A central tenet of the UNSW approach to graduate capabilities is that all UNSW programs aspire to develop globally focused graduates who are rigorous scholars, capable of leadership and professional practice in an international community. Graduates of UNSW are expected to be “global citizens who are:
- capable of applying their discipline in local, national and international contexts;
- culturally aware and capable of respecting diversity and acting in socially just/responsible ways;
- capable of acting in environmentally responsible ways”.
These capabilities include not only knowledge and skills; they also represent dispositions or ways of thinking and behaving. As such, they present their own challenges for assessment, and all the more so when they are being assessed as an embedded element within the diverse contexts of disciplinary knowledge and skills.
When to use
Given the centrality of global citizenship to the UNSW aspirational goals for its graduates, "global competence", defined by (Hunter, 2004, p.2) as “having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively outside one’s environment”, is likely to be an almost ubiquitous learning outcome prescribed across courses of study contributing to academic programs.
However, even if not explicitly defined as a learning outcome within a course, the development of global perspectives and a commitment to global citizenship are often unintended learning outcomes, particularly where group and team based learning, group discussion and oral communication skill development enable students to reflect on their own and other cultures in the context of global diversity. Providing an inclusive learning environment is an essential pre-requisite for enabling students to engage in developing their global citizenship skills, and for demonstrating their growing capabilities through the design of assessment as learning.
Assessing the graduate capability of global citizenship enables the characteristics of a ‘global citizen’ to be made more explicit and meaningful for students in the context of the disciplinary and professional learning outcomes of courses and programs.
Global perspectives and inter-cultural communication skills to enhance the notions of social justice and critical inquiry can be explored through broader perspectives of the concept of global citizenship. For example, Oxfam depicts a global citizen as someone who:
- is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
- respects and values diversity
- has an understanding of how the world works
- is outraged by social injustice
- participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global
- is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
- takes responsibility for their actions.
Incorporating such dispositions into learning and assessment activities can promote critical thinking about diversity, and the questioning of ‘eurocentric’ or other dominant ideological viewpoints. Through focusing on social justice and community action, students can give greater shape and voice to applying their disciplinary knowledge with a global perspective and, with this, a stronger sense of agency and purpose to their studies.
The potential for encouraging more holistic and integrated thinking across domains of learning can be exploited in assessment designs that incorporate opportunities for students to examine their changing sense of ‘belongingness’, and the permeability of traditional borders (disciplinary, cultural, professional, political, and so on).
This includes exploiting the affordances of technologies in learning and assessment designs to enrich learning in a way that recognizes Buonfino’s (2007, p.5) suggestion that, “as travel becomes within reach of most people and communication technologies enable people to be immersed in cultures located elsewhere, and to cultivate multiple identities, the question of belonging becomes more complex and more central to the debate on how we live together”.
Where assessment design shifts from an emphasis on disciplinary content knowledge towards a focus on the development of broader graduate capabilities, this shift can open up challenges for both students and teachers. Assessment needs to be framed around the more complex, seemingly nebulous, and ever-changing meanings of these broader capabilities and dispositions, whilst also recognizing their inter-relationship with the relevant discipline(s) and field(s) of professional practice.
In the context of a standards-based approach to assessment, the defining of standards related to global citizenship at different course levels, and at different levels of student performance within courses and particular assessment tasks, may be an unfamiliar exercise for many staff. Criteria and standards should be established that reduce as much as possible the impact of subjectivity in interpreting and grading students’ work.
The following represent diverse ways in which the design and conduct of assessment can highlight students’ development of the graduate capability of global citizenship.
Aspects of assessment design
Strategies for focusing on assessing global citizenship
Align learning outcomes with assessment design
Clarify how learning outcomes embody global citizenship, and make explicit the relationship to assessment design. For example, the EdSteps ‘Global Competence Matrix’ outlines a framework of learning outcomes which could be used to underpin assessment design for global perspectives.
See also: Aligning Assessment with Outcomes
Establish assessment standards
Develop standards that revolve around more measurable and verifiable descriptors of learning, to reduce the extent of subjectivity in assessment. For example, rather than trying to assess students’ positional ‘stance’ regarding globalization, assessment criteria could focus on the quality of their analysis of and/or solution to a defined problem with a globalised perspective.
See also: Standards-Based Assessment
Prepare assessment rubrics
Adapt existing rubrics that highlight global perspectives, for example, based on the AAC&U ‘Value Rubric’ relating to civic engagement, or the CIEL Global Environmental Literacy Rubric.
See also: Using Assessment Rubrics
Exploit students’ diverse backgrounds and experience
Design assessment tasks that enable students to contribute from their own personal background and experiences, critically evaluating theories and concepts in terms of relevance to their backgrounds, and undertaking research that includes information about many countries.
See also: Responding to Cross-Cultural Diversity
Situate assessment tasks in content and settings that are global
Ensure that assessments engage students in considering global settings and implications, for example, that require students to:
See also: Selecting Assessment Tasks
Set problem-solving assessment tasks in authentic professional practice contexts
Use case studies, scenarios, simulations, or role plays that engage students in authentic (or quasi-authentic) settings involving global perspectives. For example:
See also: Assessing Authentically
Engage students in group–based assessment
Ensure that assessment design includes the opportunity for students to work in teams and/or groups:
See also: Assessing by Group Work
Engage students in interactions across the globe
Build into assessment designs the opportunity to engage in a global community:
See also: Assessing by Discussion Board
Incorporate technologies to support assessment design
Exploit the benefits of technologies to melt global boundaries by creating online learning communities around assessments:
See also: Using Technologies to support Assessment
MGMT 2106: Developing cultural literacy and positioning discipline knowledge in intercultural and international contexts
Ricardo Flores, ASB email@example.com
MGMT 2106--Comparative Management Systems is an introductory course surveying ‘management systems’ across the world. The course builds upon a generic framework helping students to think about different relevant aspects of contexts (e.g., national level institutions) that affect how management is practised globally. In particular, it explores key differences among the practices of management in North America, Oceania, West Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa & some Muslim nations.
In addition to focusing on this ‘discipline-specific’ knowledge this course seeks to develop cosmopolitan perspectives and cross-cultural competences by focusing on the experience of the students. The opportunity for experiencing the foreign is created and reinforced weekly by a sole focus on tasks intensely linked to the work of each student in a (purposely created) culturally diverse group. Following precepts of the action learning theory, students face:
- First-hand experience with their own team (i.e., teams are required to reflect on their experiences) and a set of activities is linked to those reflections with the objective of creating personal understandings on how to ‘become’ a better cross-cultural teammate and/or leader;
- Others’ experiences after observing and evaluating the performance of others (i.e., audience ‘learns’ from ‘seeing how others perform’, including open discussion with the audience of the team leading the tutorial on what they have learned and what challenges they faced in working on the assigned task);
- Audience’s evaluations (via clickers) and personalized feedback on individual and team performance (i.e., they experience the diversity of opinions and expectations from a culturally diverse audience).
Assessment example: Country Report
In most weekly tutorial classes (i.e., specifically tutorials classes from week 4 to week 10) an assigned team of students (Please check the country assigned to your team) will present their applicationof the generic framework discussed on lectures (for a region) to a specific country. A debate open to the whole audience will follow this team’s presentation. In preparing for this debate, those students that are not presenting are expected to prepare their own analysis of this country and compare their assessment with their home country (i.e., country chosen in the background form). You are required to submit ONE of these individual analyses in the form of a formal business report. This report must be submitted through Blackboard/Turnitin site (due the week of your choice up to date TBN). Students are required to submit only one report (i.e., one country) for the whole semester. The length of the report CANNOT exceed two pages (font size 12). All other aspects of the formatting the report should follow the format guidelines. In writing this report, I would recommend that, at minimum, you address the following issues:
- What are the common and divergent aspects of the institutional environments of the two contexts? (i.e., country under study vs. your country). What are the unique and common ‘functional’ aspects of the practice of management in the two contexts being compared? (i.e., country under study vs. your country)
- What would all of these mean for you as a manager if suddenly you have to move there to work? (Here, at minimum, you need to compare your management style/preferences with the specific knowledge you just uncovered about this foreign context; what kind of things would you do differently than in your country?
EdSteps. Global competence matrix: https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/upload-files/Global%20Competence%20Matrices.pdf
‘Globalisation and the law’ Role Play: encourages participants to explore the influence of globlisation on laws and legal institutions from the perspective of various stakeholders in globalisation. The specific tasks participants are required to complete are tailored to the topic area under consideration. http://enrole.uow.edu.au/repository/OLRP_Globalisation_and_the_Law.pdf
Internationalisation at home: Enhancing intercultural capabilities in business and health teachers (Office of Learning and Teaching, Australian Government https://sites.google.com/site/internationalisationathome/home/links
Value Rubric for Civic Engagement: Association of American Colleges and Universities http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/index_p.cfm?CFID=41785461&CFTOKEN=88368191
Barker, M., Farrelly, B., Webb, F., Smith, C. and Worsfold, K. (2011). Griffith Graduate Attributes Global & International Perspective & Awareness Toolkit
Hunter, W. (2004). Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, and Experiences Necessary to Become Globally Competent. Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, unpublished doctoral dissertation.
Oxfam. (2006). Education for Global Citizenship: A Guide for Schools. Oxfam. Oxford, Oxfam.
Barrie, S., Hughes, C. et al. (2009). The national graduate attributes project: integration and assessment of graduate attributes in curriculum. Strawberry Hills, The University of Sydney and the Australian Learning & Teaching Council. http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/projects/nationalgap/resources/GAPpdfs/Issues%20Paper%205%20-%20Assessment.pdf
Bosanquet, A. (2010). Higher education guarantees global citizenship, or does it? Proceedings of the Enhancing Learning Experiences in Higher Education International Conference. Hong Kong, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)
Buonfino, A. (2007). "Integration and the Question of Social Identity" in Cramme, O. and Motte, C. (eds) Rethinking Immigration and Integration: A New Centre-Left Agenda. London: Policy Network.
Bremer, D. (2006). "WANTED: GLOBAL WORKERS." International Educator 15(3), 40.
Brustein, W. (2006). "Paths to global competence: Preparing American college students to meet the world." IIE Networker: Internationalizing the Campus Spring 2006, 1–6.
Deardorff, D. (2004). "In Search of Intercultural Competence." International Educator 13(2), 13.
Deardorff, D. and W. Hunter (2006). "Educating Global-Ready Graduates." International Educator 15(3), 72.
Deardorrf, D. (2004). The Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization at Institutions of Higher Education in the United States, Doctoral dissertation. North Carolina, North Carolina State University.
Grudzinski-Hall, M. (2007). How do college and university undergraduate level global citizenship programs advance the development and experiences of global competencies? A PhD dissertation. Pennsylvania, Drexel University.
Haigh, M. and Clifford, V. A. (2011). Integral vision: a multi-perspective approach to the recognition of graduate attributes. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(5), 573–584.
Hendershot, K. (2010). Transformative Learning and Global Citizen Identity Development in Undergraduates: A Case Study. Pennsylvania, Lehigh University.
Hunter, B., White, G. P. et al. (2006). "What Does It Mean to Be Globally Competent?" Journal of Studies in International Education 10(3), 267–285.
Leask, B. (2001). "Bridging the Gap: Internationalizing University Curricula." Journal of Studies in International Education 5(2), 100–115.
Lunn, J. (2008). "Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Taking the Agenda Forward in the United Kingdom." Journal of Studies in International Education 12(3), 231–254.
Nelson, J. and Kerr, D. (2005). International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks: Active Citizenship: Definitions, Goals and Practices, QCA, NFER.
Munck, R. (2010). "Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship in a University Context: Core Business or Desirable Add-On?" Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 9(1), 31–41.
Olson, C. and Kroeger K. (2001). "Global Competency and Intercultural Sensitivity." Journal of Studies in International Education 5(2), 116.
Oxford Brookes University (Undated). Internationalising the Curriculum Resource Kit. Oxford Brookes University. Oxford.
Parker, W., Ninomiya, A. et al. (1999). "Educating world citizens: Toward multinational curriculum development." American Educational Research Journal 36(2), 117–145.
Sperandio, J., Grudzinski-Hall, M. et al. (2010). "Developing an Undergraduate Global Citizenship Program: Challenges of Definition and Assessment." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 22(1), 12–22.
The contributions of UNSW staff who engaged with the preparation of this topic are gratefully acknowledged.