This assignment was inspired by a group discussion by faculty who teach the First Year Seminar in Business (BTF101) during the 2018-19 Rebooting the FYS Seminar. BTF101 is a two-credit course that meets for a total of 3 hours. We were tasked with ways to improve course assignments aimed at strengthening students’ Global Learning Competency and Digital Communication Ability. The topic of sweatshops abroad is a proven way to introduce a Global Learning assignment with a business related topic. In order to deepen the students’ learning on the subject, the assignment tasks students with taking on the role of a Corporate Responsibility Officer (CRO) for Nike. In choosing to put students in this role, they are required to think of multiple perspectives as required by the Global Learning rubric.
The assignment includes several phases and culminates in a student-made video. The first phase of the assignment has students explore sweatshops through video, class discussion and a short writing assignment. The research material provided is intentionally focused on Nike’s sweatshops so that students can narrow their focus to a particular instance of sweatshop usage in order to more readily formulate a company-specific response in their roles as CRO for Nike. Once the research phase is complete, students are asked to make a video explaining the issue to Nike in the role of a CRO. The students have to think about Nike’s role as a business, the ethical issues of sweatshops and the ways in which they can address the issues. Students work on the assignment during the last third of the semester, and the assignment takes approximately 2 or 3 class hours. To make it manageable, I created an ePortfolio assignment template since students are required to post part of it on ePortfolio. The assignment is used as a final in my classes and worth 20 % of the overall grade. I grade it according to the College’s Competency rubric, which is discussed earlier in the semester to ensure that students are familiar with the rubric. Finally, there are a variety of ways to use the existing materials. While the assignment is meant to address the Global Learning Competency and Digital Communication Ability, it also offers opportunities to support the Oral and Written Communication Abilities.
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