Teaching Locally, Engaging Globally: Increasing Undergraduates’ Knowledge of the International Dimensions of Climate Change, Food Security, and Childhood Obesity (2011-2014)

Funded by USDA: NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant Program (FLAE-2011-01860)

The purpose of this project is to simultaneously improve the quality and quantity of instructional materials available to faculty while increasing student knowledge of global perspectives in the priority areas of Climate Change, Global Food Security and Hunger, and Childhood Obesity and encouraging the pursuit of advanced degrees and careers in related fields. The audience for this project is all undergraduates in agricultural and life sciences. The primary products for this project will be culturally rich reusable learning objects focused on the selected NIFA priority areas and related academic disciplines as applied in Latin America and the Caribbean; and reusable learning objects focused on opportunities to pursue advanced degrees and careers in academic disciplines linked to the selected NIFA priority areas. The anticipated outcomes of this project include 80% of the participating faculty and doctoral students will report (a) increased knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean culture, government, and agriculture, (b) increased appreciation for the value of integrating global aspects into teaching, and (c) increased competency in the instructional design and implementation process. Additionally, 70% of participating faculty and doctoral students will report increased willingness to participate in future multidisciplinary, issues-based teams and integrating at least one reusable learning object into one or more of their courses by the end of the third project year, while 70% of the undergraduate students taught with RLOs will have an increased understanding of, and appreciation for, the global nature and impact of the NIFA priority areas and increased awareness of related advanced degree and career opportunities.