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Global Learning Outcomes

UC Davis Global Learning Outcomes Framework

Committed to educating the next generation of problem solvers and change makers, UC Davis is working towards Global Education for All—a goal aiming to provide 100% of our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with global learning opportunities that change their lives and our world.

The following UC Davis Global Learning Outcomes Framework, developed by the Global Education for All Steering Committee, describes the broad vision and learning objectives of Global Education for All.

Why is Global Learning Important?

Global challenges, networks, and dynamics profoundly shape our lives. We need scholars, entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and employees who are ready to navigate across different cultural, political and regulatory environments. And we need empathetic, curious leaders, caregivers, and community members who understand issues in cross-cultural contexts and collaborate to resolve them equitably.

Global learning prepares UC Davis students to develop skills, knowledge, networks, and attitudes that will help them thrive in these roles.

What Does Global Learning Mean?

Global learning at UC Davis is a combination of local, regional, national, and international experiences through which students develop key skills, knowledge, and networks that help them build global awareness, engage global diversity, and pursue collaborative and equitable global action.

Global learning helps students develop their capacity to be informed, open-minded, responsible people who are responsive to diverse perspectives and able to address the world’s most pressing issues collaboratively, equitably and sustainably.

Global learning should enhance students’ sense of identity, community, ethics, and perspective-taking, and foster the ability to define and advance equity and justice with respect to human and natural systems.

How Does Global Learning Take Place?

We recognize that students come to UC Davis with varied—and sometimes extensive—global experiences, and our goal is to help each take next steps.

Global learning cannot be achieved in a single course or a single experience but is acquired throughout students’ time at UC Davis through multiple global learning opportunities.

Global Learning Pathways

Graphic with: Academics (globally oriented capstone projects, theses and dissertations; study abroad and away; globalized courses and collaboration. Experiences (community engaged service learning; global research; internships, externships and traineeships). Living and Leading (global living and learning communities; campus programs and clubs; global learning events and activities). Global Learning Pathways are preparing students to thrive in an interdependent world and solve global challenges collaboratively, equitably, and sustainably.

  • Global Academics (e.g., globally oriented capstone projects, theses, and dissertations; study abroad and away; globalized courses and collaboration)
  • Global Experiences (e.g., community engaged service learning; global research; internships, externships, and traineeships)
  • Global Living and Leading (e.g., global living and learning communities; campus programs and clubs; and global learning events and activities)

What are Global Learning Outcomes?*

Global learning opportunities at UC Davis focus on cultivating skills, knowledge, abilities, and networks to prepare students to engage the challenges and opportunities of our highly interconnected world. Broad global learning goals guide learning and each goal has a set of outcomes that demonstrate what students will know or be able to do upon completion of their educational experience.

*Adapted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Global Learning VALUE Rubric (2014).

Global Learning Outcomes

Graphic with: Global Awareness (Students examine actions and relationships that influence global systems from multiple perspectives, analyzing how complex systems impact themselves and others). Global Diversity (Student explore complex dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion around the world, including language, culture, and identity). Global Action (Students create strategies to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to collaboratively and equitably foster global well-being and resilience).

  • Global Awareness

Students examine actions and relationships that influence global systems from multiple perspectives, analyzing how complex systems impact self and others.

  • Global Awareness: Global Learning Outcomes
  • a) Evaluate complex and overlapping systems in a global context, including natural systems (e.g. environmental, biological, chemical, physical) and human systems (e.g. cultural, economic, political, legal, health, social, and technological). 
    b) Analyze how systems are constructed, influenced and altered, identifying differential and inequitable consequences, and how this shapes people’s lives around the world.
    c) Reflect upon interactions and interrelationships between our own experiences and natural and human systems in a global context.


  • Global Diversity

Students explore complex dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion around the world, including language, culture, and identity.

  • Global Diversity: Global Learning Outcomes
  • a) Engage with differing perspectives and experiences while maintaining a sense of cultural perspective, including how culture informs our own beliefs and ways of thinking. 
    b) Examine multiple and intersecting dimensions of cultural diversity (including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, language, and class), discovering our own and others’ cultures and histories, including experiences of privilege and oppression. 
    c) Expand our ability to cross boundaries associated with language, culture, histories, and status in order to bridge differences, recognize similarities, and collaboratively and equitably reach common goals.


  • Global Action

Students create strategies to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to collaboratively and equitably foster global well-being and resilience. 

  • Global Action: Global Learning Outcomes
  • a) Create strategies to identify biases, navigate power relations, and continuously monitor intended and unintended consequences when addressing complex global challenges.
    b) Apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to contribute to society at multiple levels - locally, regionally, nationally, and globally - demonstrating cultural humility and ethical, informed, and responsible actions.
    c) Explore personal, academic, and professional opportunities that address real-life global challenges through collaboration across intercultural and disciplinary contexts in ways that account for cultural diversity, social justice, and planetary sustainability.

More Information

The Global Learning Outcomes Framework articulates global learning goals and outcomes in support of the UC Davis aim to prepare students to thrive in our interconnected world and collaboratively promote global well-being and resilience, per the campus strategic plan To Boldly Go (2018) and the Global Education for All initiative. The Global Learning Outcomes Framework serves as a guide to design and assess global learning experiences and pursue a common set of desired outcomes for graduates.

Framework Development

The current framework has been shared with numerous campus groups and stakeholders across the Davis and Sacramento campuses to build an inclusive framework through a consensus-based process. The framework is based upon the American Association of College & Universities Global Value Rubric, and has been adapted with external input to fit the UC Davis context. The process to adapt the Global Value Rubric began in 2017-2018, led by the Global Education For All Steering Committee.


The Global Learning Outcomes Framework is intended to serve as a guide for faculty and staff in the design, implementation, and assessment of student learning in relation to global education. The framework also helps evaluate progress toward 100% participation in global education.


Aligning programs, services, and student learning experiences with the Global Learning Outcomes Framework provides benefits beyond mission alignment and achievement of institutional strategic goals. Utilizing the Global Learning Framework offers a systematic, campus-wide approach to global education, benefits faculty and staff who seek to support global learning, and suggests key data that can be utilized for benchmarking, program reporting, accreditation, and more. Having a common framework can improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and exchange of data and information.


Many faculty and staff across UC Davis already engage students in a wide variety of global learning experiences. This framework helps build connections between those efforts across key learning pathways—global Academics (e.g. global courses, global capstones, study abroad and away, etc.), Experiences (e.g. community engaged service learning, research, internships, etc.), and co-and extra-curricular Living and Leading (e.g. global living and learning communities, campus programs and clubs, etc.)—to reflect the holistic educational experience of students. Having a campus-wide framework helps to tell the story about global learning. Incorporating global learning goals and outcomes can provide faculty and staff with valuable feedback about student learning, highlight global learning skills many students have, and help students build connections across their learning journeys.

Several key benefits include:

  • Report on existing work and leverage campus-wide resources for global learning.
  • Gather information for evidence-based decision-making with focused data to support reporting and review processes (internal and external), including the extent to which students engage in global learning, as well as student perceptions and outcomes of global learning.
  • Build networks across campus relevant to global learning and help students identify new opportunities for academic and career exploration with a global learning emphasis.
  • Gain valuable feedback regarding student learning experiences and identify opportunities for continuous improvement to ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities for student engagement in global learning.

Evidence of student learning against an established framework provides useful and actionable data for academic program eviews, campus level assessment reporting, funding requests, accreditation, and more. Many program and institutional level accreditation standards incorporate specific requests for data around global learning.

Intended Use

It is not expected that any one individual, experience, or program will address every goal or stated outcome in its entirety. The intention of the framework is to represent desired outcomes that can be achieved through a number of student global learning experiences over a period of time, as well as guide individual course/program development and learning assessment.

Guidance on Utilizing the Framework to support teaching and learning assessment

The framework serves as a set of aspirational goals and outcomes to align individual student learning experiences. It supports backwards-design principles, beginning with outcomes. Using the framework, faculty and staff can follow the backward-design process:

  • Identify a Goal: From the framework, identify a goal (or goals) and corresponding outcomes that best align with the class, program, or learning experience.
  • Develop Global Learning Outcomes: Utilizing the associated outcome statements, expand on the specific elements unique to the learning experience you are designing. Write your own learning outcome statements that break down the high-level outcomes in more detail.
  • Align Activities: Align student learning activities with specific Global Learning Outcomes. Determine strength and intensity of learning activities to achieve outcomes.
  • Gather Evidence: Gather evidence of student learning specific to the framework.
  • Assess Global Learning: Utilizing shared resources, examine artifacts and evidence of global learning against established program learning outcomes and the framework.

Example: A faculty or staff member might choose to emphasize elements from one of the goals (e.g. Global Awareness) and corresponding student learning outcomes, choosing one or two relevant outcomes or breaking the established outcomes down further to reflect the specific application of learning in the course or program context.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Global Education for All?

An initiative currently being implemented across UC Davis which aims to reach 100% of UC Davis students of all disciplines and educational levels including undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

Why provide a global education?

We need scholars, entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and employees who are ready to engage across different cultural, political, and regulatory environments. We need empathetic, curious leaders, caregivers, and community members who understand issues in cross-cultural contexts and collaborate to resolve them equitably. Global education prepares UC Davis students to develop skills, knowledge, networks, and attitudes that will help them thrive in addressing global challenges:

  • Vital resources such as water, medicine, and food flow across boundaries.
  • Global health challenges have no borders or boundaries: managing public health epidemics; addressing economic inequality; engaging with transnational migration; fostering safety and security; and developing sustainable solutions for the planet’s future.
  • Global networks provide our information and services. Worldwide collaborations produce scientific discoveries and social awareness: ideas and cultural practices travel around the planet in seconds.
  • Global events influence our economies and policies at a national, state, and local level, and international demand propels industry practices.
  • Global dynamics (e.g. climate change or violence that drives migration, employment or educational opportunities that require mobility) shape who we meet in our communities as neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

What does ‘global learning’ mean?

Global learning is the process through which students develop key capacities that support effective global and intercultural awareness, engagement, and action—at home and beyond. Students come to UC Davis with varied—and sometimes extensive— global learning experience and our goal is to help each take next steps through multiple global learning opportunities.

Does global learning mean study abroad or require that students travel outside of the United States?

No, global learning can take place anywhere in the world, including within our courses at UC Davis, on campus, in our local and regional community, throughout the United States, as well as around the world. Global learning can even happen virtually. While study abroad can certainly be an approach to global learning when designed accordingly, it is but one of many approaches to achieving global learning outcomes.

What are some examples of common global learning experiences?

Global learning can take many forms:

  • Classes may incorporate globally-focused or comparative perspectives to examine issues through a global lens. Faculty may include content and speakers that explore global diversity. Course activities, projects, teams, online intercultural collaborations, and assignments may support engagement with global perspectives and/or action on global issues.
  • Outside of classrooms, global learning experiences may occur on campus by attending campus events with a global focus, engaging in student-faculty research on global topics, joining globally-themed student communities or clubs, taking a workshop on global/intercultural leadership or doing archival research around the world, living with culturally-diverse peers or in globally-focused living and learning communities, and more.
  • Global learning experiences may take students into regional communities to learn about an unfamiliar culture, work or intern with businesses with a global footprint, and/or participate in community-engaged service learning to address global challenges.
  • Students may also travel for domestic study away or programs in other countries including study abroad, service learning, international research or field-work, or community and internship programs.
  • Virtual learning experiences with a global focus can transcend place-based boundaries—allowing connection with peers around the world through technology or participation in international internship experiences without leaving home.
  • Life experiences such as immigration/migration, growing up speaking multiple languages, and helping family members navigate across cultural boundaries support global learning.

How do I use the Global Learning Outcomes Framework?

We hope that you will familiarize yourself with the Global Learning Outcomes Framework and utilize it as a guide for program design, delivery, and assessment practices. The framework provides goal and outcome statements which offer a description of what every student should achieve in relation to global learning by the end of their educational experience at UC Davis. Goal statements are intended to be presented in direct, simple language. Further detail for each goal is presented at the outcomes level.

Do you suggest using the same language written in the Global Learning Outcomes Framework?

As many stakeholders were involved in the development and review process, we hope the framework represents diverse voices and perspectives across the institution and can be utilized widely. The framework is intended to be flexible and adaptable.

Are you asking me to do more, add work, or do something new?

Not necessarily. We know many faculty and staff are already providing quality global learning opportunities and we hope this framework helps campus capture these existing efforts more cohesively across the institution. We invite others, who may not have previously incorporated global learning into courses or programs, to think about ways they may fit global learning outcomes into their course structures.

What is ‘global learning assessment?’

Global learning assessment refers to the assessment of student learning outcomes articulated by the Global Learning Outcomes Framework. Assessment seeks to gather artifacts or evidence of student learning to demonstrate student progress toward the established Global Learning Outcomes and Global Learning Goals.

Whom should I speak with at UC Davis for more information about global learning, global learning outcomes, or global learning assessment?

Global Affairs is championing the Global Education For All initiative. Please reach out to members of the Global Education for All Steering Committee to discuss more about global learning and/or to share feedback about the Global Learning Framework.

View the UC Davis Global Learning Outcomes Guide and Q&A as a PDF

Contact Information