Global Engagement | Arts and Science ONLINE

Global Engagement

DEVS 280/3.0

This course explores current thinking around the motivations for, and ethical implications of, working with communities on issues of social justice, inequality, and sustainable development. Students will engage in self-reflexive practices and work collaboratively to create tools and action plans for ethical global engagement in the future.

Learning Outcomes

After completing DEVS 280, students will be better equipped to:

  1. Create learning and action plans to support the self-reflexive process of learning from experience in the field of global engagement
  2. Use critical reflection and self-reflexive practices to evaluate personal motivations for being globally engaged.
  3. Apply theories of race, gender and post-colonialism to critically assess the impact that global action and engagement may have on host communities and organizations.
  4. In collaboration with others, identify sector-specific ethical challenges encountered through global action and engagement and propose alternative courses of actions to a specific target audience.
  5. Use critical thinking and intercultural communication skills to challenge commonly held assumptions about the impacts of global engagement on host communities and host organizations.


This course explores current thinking around the motivations for, and ethical implications of, working with communities on issues of social justice, inequality, and sustainable development. Students will engage in self-reflexive practices and work collaboratively to create tools and action plans for ethical global engagement in the future.

Week 1 Global Engagement and Experiential Learning 

  • What is this course about? 
  • What do you hope to learn in this course? 

Week 2 Evolving Forms of Global Engagement 

  • Has volunteering for global development evolved over the past 20 years? 
  • Can experiential learning theory help us understand the connections between volunteering, studying and working in the context of global development?
Week 3 Critical Reflection, Self-Reflexivity, and Ethical Engagement
  • How do we reflect on our experiences? 
  • What purpose does reflection serve when we are globally engaged?
Week 4 Global Citizenship
  • What does it mean to be a ‘global citizen’?
  • Can we avoid doing more harm than good when globally engaged?
Week 5 Motivations for Global Engagement 
  • What makes us want to do things like travel, explore and help others? 
  • Can you grow both personally and professionally through global engagement?
Week 6 Ethical Challenges in the Field 
  • What are field-specific ethical dilemmas faced during global engagement? 
  • What practices (or tools) can we use to live up to our responsibilities for ethical global engagement?
Week 7 Critical Reflections on Motivations
  • Do our motivations impact our experiences when globally engaged?
  • What impact does this have on host communities and organizations?
Week 8 Gender, Race, Identity and Engagement
  • How do postcolonial studies, critical race theory and gender studies help us understand some of the ethical dilemmas associated with global engagement?
Week 9 Perspectives on Relationship Building and Partnership
  • What do host communities and organizations say about their role in global engagement?
  • What issues are most pressing for them?
Week 10 Representing the Experience 
  • Can the images used to promote global engagement activities actually reproduce negative stereotypes? 
  • Is there a way to represent our experience to others in a way that doesn’t reinforce or exploit differences in power and privilege?
Week 11 Preparing for Ethical Global Engagement and Action in the Future
  • How can we get the most out of a global engagement experience?
  • How can we make sure that our experiences are mutually beneficial? 
  • How do we avoid feeling paralyzed by the ethical issues associated with global engagement?
Week 12 Evolving Guidelines for Global Engagement and Plans for the Future 
  • What did you learn about yourself and global engagement from taking this course?
  • How will it impact your decisions in the future? How can you leverage your learning in this course within professional settings?


Fall 2019
Course Dates: 
Sept 5 - Nov 29, 2019
Exam Dates: 


15% - Plan and Reflect (10% - Course Learning Plan; 5% Reflective Summary)
30% - Online Discussios Forums (3 x 10%)
35% - Ethical Global Engagement Resource (20% - Submission; 5% - Peer and Self Evaluation)
25% - Action Plan for Future Global Engagement
5% - Course Feedback

*Evaluation Subject to Change*


Mark Hostetler (

Instructor message

Through a survey of literature, films, and popular publications on the subject, we consider some of the challenges and ethical issues which arise out of relationships generally predicated on good intentions yet sometimes have unintended or unanticipated outcomes.

The course is designed to help you in your efforts to critically reflect on, and better understand, experiences with global action and engagement, while also preparing you for more ethical, mutually beneficial engagement in the future.

Throughout the course you'll:

  • consider how best to engage in global development work (locally and internationally),
  • participate in group discussions to draw connections between theory and practical experience,
  • work collaboratively to create an action plan that will leave you feeling confident in your approach to seeking out and participating in educational, professional or personal experiences that intersect with the complex world of global development.

 Knowing that not everyone will have an experience they wish to unpack, nor be actively planning a future experience, course materials and assessments offer options throughout to tailor learning to meet your personal needs.

Time Commitment

You can expect to spend, on average, 10 hours per week completing relevant readings, assignments, and course activities.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.