Teaching Activity Webinars

Each 30-minute webinar listed below will introduce an interactive teaching activity that can be utilized broadly across disciplines and courses. The teaching activities are designed to promote engagement between international and U.S. students in your classes, to foster an inclusive class environment, and/or to deepen international, intercultural, or global learning.

While establishing an inclusive and interactive environment (online or in-person) takes intention and time, this effort will pay off in dividends — leading to improved learning, more engaged discussions, and a more positive learning experience for all students.

Who should register: The primary audience for these workshops and webinars is faculty, instructors (including teaching assistants), and instructional staff who directly support teaching and learning. Those who are teaching or actively supporting the classroom experience this academic year will benefit the most, as we will be focusing on teaching practices and the ways that participants can apply these practices in their current teaching.

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Finding Common Ground*

Experience an activity that is especially valuable for fostering rapport among students from diverse cultural backgrounds. During this 30 minute webinar, we will model and discuss effective facilitation strategies for how you can help your students "find common ground."

What's in a Name?*

Learning and using students’ names, and encouraging students to do the same with each other, is essential for building community in your class, and supports international students. Learning names is the first step in building relationships! There are many creative ways to encourage students to learn and use names. In this 30 minute session, we will experience two simple activities, and discuss others.

3-2-1 Classroom Assessment Technique*

Join us to learn about a versatile and brief Classroom Assessment Technique that’s been modified in a way to not only enable you to gather important mid-term information from students but also promote interactions and support of one another. We will share several ways this activity can be implemented to demonstrate its versatility.

Birds of a Feather*

This is a fun activity that demonstrates our human tendency to gravitate to the familiar - people who look, think and act like us, as well as the limitations of this tendency. We observe this in our classrooms all the time. Students self-segregate into their same social or cultural groups, and in doing so miss out on valuable opportunities to grow their networks, broaden their perspectives, and practice intercultural skills needed in our interconnected world.


One challenge that many instructors face is a concern about fitting in all the required course content while also engaging students in active learning. A jigsaw activity is a way to do both by partially shifting the onus of teaching content onto the students. Come experience the Jigsaw with your colleagues, and consider/discuss course content that lends itself to the jigsaw approach.

Give One, Get One (GOGO)*

Come experience a fun, interactive review activity. Give one, get one (GOGO) is a great way to get students up and moving and talking to each other while assessing their understanding. Through this activity students can share key takeaways from a lesson, and based on what they come up with and share, you can learn what students are gaining from the lesson and if there are any underrepresented areas of content that you can address in a future class or exam review session. We will demonstrate the GOGO activity’s versatility, as well.


This is an activity that includes movement, sharing insights, negotiation, critical thinking, decision making, evaluation, anonymity...and a tiny bit of math. It can be used as a form of review and gathering key takeaways from discussions, lessons, articles, etc.

Snowball Review*

An often cited reason students choose not to ask questions or contribute to large or small group discussions is they are afraid they will “say something stupid.” Come learn a new activity that involves anonymity, and other concrete strategies to alleviate these fears and promote increased participation from all students.

Check-In Activities*

You will experience one quick and easy “check-in’ activity and discuss others that can be integrated into your course design in order to 1) build and strengthen a sense of community among learners, 2) broaden participation, 3) provide frequent and brief opportunities for students to engage content and practice and develop interpersonal and intercultural skills, 4) and, very importantly, for you to gather valuable information from students, about the students themselves and/or about what and how they are processing class content.

Toward More Inclusive Participation: Whip Around*

Join a conversation on class participation to learn and share ideas, resources, and tools for establishing broader and deeper student engagement and interaction. We will facilitate this discussion using an activity to ensure all voices are included, the whip around.

Establishing Class and Group Agreements and Expectations*

Learn one approach for establishing class or group agreements and expectations. Establishing class or group agreements and expectations sets a tone for the course that reinforces intentionality and collaborative decision-making processes, and the idea that the classroom learning environment is something we all contribute to, are responsible for, and can influence. Making these explicit and clear for yourself and for students is important for all members of the class, and even more so for students who may be new to US classrooms and educational practices in higher education.

Global Village

This 30-minute webinar activity is designed to help you turn your class into a Global Village, where students examine how people in different countries are affected by global issues and trends and deepen their international and intercultural learning. Whether it is for a single assignment, module, or full semester, the Global Village activity asks students to practice representing a point of view from a different country or culture. You will learn about the original activity and its adaptations to different disciplines.

Scenarios for Global Learning

This 30-minute webinar is designed to help you integrate the UN Sustainable development Goals into your courses. Integrating the goals can help your students build awareness of global issues and learn about concrete steps they could take to address them on both global and local levels. We will review several methods for and examples of integrating the UN 2020 Sustainable Development Goals that address various global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, peace and justice that you can include in your classroom discussions.

Cultural Communication Styles

This 30-minute webinar is designed to help you consider the role of cultural communication styles in your classroom, so that you can help your students deepen their intercultural communication skills. During the webinar, we will review high-context and low-context communication styles used in different cultures and countries and provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your own communication style. You will also experience a teaching activity that you can do with your students on cultural communication styles.

Cultural Values Collage

This 30-minute webinar will introduce you to the Cultural Values Collage activity which can be implemented in a single class session or woven throughout the semester. In this activity, students reflect on how their own culture shaped their values and beliefs and deepen their intercultural learning. You will learn about the original activity and its adaptations to different class sizes and teaching formats.

Changing Misconceptions about the World

This 30-minute webinar will introduce you to several teaching activities designed to help your students change common misconceptions about the world and think more critically about statistical data on global tendencies. This webinar is based on the book by Hans Rosling “Factfulness: Ten reasons we're wrong about the world and why things are better than you think.” During the webinar, you will be introduced to Rosling's most important research findings, experience one of the teaching activities based on the book, and learn about other activities you can try in your class.

Cultural Self-Awareness in Teaching

This 30-minute webinar is designed to help you reflect on your cultural identity in teaching. You will have an opportunity to think about how the culture/s you grew up in and lived in for an extended period of time influence your teaching. We will also discuss several strategies on how you can effectively share your intercultural experiences and lessons learned with your students and what you can do to help your students realize that their culture/s have influenced their perspectives on self, others, and the world.

Why focus on student interactions?

* Webinars noted with an * focus explicitly on student interactions as part of the International Student Academic Integration (ISAI) initiative.

Interactions among students from globally diverse backgrounds can foster the interpersonal and intercultural skills critical necessary to be efficient and effective in our personal, academic, and professional lives. A University of Minnesota study indicated that students from different national, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds want and value interactions, but they tend not to initiate them on their own. As Lee, Poch, O’Brien, and Solheim (2017) argue, intercultural learning requires sustained and facilitated opportunities to practice and reflect, and must be fostered across all disciplines, all classes, and throughout students’ entire educational careers.

Teaching Activity Bundles

In these teaching activities bundles, we cover 3 to 4 teaching activities over the course of a two-hour session. In addition, we will integrate opportunities for reflection to learn, discuss, and model how these, and other interactive teaching activities, can be leveraged to fully realize the potential benefits of our globally diverse classrooms.