New Scholar, Vol 4, No 1 (2016)

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Comics Go Global: Reporting on a four-year transnational pilot project

Luke Conrad Jackson, Antoine Toniolo, Michael Bitz

Abstract


This article describes the use of comic books and graphic novels to foster text analysis, engagement and collaboration with year 7-12 students in the online, arts-based pilot project Comics Go Global. Using a well-researched framework for designing and delivering online courses as a conceptual basis, this pilot lasted from 2011 to 2014, and involved 5 educational staff and 130 students across 3 continents. Participants were connected via online tools including a 'locked-down' social network, discussion boards, blogs, and chats, as well as video conferencing, to establish a collaborative, cosmopolitan network. Their comic books were exhibited in a roped-off area of Second Life. Results suggest that the model developed for Comics Go Global had positive outcomes for students, including the acquisition of content knowledge and the development of skills such as collaboration, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to empathise with others. Comics Go Global stands an example of an inclusive, flexible model for those individuals and institutions wishing to explore the possibilities of transnationalism and education.

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