Global Collaboration Projects

Educator successfully facilitates student participation in a global collaboration project in which students learn collaboratively with peers in one or more countries around the world.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator selects or designs a project that uses technology to engage students in global collaboration. The educator facilitates student participation in the project and then guides them in a reflective debrief about how they applied appropriate tools and strategies to effectively communicate and collaborate with their peers in other countries.

Method Components

What are Global Collaboration Projects?

Global collaboration projects enable students to work together with peers around the world. These projects give students unparalleled opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills needed for global citizenship by allowing them to authentically engage in communicating and collaborating with peers in other countries. Because global communication and collaboration is facilitated through various technologies, these projects also engage students in learning digital citizenship and Web literacy skills.

How are global collaboration projects important for developing global competence?

The rationale and the imperative for global competence stems, in part, from the fact that the job market as well as the economy are becoming increasingly globalized. Many jobs require individuals to communicate and collaborate with colleagues around the world using various digital technologies. Thus, preparing students to be college- and career-ready includes helping them develop the knowledge and skills needed to effectively communicate and collaborate with peers around the world. Engaging students in learning experiences where they have authentic opportunities to work directly with international peers is key. (See the Resources section for more information.)

Components of a Global Collaboration Project

In order to successfully facilitate a global collaboration project, the educator should:

  • Have a clear plan for implementation before beginning. The plan should answer the following questions:
    • What will students be learning and doing in the project?
    • With whom will students be communicating and collaborating?
    • How long with the project take? How often will students be communicating with their peers? How much classroom time needs to be allocated for students to complete the project on the collaborative timeline?
    • What kinds of digital technologies will be needed to facilitate the project?
    • What additional knowledge and skills will students need in order to be successful?
    • How will you collaborate with the other teachers in the project?
  • Support students in developing of a sense of openness to new ideas and ways of thinking
  • Help students develop cross-cultural communication skills
  • Promote sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Give students the opportunity to select and apply appropriate tools and strategies for effective global discourse and collaborative action

Suggested Implementation Strategies

  1. Select or design a global collaboration project appropriate for your classroom context. There are projects available for all ages/grade levels and subject areas. Some involve communicating and collaborating with several other classrooms around the world, while others connect you with just one other classroom. See the list of suggested projects under “Global Collaboration Projects” in the Resources section.
  2. Ensure that students will have access to the appropriate technology tools needed to support the global collaboration project.
  3. Obtain parent permission as needed for students to use the required technology tools, communicate with global peers, and share their work online.
  4. Guide students through the global collaboration project. Support students in developing the specific knowledge and skills needed to be successful on the project. This includes cross-cultural communication skills as well as digital citizenship.
  5. Facilitate reflective debriefs throughout the project and at the end of the project. Help reflect on what they are learning, not only about the content, but also through the experience of communicating and collaborating with global peers.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Global collaboration projects are grounded in the learning theories of constructivism (Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde, 2005) and connectivism. Students have the opportunity to construct new knowledge through social interactions with their peers, and digital technology enables them to develop personal learning networks that span the globe. Through structured networked collaboration, students create connections among information sources and ideas, and the learning environment expands to include members and perspectives from across the globe (Siemens, 2004).

Digital technologies enable collaborative learning environments that promote higher-level thinking and problem-solving and result in a positive effect on student achievement (Moersch, 2011). Global collaboration projects help students develop the skills needed for work, continuous learning, and citizenship in a global knowledge society (Wagner, 2008). They have also been shown to reduce ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and prejudice, and increase positive attitudes and trust (Union, 2010; Global Smart Kids, 2016).

  • Union, Craig. “Research Summary on the Net Generation Education 2009 and 2010 and Horizon 2008 Projects.” Walden University, 2010.
  • Wagner, Tony. The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need—and What We Can Do About It. New York, NY: Perseus, 2008.


Global competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions individuals need to be successful in today's interconnected world and to be fully engaged in and act on issues of global significance. The Global Competence Task Force defined globally competent individuals as "those who use their knowledge and skills to investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, recognize their own and others' perspectives, communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences, and translate their ideas into appropriate actions" (see link below).

Example Global Competence Frameworks

  • The Global competence matrix was created through a collaboration between World Savvy, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Asia Society. The matrix identifies components of global competence, which assists educators as they foster global competence in themselves and develop it in their students.
  • Global Competencies: 21st Century Skills Applied to the World was developed by the Global Competence Task Force, formed and led by the Council of Chief State School Officers' EdSteps Initiative and the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning

Example Projects for Inspiration

Digital Promise Global’s “3 Things for Global Learners” series highlights stories, resources, and ideas for global learning, many of which are virtual exchanges and global collaboration projects.

Articles and Books

  • Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis
  • “5 Ways to Inspire Students Through Global Collaboration” by Katrina Schwartz on Mind/Shift
  • “Global Collaboration Projects That Go Way Beyond Skype” by Stephen Noonoo on THE Journal

Communities, Events, and Professional Development Resources

Global Collaboration Projects

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for both artifacts submitted for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(500-word limit total):

  • What were your goals and expectations for engaging students in a global collaboration project? How did you plan and prepare for facilitating this kind of learning experience with students?
  • What did you observe during the process? Please describe what you observed about your students’ participation in the global collaboration project as well as notes about your own actions to support the students’ learning and progress.

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Please submit the implementation plan created for the global collaboration project. Include any additional resources and notes used to plan the project.

Please also submit a video or audio recording of students participating in the reflective debrief at the end of the global collaboration project (maximum length: three minutes) OR written reflections from three to five different students that demonstrate how the global collaboration project helped them learn to communicate and collaborate effectively with peers around the world (maximum length: three pages).

Part 3. Reflection

(750-word limit total):

  • What did you learn from your experience planning and facilitating a global collaboration project? How did you help students develop their global communication and collaboration skills through the use of this method?
  • What did you learn from your own observations as well as the insights students shared in the reflective debrief and in their individual written reflections?
  • Given what you have learned, what will you do the next time you implement a global collaboration project to help students learn to communicate and collaborate globally? Please include things you will do the same and differently in the future.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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