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The Challenges of Collaborative Learning across the Border--Canada and the United States: Divergent Paths/Intertwined Futures

History Teacher Volume 47, Number 2, ISSN 0018-2745


For The past two years, Siena College and Loyola International College for Diversity and Sustainability (LCDS), formerly Loyola International College, have jointly taught a comparative Canadian/ U.S. history class. Concordia University, an English language university, has more than 46,000 students and offers 433 undergraduate and graduate programs. The creation of a collaborative class between Siena and LCDS was based on three assumptions. First, that American students knew very little about their Canadian counterparts and their country's largest trading partner and neighbor to the north. Secondly, that video conferencing and online technology could be used for joint student research and interaction without having to travel and for recording and exchanging lectures by faculty. Finally, since millennial students learn in ways different from previous generations and have less global knowledge, the active involvement of students in joint classroom discussions and required assignments would allow both American and Canadian students to not only learn about their North American counterparts, but also gain an understanding of their countries' distinct pasts and intertwined futures. This article is divided into four sections and will provide guidance on how to design and implement a team-taught course with an instructor at another institution. First, the author describes how to compile a course containing assignments that deal with differing levels of student knowledge, skills, and expectations. Secondly, the author addresses web conferencing and how the utilization of social media and document sharing sites can engage students in debates and encourage them to reach a new level of knowledge by building research partnerships both inside and outside the classroom. Third, Claire Parham discusses the impact of the course on students' perspectives. Finally, Parham comments on the challenges of teaching an international collaborative course and offers suggestions for those hoping to undertake such an endeavor.


Parham, C.P. (2014). The Challenges of Collaborative Learning across the Border--Canada and the United States: Divergent Paths/Intertwined Futures. History Teacher, 47(2), 267-288. Retrieved February 27, 2021 from .

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