B. Refaei, R. Kumar

University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College (UNITED STATES)
At our institution many students are largely unaware of global events and how those events can have an impact on their lives. We wanted students to be more globally aware in our Intermediate Composition, a required mid-level university writing course, so we developed a series of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) scenarios placing U. S. students in the role of people involved in the Arab Spring. The problems begin by having students investigate the causes of the Arab Spring in a particular country that they choose. For instance, one group of students might look at the causes of the Arab spring in Libya while another group will examine events in Egypt. They examine all of the various positions and communities affected by these uprisings. We also ask them to describe how the uprisings are in response to human rights issues. In later problems, students are asked to find solutions to address the human rights concerns in the form of writing assignments across the genres. The work students do in solving these problems not only requires them to practice the principles of rhetoric demanding close attention to purpose and audience but also forces them to look at their own society and how it protects or fails to protect human rights. In their reflective writing of what they learned in the course, students discuss their growing awareness of global issues. This presentation will share the nature of the problems and students’ reflections on their learning.