The faculty team has begun the planning and coordinative work for the PBL course “Developing Resilient Rural Communities in Japan and the United States,” which is scheduled to be jointly offered by Akita International University and Oregon State University in the 2015 academic year.
The teams of instructors from both universities discussed the outcome and challenges of the course held in the 2013 academic year, worked on improving the course design and syllabus, and coordinated the course activity schedule with people from the local communities and municipalities, who would be supporting the field study. Representing the Japan side, Assistant Professor Ayumi Sugimoto had a discussion with the staff of various departments of the Yurihonjo City government on July 24th and also met with the representatives from the Akata and Tenjin communities of Yurihonjo City for a discussion with the staff of the City Hall and its general branch office on August 25th. During a meeting with the residents of the communities, the attendees reflected on the 2013 academic year and had discussions on topics ranging from the specific community activities that are suitable for the field study to the areas of possible improvements for the upcoming year. Based on the outcome of the meeting, each community will hold internal discussions for coordinative purposes, and another round of meetings involving a larger number of local residents and instructors will take place from February to March in 2015.
The members of the working group will share the outcome of the discussions held in each community and consult each other to improve the course in preparation for the 2015 academic year.