The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

International Virtual Exchange and Field Trips: In an Introductory Environmental Science Course

Minory Nammouz, Clemson University, South Carolina (United States)


Environmental challenges are impacting us all locally and globally. The purpose of the course described here is to introduce students to those challenges and mitigation practices through traditional and non-traditional educational experiences to help them explore and critically analyze these issues in their personal lives, their community, and their college and expand that experience to see the global effects of these issues and how countries around the globe approach those challenges. Students in this course participated in field trips to on-campus facilities to gain firsthand experience at the local level in environmental issues discussed in class. Students who directly participate during a field experience generate a more positive attitude about the subject (Behrendt & Franklin, 2014, p.1). Therefore, the primary purpose of the field trips was to give students a firsthand experience related to environmental issues discussed in the class, hear about them from professionals in the field, and lead students to critically analyze the issues and give them a sense of accountability. To further help students realize that their local environmental issues are a global concern, students participated in an international virtual exchange project (IVE). IVE is a structured educational collaboration between geographically separate students facilitated through technology; it can help students develop intercultural and communication skills (Helm, 2019). IVE was incorporated in this course to assist students in seeing the connections between their studies and the world outside the classroom. Especially for many students, traveling abroad and participating in firsthand experiences with students from different cultures might be challenging due to financial or academic schedule constraints. Hence, IVE can provide students with a global classroom learning experience. Students concluded the course with a wealth of knowledge about global challenges by combining theoretical knowledge with practical applications, international perspectives, and opportunities for personal reflection and a lifelong learning experience.


international virtual exchange, global learning, global challenges, college teaching.



Behrendt, M., & Franklin, T. (2014). A Review of Research on School Field Trips and Their Value in Education. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 9, 235–245.

Helm, F. (2019). Languages and international virtual exchange: Introduction to the special issue. European Journal of Language Policy 11(2), 139-142.




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