World101 and American Democracy Project Toolkit (2020–21)

By Faculty and Staff, 2020–21 Global Civic Literacy Cohort


This toolkit is a product of Global Civic Literacy, an initiative of AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP) in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Using CFR Education resources (formerly World101), the program is designed to help students increase their knowledge of our global society and understand how global issues influence lives of everyday citizens. Our democracy requires informed and engaged participants, and the goal of ADP, to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to be engaged citizens, is more important now than ever. More and more, our local communities are influenced by global issues, and our students must navigate the complexities and challenges of an increasingly interdependent world. However, the Global Literacy Survey, commissioned by CFR and the National Geographic Society in 2016, demonstrated the critical gap between the knowledge college-educated students in the United States possessed about the world and the knowledge and skills they need to be informed, engaged citizens able to understand and compete in a global context. (See

To support efforts to build this critical knowledge and understanding among undergraduate students, ADP – a network of 276 AASCU institutions, serving 2.7 million students across 47 states nationwide – and CFR have launched this Global Civic Literacy initiative, offering faculty and International Program staff the unique opportunity to collaborate and explore possibilities for providing an engaging and accessible pathway for students to build global civic literacy.

Participants engaged with the deep library of CFR Education resources (formerly World101) in collaboration with the CFR Education team. CFR Education ( is free content that breaks down the fundamentals of international relations and foreign policy through relatable multimedia content and stories that help students understand what lies at the core of the most important, enduring topics and issues along with why these topics matter and how they are relevant. Designed for the non-specialist, but of value to those with some knowledge as well, CFR Education resources are geared toward learners both inside and outside of formal academic settings. CFR Education resources are extremely flexible. The videos, charts, essays, timelines, and other multimedia that comprise a module can be accessed and shared individually or reviewed as a whole. Resources can also be grouped in endless combinations. Each resource comes with a library of teaching resources for instructors who wish to use CFR Education resources in their classrooms or in co-curricular programing.

This toolkit is a product of the initiative and brings together syllabi, assignments, course plans, and program outlines that use CFR Education resources to build global civic literacy across a wide array of courses and co-curricular programming. The toolkit is divided into four sections: first year experiences, upper-level courses, cocurricular activities, and study abroad and international activities.

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