Cultivating a Global Collaborative Classroom Experience: An International Exploration of Homelessness


  • Catherine Tompkins George Mason University, Associate Professor Social Work /Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies CHHS
  • Emily Ihara George Mason University, Associate Professor/Director, BSW Program, Social Work
  • Richena Purnell-Sayle George Mason University, Office of Global Strategy
  • Rick Reo George Mason University, Instructional Designer, ITS Learning Support Services
  • Stephanie Hazel George Mason University, Acting Director, Institutional Assessment



teaching online, team-based learning, student engagement, hybrid courses, global learning, interdisciplinary learning, digital pedagogy


The main collaborative student project compares and contrasts different aspects of homelessness both in Fairfax and in New Delhi, using Photovoice as the research methodology.à Forty-four Mason students enrolled in SOCW 472 RS, Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change, and forty Jamia students enrolled in MSW-SII-09 Social Work Research, collaborate together in a primarily asynchronous environment with the opportunity of participating in three synchronous sessions.à The Mason/Jamia team created small online groups of two Mason students and two Jamia students in order to facilitate these personal interactions and provided the PB Works and Blackboard platforms as communication tools. As part of the process, students were able to incorporate their favorite communication technologies including Facebook and WhatsApp. In addition to reaching the student outcomes and course objectives, the course design of this GCC involved intensive work and partnership between the Office of Global Strategy, IT Learning Support Services, Instructional Assessment and the classroom faculty. Lessons learned and best practices will be presented.

Author Biography

Catherine Tompkins, George Mason University, Associate Professor Social Work /Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies CHHS

Catherine J. Tompkins joined the faculty at Mason in August, 2003 as the Director of the BSW Program. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Health and Human Services. Cathy teaches courses in research methods, human behavior, gerontology, andàintroduction to social work. Her research areas include: caregiving,àinterventions for dementia care, kinship care, and mentorship withinàundergraduate education.à






4:15pm-5:30pm POSTER SESSION (Group A- 4:15-4:45pm)