This course is entitled CORE 2096 (Selected Topics): Digital Identities and Digital Literacies in an Intercultural Context. It was designed by me, Maha Bali (@bali_maha on Twitter) and first taught by me Fall 2017 at the American University in Cairo. It meets the Global/World studies requirement.

The word cloud below shows the topics highlighted in the course, namely

  • Digital identities and literacies
  • Intercultural learning
  • Global citizenship

The course is centered on in-class discussion and activities, online dialogue via Soliya and other intercultural experiences. Assignments are mainly informal writing assignments via blogs and other digital experiences, and all student work is aggregated to this website http://diglit.creativitycourse.org. There are no exams in this course and the final assessment is a creative final reflection blogpost on the course itself.

Here are some examples of students final reflections on the course so you can see what the course is about:

From Spring 2021

“This is the 21st century version of “محو الامية”. ” Adham El Sherif


From Fall 2019

“exceptional course. This course has helped me grow as a person on so many levels, I started to look at things differently after every class discussion or topic we came across” Nada Aly

“Feels like a social gathering rather than a formal class; and this was what I loved most about such an experience, the chance to learn using a different method rather than just content, quizzes and exams. I mean I was reminded that learning is an actual blessing rather than a stressful process. The amount of knowledge I’ve retained by this course may be more than any other formal course, it’s not about the content itself but about the way it was taught” – Toqa Elahwal

“During the class, many discussions were had, ranging from hilarious to collective tragedy reactions. The classroom has witnessed amazing things happen in it throughout the semester, friendships were made… sharing music every now and then and talking about things that matter to us… It was like we were all friends before the class even started, where in fact most of us didn’t even know each other.” – Akram El-Nahhas

“I think the kind of person who should take this course is anyone who goes to AUC. Anyone who wants their horizons to be broadened… it really helps you grow as a person” Farah Awadallah

“Instead of saying in one sentence who should take this course I’ll say it one word: Everybody. Everybody should have the chance to learn what we learned.” – Ihab Bassili

From Spring 2018

Ayah (engineering graduating senior made this Infographic and wrote “this course will open your eyes to behind the scenes of digital platforms, expose you to different cultures and mindsets, and stimulate your empathy towards ‘others'”.

Nayera (political science) made this Podcast

Merna (graphic design) made this video.

Aly made this inforgraphic

Mariam – made this inforgraphic and summed up the course as “enlightening, amusing, worth it… This course will definitely put a smile on your face”.

From Fall 2017

Google site by Fayrouz (check also the menu items). Quoting from her final reflection

“The class discussions were meaningful and interesting, compared to the other core classes I took. I think adopting the idea of blogging rather that submitting a paper on Turnitin helped me feel less stressed and allowed me space to express my opinions freely” – Fayrouz

Prezi by Fatma

“Generally I am very shy and reluctant to participate in class – especially when it comes to sharing my personal opinion. However in this class I have never felt more comfortable… We got to learn useful things not just from Dr. Maha but also from one other.” – Fatma

Blogpost by Fadila – quoting her final reflection:

“This course was a very interesting one, it helped me become a better person in a way, both professionally and personally. I learnt how to think more critically about everything around me, learnt about new cultures from our global citizenship topic as well as through the unique experience of Soliya. It was probably the course I benefitted from the most since attending university “- Fadila

Listen to this Podcast by Camille or by Mohamed Safwat (both of them seniors).

“This semester I found that blogging could be very powerful and very therapeutic… Dr.Bali placed no importance on things being formal…the blog gives you power in the sense that you could write what you wanted and you didn’t have to think about the grade. This I believe is the single most important aspect of this course – being able to learn and get the work done without having to think about how you might get penalized. Also relating to this was the fact Dr.Bali is super flexible… I believe she is more concerned on you learning as opposed of being a dictator. The class is usually very positive, inviting and very democratic…”
– Mohamed Safwat (text of final reflection, before the podcast)

From blogpost by Adeeb (engineering senior)

“Core 2096 is different. It provides a broad learning as students are engaged in the selection of the curriculum. Such engagement made us more invested in the topics we tackle. It also enhances the student’s critical thinking through in class discussions.”

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