Al Akhawayn Faculty Members Make Global Course Connections



Ifrane, August 22, 2012 - This year, two Al Akhawayn University faculty members will explore a new way to enhance their classes by connecting with a companion class in another nation. John Shoup, Professor of Anthropology, and Abdelkrim Marzouk, Professor of Geography, from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, will be part of an international course sharing project called Global Course Connections (GCC). This pilot project is designed to enrich each connected course with an international perspective through direct exchange between students and faculty members on two campuses in two countries as they jointly progress through similar curricular components of the connected courses.

John Shoup will be connected for his course on American Culture this fall with a class being taught at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, called Growing up Amish in the 21st Century. Professor Shoup plans to promote student-to-student interactions between Al Akhawayn students and the Wooster students by using either a Moodle course or a course Facebook page, with weekly assignments that will foster student discussion across the two campuses. By the end of the Fall semester, the students in American Culture will be working jointly with their U.S. counterparts on a group paper.

Abdelkrim Marzouk plans to share his course on Food and Agriculture in the Spring 2013 semester with a two-person team of faculty members at Allegheny College, located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The three faculty members will design shared laboratory exercises on soils, agriculture, and food science using the internet-based Dropbox platform to share work documents. Dr. Marzouk hopes that a t-shirt exchange between Al Akhawayn students and their counterparts at Allegheny College will encourage social interactions that will lead to greater intellectual exchange for students in the two classes.

This unusual opportunity is being supported by an organization called the Global Liberal Arts Alliance, a multinational higher education alliance coordinated by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Al Akhawayn University is one of the founding member institutions of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. Both faculty members accompanied President Ouaouicha and Vice President Legrouri to a conference in Athens, Greece, this June where they worked closely with their faculty partners on planning the upcoming shared classes.

The twelve connected courses offered during the 2012-13 academic year are: