- `Atiah Abdullah Sidek, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
- Ady Dewey, Bridgewater College
The shared goal our two classes will focus on is to engage as a global team to develop a creative solution that addresses a shared issue of sustainable development. The framework we are using is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and specifically Goal 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.
Because we are implementing a “LITE” version of COIL, we are working together over four weeks doing synchronous and asynchronous activities to empower multidisciplinary cohorts to focus particularly on leadership and youth of action. Students will be encouraged to think globally and to express views on matters within the SDG12 that enable them to plan action locally as game changers in the campus/community as well as leading and inspiring others to join the effort.
Beyond SDG 12, our emphasis will be on finding commonalities among the global teams and particularly to learn and appreciate the differences between cultures, differing skill sets and ideas. The students will be engaging in activities, discussions, research and reflective journaling; their final team project will be to produce a short video for the TikTok social media platform as a composite of their thoughts on what most matters to them related to SDG 12.
Sustainable Development Goal #2 Zero Hunger: Fighting Hunger in a global pandemic
- Dr. Hamzah Mohd. Salleh, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
- Dr. Vicky Spencer, Shenandoah University
Fighting hunger is not a new problem in our world, but the focus has been greater in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. Many people have lost jobs or had their income severely impacted. Students from both universities will be working collaboratively to explore the issues of fighting hunger during a pandemic and focus on finding solutions that can last long after the end of this current pandemic.
For the COIL project, students will be working over a four-week period to examine the challenges that people in both countries are facing and identify solutions to increase access to food for families. Students will provide data that demonstrates the significance of the problem in both countries. In order to address the issue, students will first examine what is already being done to address hunger, and then search for ways to expand on or create new solutions to the problem. As students work collaboratively on this project, they will examine how these challenges and solutions may differ between their cultures. Last of all, students will develop a visual presentation to share with peers from the partnering university.
We want the students to appreciate the differences between the cultures, but learn that our similarities can bring us together. There is great value in belonging to a global community.
Intercultural and Interreligious Values in College Education Programs/ Higher Education Institutions (USA and Bosnia & Herzegovina)
- Dina Sijamhodžić-Nadarević, University of Sarajevo
- Catherine Dunn Shiffman, Shenandoah University
The project examines how college education programs in the U.S. and Bosnia & Herzegovina promote and advocate for intercultural and interreligious values of equity, diversity, tolerance, and solidarity. Students from Shenandoah University (Department of Leadership Studies) and from Sarajevo University (Faculty of Islamic Studies) will collaborate online.
A full collaboration will be implemented in two phases throughout two semesters, and encompass ‘the four pillars of education” (Learning to know; Learning to do; Learning to live together; Learning to be). In the first phase (the current semester) the focus will be on analyses of national/country and international legal frameworks, instruments, policies, with regard to intercultural values in education (Learning to know). Additionally, students will analyze the selected college education
programs in higher education institutions in the US and B&H in order to compare how those frameworks, policies, recommendations, etc. are implemented in education programs (in curricula, syllabi, projects, etc.) (Learning to do). In the second phase of our collaboration, an intercultural educational project, an ‘intercultural and interreligious week’ will be created and implemented at the two universities in order to more broadly cover the third and fourth educational pillars (Learning to live together and Learning to be). We expect the students will further develop intercultural/interreligious competencies as well as learn and gain practical experience with intercultural communication.
Demonstrating Your Ability to Collect and Analyze Data
- Melissa Hoover, Bridgewater College
- Mira Kartiwi, International Islamic Institute Malaysia (IIUM)
How can you demonstrate to a future employer your curiosity, your ability to historically analyze a problem, your ability to collect and analyze data, and your ability to communicate these abilities effectively? These goals can be achieved by studying/analyzing many different things. Combining a history of math course and a data mining course, students will engage with a topic current and relevant today – COVID. Each group will choose one or two countries from an assigned list of countries. The group will retrieve relevant data related to the history, culture, economy, education, as well as algorithms that can be used to make meaningful analysis on the selected countries on the impact of COVID-19.
Each group will then analyze the data (both the data sets and the historical data collected) and showcase the analysis in a portfolio consisting of the chosen datasets, written analysis and summaries, and videos explaining aspects of the history and analysis.