Engaging Cultural Variation in Courses

Decorative: A world map made up of cut outs of university aged people from around the world


Recognizing and Addressing Cultural Variation in the Classroom (pdf) helps instructors

  • Understand the types of challenges international students face
  • Explore issues that may affect students in your courses
  • Consider strategies successfully employed by faculty at Carnegie Mellon University 

The 32-page pdf is divided into three sections and covers the following topics:

1. Background Issues

  • Decisions about education
  • Financing a college education
  • Transition from high school
  • Breadth of study

2. Cultural Variations

  • Classroom culture
  • Class discussions
  • Reading and library research
  • Writing
  • Academic integrity
  • Seeking help
  • Grading

3. Suggestions for Instructors

  • General advice
  • Make your expectations explicit.
  • Model the skills you want students to develop.
  • Represent the material in multiple ways.
  • Give students ample opportunities to practice skills and improve performance.
  • Provide varied opportunities for interaction.
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