GSS 1236 - Go Global! Orientation

Go Global! is a six-week online interdisciplinary course where students are tasked with being researchers and writers for a digital Global Challenges Magazine. This 4-credit course runs from Monday June 28 - Tuesday August 10, 2021 and is offered for free by invitation only.

Schedule and Technology: This course is asynchronous with a daily schedule of assignments. There are no live meets and the schedule is flexible to accommodate work, travel, and other obligations. The instructor utilizes Blackboard to manage the course and post grades, all of the assignments are available on a separate interactive platform called Smart Sparrow, and FlipGrid (video communication) and Remind (text messaging) are used for daily updates and direct communication. This course has been online for more than seven (7) years! 

Course Description: This is a project-based course where students work collaboratively to create nine (9) issues of a digital Global Challenges Magazine. To prepare, students complete a series of online lessons on specific topics for each global challenge. Then, students are asked to conduct research and write articles about an assigned country for each issue of the magazine. Students will get their country assignments before the class starts.

Our data also show that students who have enrolled in the course are more likely to graduate sooner, within 3 1/2 or 4 years, than students who did not take the course. Also, our students in this course between 2014-2018 were more likely to stay at the university, and we think it's because of the ability to get a head start and from the connections you gain with other students and faculty before you arrive for your first full semester in the fall. And, we think it's a great course! Check out the student testimonials and survey results below to hear directly from Go Global students. 

The world is changing, and this course is designed to help you better understand those changes so that you can participate and help solve complex-problems as a globally competent citizen. We are excited to offer this innovative and rich curriculum to you and hope you can join us! 

We are thrilled that you're considering joining our Global Challenges team here at Stockton University!

Please contact us if you have any questions:

Contact information for questions about registration: In the Provost Office, Amy Beth Glass at and (609) 652-1776 extension 4849 or Emily Bell at and (609) 652-1776 extension 4525.

Instructor information for questions about the class: Dr. Tina Zappile at

Click on the image below for a recent story on Go Global:

Go Global 2020 New Story

Getting Started:

1. Do I have to come to campus for any class meetings or logon for any live meets at specific days or times? No! 

2. Then how do we connect with other students and the professor? Everyone will be writing and publishing their work in a centrally located digital magazine, where we read and comment on each other’s work. We also interact through FlipGrid, where everyone (including me) records short videos to discuss the topics for each week. These short videos can be recorded anywhere, even on your phone! I also use the Remind text messaging system, and of course email, to keep in touch. 

3. What digital platforms are used in this course? All assignments are delivered through the Smart Sparrow platform. The platform was originally developed in partnership with NASA, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and has been on the cutting edge of adaptive online education for many years. It is easy to use and engaging, which you know firsthand are important for online classes!

4. Can I still take the course if I miss the first few days? Yes! We allow for a 3-5 day buffer for deadlines, in case you have any technical issues or other difficulties accessing the course.

5. Can I still take this course if I'm going to be away this summer? Yes! The course runs from the end of June to mid-August and is self-paced. The schedule in the syllabus provides due dates, however you can work ahead as much as you like. You may have to go back to complete some of the work after your trip is over, however much of it can be done in advance. It usually works out. 

6. Do I need reliable internet? Yes! If you have plans to travel, please do not rely on hotel or public wifi unless you're certain it's high speed and reliable. Please see the first question for how to handle the times you cannot access internet.

7. Do I need a computer? Yes! You need a reliable way to access the internet and phones are not sufficient. We strongly recommend a desktop or laptop. Tablets are on a case-by-case basis, depending on their technical 

8. What if I don't like the course after I already started? Please see the syllabus with the dates and instructions to drop or withdraw from this course. Basically, you should email your professor and request to drop the course before the deadline.

9. What if I'm not sure my major relates to the class? All majors relate to this class! We encourage you to consider enrolling regardless of your major and career interests. 

10. Is it really free? Yes! You will receive 4 credits towards the GSS requirement here at Stockton at no cost to you. General Studies requirements like this course cannot be taken anywhere else, so this is of great value to help you complete your graduation requirements ASAP.

11. What does this course cover? We are glad you asked! You can review the current syllabus below.

Review the complete Go Global 2021 syllabus with a schedule and list of assignments using the button below:

Access the Go Global 2021 Syllabus 

Join the Summer 2021 class with your cell number(s) and/or email in Remind101 to receive reminders before the class starts and important announcements during the class session.

Sign up for Text Reminders

After you get your new Stockton email account, join our class on FlipGrid! Please note: you cannot access our FlipGrid until you are issued your new email address. When you are ready, click on the button below and select "Google" to register with your new Stockton email (hint: you should select "register with Google" before you enter your new Stockton email)!

Join us on FlipGrid

Your Portal information is provided with your Admissions packet. The video below provides an overview Stockton's GoPortal system and how to access for the first time:

Blackboard Learn 9.1 is Stockton’s main learning management system (LMS). The link below will give you an overview of the system and explain how to login and access your courses for the first time. For this course, you will need to login and access "GSS 1236 Go Global" to get announcements, links to the required assignments in Smart Sparrow, and grades.

View an Introduction to Blackboard

All the required assignments for this course are in a platform called Smart Sparrow. You will be provided a link to your Smart Sparrow course in Blackboard. The video below provides an overview of the Smart Sparrow assignments and what to expect to navigate the course:

Go Global students are more engaged and graduate faster!

  • 96% of our students from Summer of 2020 returned to campus in Spring 2021 compared to 91% of the general student population
  • Already 13% of Go Global students from Summer of 2017 have graduated within 4 years compared to only 3% of the general student population
  • The 4 Year Graduation rate (includes degrees earned by Summer 2020) for Go Global students from Summer of 2016 was 83%, compared to 62% for all students that entered at that time
  • The first cohort in Summer of 2014 showed higher retention rates than other students until junior year, when many graduated early! 75% of Go Global students graduated within 4 years, and 85% graduated within 6 years.

Survey results from Summer 2020

Our students reported the following:

  • 86% of students agreed that “Taking this course has made me feel like I belong at Stockton University.”
  • 96% agreed that “Taking this course has made me think about ways I can expand my own global learning in the future.” 
  • 73% agreed that “Taking this course has increased my interest in study abroad (when available!), either for a semester or a faculty led study tour for 1-2 weeks at the end of a semester.”
  • 81% agreed that “This course has improved how I feel about taking online classes at Stockton.”

After taking Go Global, students also reported "much or extensive growth" for the following outcomes and 21st Century skills:

  • Global Awareness
  • Deep thinking, both globally and personally, about issues
  • Media literacy (ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create all forms of communication)
  • Interest and empathy for people from different backgrounds
  • Productivity and accountability
  • Initiative and self direction
  • Learning factual knowledge, theories, and principles from multiple disciplines
  • Understanding what it would feel like to be a person living in a different country
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Information literacy (recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information)
  • Development or crystallization of personal points of view and values on a wide variety of issues
  • Motivation to help promote changes that improve people’s living conditions world wide
  • Leadership and responsibility
  • Communication and writing