UA joins with international partners in ‘The Global Classroom’


Taking technology to a new level to enhance the learning and understanding among cultures in the world of politics, The University of Akron today announced the launch of The Global Classroom, the first political science course of its kind that will be simulcast on four continents.

The Global Classroom, inspired by the successful Campaign Battleground class at UA’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, will utilize real-time, interactive videoconferencing and data sharing technologies to bridge four international locations into a highly collaborative teaching and learning environment.


President Matthew Wilson, left, and Bliss Institute Director Dr. John Green at today's press conference to introduce "The Global Classroom." To the right, participating partners from around the world can be seen on the screen.

Faculty and students in each location will be able to interact and openly exchange information and ideas. There will be weekly guest speakers ranging from political journalists and campaign consultants to judges, law enforcement and local/federal government officials.

“As much as any time in our history, we need to encourage and facilitate international engagement among our youth,” states University of Akron President Matthew J. Wilson. “This initiative gives Ohio students an opportunity to directly interact with peers whose political experiences and perceptions may be vastly different from their own.”

Beginnings rooted in 2016 elections

In 2016, political professionals and students from all over the world came to the Bliss Institute as international fellows to study and cover the United States presidential election. From this experience, constituents realized that they didn’t want the political conversations to end once Election Day was over.

Dr. John Green, director of the Bliss Institute, and Assistant Lecturer Gerald Austin and others here spent the past year approaching colleagues on three other continents with the goal of leveraging technology and academic curiosity to create a completely unique political science course. The aspiration is to increase international communication and understanding of political structures and sentiments prominent in the 21st century.

TheGlobalClassroom logo

“The Global Classroom uses cutting edge technology to literally make the world smaller,” explains Green. “It provides a wonderful opportunity for students on four continents to learn about politics together and from each other.”

The international partners joining UA for the inaugural Global Classroom, beginning Jan. 30, 2018, are Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in São Paulo, Brazil; University of Pretoria, South Africa; and Le Mans Université, Le Mans, France.

Current events from various perspectives

Joining Green and Austin from UA are a number of skilled teachers from around the world. Each week an instructor will preside over the discussion, and students from that instructor’s university will review the current events in their country. Instructors include:

  • Eliane Elmaleh, a professor in American civilization; Maud Michaud, who lectures in British history and colonial history; William Gleeson, associate professor of American history; and Delphine Letort, an English professor, all from Le Mans Université;
  • Professor Maxi Schoeman, deputy dean of humanities, and lecturer Roland Henwood, who teaches South African politics and policy, both of the University of Pretoria;
  • Fernanda Magnotta, who focuses on international affairs and analysis, and Carlos Gustavo Poggio Teixeira, who has a doctorate in international studies, both of FAAP.

In consideration of time zones, the class will be held at 9 a.m. EST, meeting once per week for 150 to 180 minutes. The course is available to UA undergraduates, graduates and those continuing their education, and will be worth three credits.


Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or