Syllabus 2017 Globalization Europe (Poland)

Syllabus Poland Study Abroad S–2017

Globalization and Sustainability: US & Poland Compared

Instructors: Donald G. McGahan, Ph.D. & Barry Lambert, Ph.D.

General Description:

WSES4341–420 (CRN 62285) / WSES5341–010 (CRN 62846): This course has no prerequisites in content or preparation. The Study Abroad Learner has only registered at Tarleton State University, pay the tuition, pay the course fee, and understand and be prepared for the additional personal costs associated with the course. As such, the learner can expect laboratory/lecture instruction and training. While the learner is considered to be an absolute novice at/in the subjects the course is designed to deliver, it is an upper level elective course. As an upper level course the expectation from the learner is the highest scholarly attitude, execution of engagement, and learning at the highest level: a focused, attentive, and serious attitude. Course in an integrated design with learning modules more focused on practicum, survey, or demonstration. The learner is expected to share, via published web blog posts, experiences throughout the week. In addition, the student will complete additional tasks associated with an Applied Learning Experience (ALE) evidencing development/enhancement/growth in knowledge, skills, and attitudes listed in the ALE course objectives and evaluation is not limited to, but includes four essays.

ALE Course Overall Objectives:

In this applied learning experience, students will develop/enhance as evidenced by essays that demonstrate growth in:


return to ALE Objectives

The learner will gain understanding of the world in a larger context.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of global issues, processes, trends, and systems (i.e., economic and political interdependency among nations; environmental-cultural interaction; global governance bodies)
  • Articulation of an understanding of his/her culture in global and comparative context – that is, recognizes that his/her culture is one of many diverse cultures and that alternate perceptions and behaviors may be based in cultural differences
  • Articulation of an understanding of how his/her intended field (academic/professional) is viewed and practiced in different cultural contexts
  • Articulation of growth in understanding intercultural communication concepts


The globally competent learner makes practical applications:

  • Demonstrates coping and resiliency skills in unfamiliar and challenging situations
  • Interprets issues and situations from more than one cultural perspective
  • Mediates cross-cultural interactions – that is, facilitates intercultural relations for and between others

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The globally competent learner evolves in personal development:

  • Appreciates the language, art, religion, philosophy, and material culture of different cultures
  • Demonstrates resistance to cultural stereotyping
  • Demonstrates an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities
  • Is willing to engage in diverse cultural situations
  • Accepts cultural differences and tolerates cultural ambiguity

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Commodities, Capacities, and Attitudes

Attitudes impacted by globalization are explored through commodities that are traded globally. As such the capacity to feed and clothe, not only the local population, but to leverage the capacity to trade globally is explored through an exploration of the land, and the food it can produce. Experiences are enlivened by discussions in Poland that allow comparisons of attitudes about sustainability, technology (GMO vs non-GMO), and the producing land and peoples’ place in globalization. Globalization is explored through the lands ability to produce.

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Soil and Land –

The soil content is designed to introduce the learner to physical and chemical properties of soils as well as an introduction to the genesis of soils. The lessons are integrated laboratory/lecture hands-on exercises and shall include concepts presented in a field setting.

These concepts can be drawn upon throughout the course. Specifically, soil porosity, reactivity (pH), water, water use efficiency in plants, the concept of rhizosphere, biocycling, soil organic, plant, the soil ecosystem, the food source for the soil biological community. The balance between the concepts that physical and chemical attributes of soil organic matter content increase is good and the decomposition of organic matter leading to release of nutrients also being desirable is a goal that bridges between soil and plants.

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Plants –

The content goal is to convey to the learner limitations in plants choices and to convey some practices and systems to match plant choices to limitations. Plant crops important to Poland, pathology, diseases, cropping systems, and climate are presented

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Wildlife –

In addition to laboratory training a Field Excursion to Brodnica Ecological Station will enhance the understanding of culture, laws, perceptions, practices and allow comparison to US practices.

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Animals –

The animal content goals include conveying to the learner Polish production systems and augment the instruction with comparisons to production systems in the USA. From the topics:

  • Milk production in Poland (race, housing systems, technologies, milking, milk quality requirements, acceptance criteria for the purchase of milk)
  • Assessment of the utility of milk cows in Poland
  • Identification and registration of bovine animals in Poland

Identification of genes of economic importance in dairy cattle:
Swine production.

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Sustainability/Ecosystem/Global Comparison –

The content goals will include a free flowing capstone discussions of the course with students from across Europe who are studying in Poland. Students are expected to formulate talking points and qualifying questions related to major philosophical differences between US and Polish approaches to: genetic modification of crops, treatment of livestock, land stewardship, and perception differences between Europeans and Americans.

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ALE Modules 32 % of the grade will consist of the ALE module.
The student will write four (4) essays addressing the ALE objectives. Each essay is worth 5.5% (5.5% x 4 = 22%) assessed on how well the essay addressed the rubric item(s) assigned, plus an addition 2% (2% for all four) for accomplishing assessments on time. Each student will grade other student essays according to the rubric for a total of 8%. (2% x 4 = 8%).
20 % Participation
Participation consist of presence and attendance in a punctual manor, attitude, stewardship of the group logistics, and citizenship assessment.
48 % Weekly Assignments and Blog Posts
Assessment of weekly lessons with each week. This will be quartered such that 1/4 of the 40 % (10% x 4 = 40%).
A significant portion of the weekly work is the weekly blogs. Blog posts do not have to be posted daily, but each week the learner is to post no fewer than four (5) posts.
Learners can expect worksheets, problem sets, quizzes, brief essays, short answer question prompts, and examinations. All encapsulated within the course objectives for each week. Except for the blog posts, these can be assigned and delivered inside or outside the classroom/laboratory including when traveling, or in a field setting.

Note. Learners may post more blog entries than the minimum – and we encourage you to do so! – but you cannot carry one weeks blog post to another week.

The ALE grading rubric template is at available on the website for digital ranking.

Each student will assess every other students essay for each of the four (4) essays and the results posted to an electronic form. This is mandatory.

The essays are intended to be comprehensive to answer the assigned writing prompt(s), but they are also to be concise. A well crafted essay in the range of 700 to 1,200 words is the target. Using a liberal amount of visuals would modify this word suggestion to something in the 500 to 800 word range (excluding the picture captions from the word count). Using pictures/figures is to be integrated into the thesis of the essay. No extraneous filler pictures. Every graphic must be integrated into the fabric of the essay. The essay prompts will allow the learner to address the ALE objectives and by the essays demonstrate growth in knowledge, skills, and attitudes of/toward the listed objectives (above). We expect professional writing.

Graduate students must accomplish a graduate component in addition to the undergraduate coursework.

Grades will be based on the percentage of total points earned.

  • The Grade of C is assigned when 70 to 80% of the total points assigned have been correctly answered.
  • The Grade of B is assigned when 80 to 90% of the total points assigned have been correctly answered.
  • The Grade of A is assigned with greater than 90% of the total points assigned have been correctly answered.
  • The Grade of D is assigned when 58 to 70% of the total points assigned have been correctly answered.
  • The Grade of F will be assigned when less than 58% of the total points assigned have been correctly answered.

The instructors reserve the right to adjust, lower, these thresholds, but they will not be raised.

Academic Honesty:

The university policy on academic honesty is provided in the University Catalog. Strict adherence to the highest standards of academic integrity will be expected throughout the course. Cheating in any form (plagiarism, copied work, cheat sheets, etc.) will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and severely.


It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact Trina Geye, Director of Student Disability Services, at 254.968.9400 or “” Student Disability Services is located in Math 201. More information can be found at or in the University Catalog.

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