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Blended Learning Examples

An Appreciative Inquiry Approach to Community Engagement, Intercultural Dialogue and Global Citizenship

An Appreciative Inquiry Approach to Community Engagement, Intercultural Dialogue and Global Citizenship

See it in action:

Environment, Education and Development
EDUC20342 Community Engagement, Intercultural Dialogue and Global Citizenship
Collaboration and Peer learning, Online Teaching Ideas

A distance-learning course development project funded by the University's Centre for Excellence in Enquiry Based Learning (CEEBL) brought together academics from different Schools in the Faculty of Humanities to collaborate on the design, delivery, evaluation and dissemination of a course on Community Engagement, Intercultural Dialogue and Global Citizenship.

The content of a Blackboard course was developed through discussions between course directors, Ann Shacklady-Smith from the Manchester Business School (MBS) and Kate Sapin from the School of Education. We also arranged guest lectures, included filmed community events and seminars that attracted participants from different universities and community organisations; commissioned short films to focus on particular community projects; and invited colleagues to submit learning materials providing a range of perspectives on the topics. The structure of the course emerged via the MBS input of materials on Appreciative Inquiry*.

Students involved in community projects first identified the strengths of their communities and organisations, then imagined what community engagement, intercultural dialogue and/or global citizenship might be in that setting; designed plans to realise these dreams and worked together on evaluation and planning the next steps.

The range of projects has included:

  • Engaging a working class community in script-writing for a film about climate change
  • Supporting intercultural dialogue through the development of teaching materials about Pagan marriages
  • Maximising young people's learning during international exchanges between Mozambique and Bradford
  • Involving all members of a school community in and International Women's Day debate
  • Promoting cross-generational participation in a community garden

In addition to the course itself and the related learning of students and staff, outcomes from the collaboration have included the Course Directors working together on evaluation of the content and process of the course and dissemination of findings including presentations, chapter abstract for a colleagues book proposal and a prize-winning poster for, The Distance Education Hub (DE Hub) and the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) conference, "Global Challenges and Perspective of Blended and Distance Education".

Further collaboration
Interested academics are invited to join the discussion of students' community engagement in real life projects or to contribute to the course content. Please contact kate.sapin@manchester.ac.uk or 0161 275 3523

*Cooperrider, DL and Whitney, D (2005), Appreciative Inquiry A Positive Revolution in Change, San Francisco, CA, Berrett Koehler Pub Inc.


  • Stimulating learners discussions
  • Enhancing community engagement
  • Promoting global citizenship