UF: Collaborating Across Undersea Cables: Creating a Collaborative International Teaching Network (CITN)

In 2004, the Provost established the UF Creative Campus Initiative to encourage “highly innovative approaches to teaching or multi-disciplinary inquiry.” One of the projects awarded funding in 2018-19 promotes virtual exchange (VE) and is entitled “Collaborating Across Undersea Cables: Creating a Collaborative International Teaching Network (CITN).” The CITN is led by Dr. Mary Risner (Center for Latin American Studies), with the collaboration of Paloma Rodriguez (UF International Center), Dr. Laurie Taylor (UF Libraries), and Dr. Crystal Marull (Spanish & Portuguese Studies).

The CITN seeks to guide and support UF faculty so they are able to engage creatively with collaborative international teaching opportunities. The CITN aims to facilitate virtual exchange opportunities by connecting UF faculty with each other and with international partners. The ultimate goal of the CITN is the implementation of a campus-wide initiative that trains, supports, and rewards instructors for implementing innovative pedagogies that break down campus boundaries and disciplinary silos to transform learning.

The first CITN event was a Virtual Exchange Faculty Showcase which took place September 18th. Showcase participants included UF faculty and two VE models from Santa Fe State College and Eastside High School. Faculty shared examples of VE across diverse subject areas; language courses through telecollaborative language coaching; and different digital tools that faculty utilize to enhance their curriculum. The event drew a crowd of approximately 60 graduate students and faculty.

The next CITN event will take place on October 4th in the Large Conference of the UF International Center. The event, Virtual Exchange Workshop: Connecting Classrooms around the World Part 1, seeks to inform faculty on the different ways they can incorporate VE to connect their students with other students and faculty around the world. The workshop facilitator will be Sarah Guth, from the University of Padova, Italy, an expert in Virtual Exchange. Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP to the event by September 28th, via this link:  https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eQE3DRzVvH44pyl.