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© 2019 Civic Ecology Lab

Microplastics: Volunteer engagement in a global environmental problem

Online learning is increasingly seen as a means to internationalize the curriculum and to help students develop the intercultural communication, project-based, and collaboration skills needed in contemporary work places. Paralleling the expansion of online learning have been calls for equitable forms of global engagement, citizenship, and learning. We used the Global Engagement Survey alongside open-ended interviews and analysis of student blogs to explore global citizenship among US and Chinese university students who served as teaching assistants (TAs) for multiple environment- and education- themed MOOCs. Cornell TAs showed an increase in self-reported reflection, whereas Chinese TAs reported increases in reflection, efficacy, and awareness of destructive consumption habits. Through open-ended coding of interviews and blogs, we are gaining richer insight into how MOOC TA experiences impact undergraduate students’ abilities to engage in global communities.