Recent events have caused Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan to say that having a ‘Group’ on Facebook is a faster way of communication between her and her students in a way that is far better than Blackboard and e-mails. She says she would love to do it with all her other classes one day.
McLauchlan is using the Facebook ‘Group’ to share pictures and articles about Moldova with her students.The reason why this class is communicating together in this social media form is because this small class is much more personal considering the experience they just had. Over spring break McLauchlan and her students from Comparative Government & Politics: Moldova, CPO 4930, embarked on a trip to the European country of Moldova.
McLauchlan says that her love for Moldova, besides its landscape and culture, is the kindness of its people who are always excited to see visitors.
“They don’t have a lot of tourism there in general, even though they’ve got these amazing wineries, fortresses, and monasteries and beautiful scenery, and waterfalls,” says McLauchlan.
In their itinerary, the select number of students and McLauchlan would attend a seminar at ULIM, Universitatea Libera Internationala din Moldova, every other day in a joint course with Moldovan students. McLauchlan had it arranged so that the students could make friends and develop relationships in the experience.
Patricia Jaschke, one of McLauchlan’s students, said on their last night in Moldova they spent it taking awhile to say goodbye to their new ULIM friends by reminiscing over the week all together.
McLauchlan wanted the students to partake in actual civic engagement. Part of their itinerary included civic handout assignments, which were service projects to help the Moldovan community. Such as donating books and toiletries to the Titus Center, a place for underprivileged children. According to the students’ online blogs they got to spend some personal time with the children, playing outside with them.
“It is truly a wonderful feeling to know that we made a difference in a small way,” said USFSP student Lauren Shumate.
The course will officially wrap up at a symposium video conference, which is going to occur Tuesday, April 23 at 9 a.m. This is to further publicize the trip, while also acknowledging the support of academic affairs.
McLauchlan says the success of this trip is a good stepping stone for USFSP to internalizing the curriculum.
“It’s nice to know that this is the direction that the University would like to head. And I will continue to do everything I can to give students in my classes the opportunity to connect around the world,” McLauchlan said.
Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Ph.D., (727) 873-4956, email@example.com
Lauren Shumate, http://cpo5934moldova.blogspot.com/?view=classic
Patricia Jaschke, http://www.patriciacalvoj.blogspot.com/