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Politecnico di Milano

Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Contexts

Enhancing teachers’ intercultural skills and practices to foster global citizens and to fulfill the contribution of higher education to society.

If you are a PoliMI student or staff member you have to log in using your Person Code. This is the only way to prove your participation in this course for official recognition.

Course description

The growth of human mobility together with globalization are shaping the demography of many societies and of many interactive contexts, including new ways of learning and of working modalities. Thus, the possibility to face intercultural relationships, even without moving, is today very frequent. And in the academic contexts, the internationalization of higher education makes the issue of teaching and learning in multicultural contexts, in presence or online, relevant and essential to be learnt and managed effectively.

This MOOC is composed of six weeks. It is addressed mainly to university’s teachers, with the aim to enhance their intercultural and global citizens skills and practices, thus that they can consciously foster their students’ same skills. This MOOC is also open to anyone who is willing to understand cultural diversity, thus to better co-live together and collaborate in multicultural contexts.

Total workload of the course: 18 hours

This MOOC is provided by Politecnico di Milano.

Information about fees and access to materials

The course is delivered in online mode and is available free of charge.

Course materials will remain available to all enrolled users after the end of the current edition, so they can return to content later. The current course edition will be followed by a new one just after its end.

Learning schedule

The course is structured in 6 Weeks:

  • Week 1 – Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Contexts
  • Week 2 – The need for Intercultural and Global Citizens Skills Development
  • Week 3 – Developing Intercultural and Global Citizens Skills: Teachers first
  • Week 4 – Understanding Cultural Diversity
  • Week 5 – Valorise Classrooms' Cultural Diversity
  • Week 6 – Practices and Tools for an Intercultural Pedagogy

Intended Learning Outcomes

By actively participating in this MOOC, you will achieve different intended learning outcomes (ILOs).

Week 1

  1. Define what a multicultural teaching and learning context is
    ESCO: apply intercultural teaching strategies
  2. Recognise some of the main challenges that a teacher can face in multicultural classroom
    ESCO: social and communication skills and competences
  3. Describe how layers of cultural identity can influence interactions in multicultural contexts
    ESCO: respect the diversity of cultural values and norms
  4. Recognise how the use of English as lingua franca can impact on classroom interactions and on reciprocal perception in multicultural contexts and deal with them
  5. Identify and deal with conflicts and challenges caused by stereotyping and discrimination in multicultural classroom
    ESCO: working with others

Week 2

  1. Explain what global citizens skills are and why they are needed
    ESCO: work in an international environment
  2. Engage with intercultural and global skills development
    ESCO: build rapport with people from different cultural backgrounds
  3. Explain what intercultural competence is and what are its components
    ESCO: demonstrate intercultural competence
  4. Analyze your intercultural competence development, through a practical exercise
    ESCO: exercise self-reflection
  5. Develop intercultural and global skills

Week 3

  1. Recognize the value of international exposure and explain how it can help teachers to develop the competence useful to teach in multicultural classroom
    ESCO: guide international students
  2. Explain the most common reasons for teacher’s lack of international exposure
    ESCO: identify problems
  3. Indicate possible solutions for teachers to internationalize their own career
  4. Explain how you, as a teacher, can go out from your comfort zone and search for diverse contexts even at home, thus to exercise and develop your intercultural and global skills
    ESCO: have emotional intelligence

Week 4

  1. Describe the impact culture can have on your and other people’s perceptions, feelings and behaviors
  2. Explain how to use the DIE model to suspend judgements about diverse people and to take in consideration different cultural perspectives
    ESCO: teach intercultural communication methods
  3. Describe the differences between your and other people’s diversity experience
    ESCO: show intercultural awareness
  4. Indicate possible ways to become more interculturally sensitive and therefore interculturally competent

Week 5

  1. Recognise and describe how cultural value differences can impact on teaching and learning style
  2. Develop a positive attitude towards these differences in order to accept and value them without condemning or penalizing them
    ESCO: respect cultural preferences
  3. Describe cross-cultural dimensions frameworks with their strength and weaknesses and their applications in education contexts across cultures
  4. Identify and approach ethical dilemmas that can arise in multicultural teaching environments
    ESCO: apply research ethics and scientific integrity principles in research activities ESCO: follow ethical code of conduct

Week 6

  1. Select and implement intercultural pedagogical practices and tools (including ethical game design, content, and dynamics) into classroom’s didactic
    ESCO: conduct educational activities
  2. Explain how these can support the students’ learning process and the development of their intercultural and global citizens’ skills
    ESCO: social and communication skills and competences
  3. Describe how to leverage classroom diversity for developing intercultural competences
    ESCO: teaching and training
  4. Use activities aimed at helping students to learn from each other how our culture influences our worldviews and how we can bridge those differences through intercultural dialogue
    ESCO: develop cultural activities


No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course.


Over and above consulting the content, in the form of videos and other web-based resources, you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and to share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC.


The final grade for the course is based on results from your responses to the quizzes you will find at the end of each week (weekly quizzes). You will successfully complete the course if you reach 60% (or more) of the total score by the end of the edition. The course’s total score will be calculated by averaging the scores of the assessed quizzes for each individual week.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by achieving at least 60% of the total score in the assessed quizzes. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly from the website.

Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

European Qualifications Framework Level

EQF Level 6

Thematic area (ISCED-F classification)

0111 Education science

0031 Personal skills

0314 Sociology and cultural studies

Discussion forum

The forum of this MOOC is freely accessible and participation is not guided; you can use it to compare yourself with other participants, or to discuss course contents with them.

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

Maura Di Mauro

Maura Di Mauro

Intercultural, Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainability Trainer and Consultant. She is a GDEIB Assessor and Practitioner and one of the (ICC) Intercultural Cities Network’s expert Consultant. She is lecturer of Intercultural Management at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and other universities. She is involved in international research activity on topics of her interested; and in teachers’ intercultural training programs, for embracing intercultural educational practices and for the internationalization of higher education.

Amna ben Amara

Amna ben Amara

Graduate school doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sousse, Tunisia. Senior researcher at George Simons International.

Idongesit Williams

Idongesit Williams

Lecturer with the Centre for Communication, Media and Information Technologies (CMI) located at Aalborg University Copenhagen.

Claudia Issa

Claudia Issa

Diversity & Inclusion, Cultural Competence, Psychological Safety, and Emotional Wellbeing.

George Simons

George Simons

Founder of diversophy® games for developing intercultural competence in in person and virtual training environments.

Grazia Ghellini

Grazia Ghellini

Lecturer in Intercultural Business Ethics at Montpellier Business School and the University of Minnesota.

Tito Caffi

Tito Caffi

Associate Professor in Plant pathology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Eithne Knappitsch

Eithne Knappitsch

Professor of Intercultural Management at the University of Applied Sciences Carinthia, Co-founder of Global Case Study Challenge.

Barbara Covarrubias Venegas

Barbara Covarrubias Venegas

New Ways of Working & Learning Expert, Co-founder of Global Case Study Challenge.

Creative Commons License
This course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License except where otherwise specified.

  1. Classes Start

    May 08, 2023
  2. Classes End

    May 05, 2024
  3. Length

    6 weeks
  4. Estimated Effort

    2-3 hours/week
  5. Language

  6. Course Number

  7. MOOCs For Teachers