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How to Use the Toolbox

An Overview of the Toolbox and its Sources

In the Toolbox, you will see nearly 100 tools that we have uploaded so far. As you might imagine, many of the tools were not created by CILMAR. Some have a very long history of use and have been published in many different places. We have endeavored to honor intellectual property as much as possible by giving the user the bibliographic reference rather than providing a photocopied image of the material cited.

A basic bibliography

The beginning interculturalist may not have a big library or a budget to create a library, but the Toolbox would still be of use with only the following books:

Berardo, K., & Deardorff, D. K. (Eds.). (2012) Building cultural competence: Innovative activities and models. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Storti, C. (1999). Figuring foreigners out: A practical guide. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

Stringer, D. M., & Cassiday, P. A. (2003). 52 Activities for exploring values differences. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

Stringer, D. M., & Cassiday, P. A. (2009). 52 Activities for improving cross-cultural communication. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press. 

A Sample Tool

To discover the types of materials in the Toolbox and what to expect from using a tool, try clicking on a tool.

As an example, please go to: Tool #4, Alpha-beta Partnership at

Do a simple search by clicking on the name of the tool, and you will find that Alpha-Beta was published in Stringer & Cassiday (2009), which you see referenced in Step 1. Even though we do not offer the materials for this particular tool, we do summarize it for the user. You can see that:

Subgroup Size: Large Group (7-15 people)

Duration: 1 hour

External cost: The user does not have to order this tool from another company, such as IDI, StrengthsQuest, etc.

Downloads: CILMAR has not created any additional materials to share with users for this tool.

Links: We have not found anything supplemental on the internet about this tool to share (yet).

Materials: The message here indicates that there is some copying of materials to be done ahead of time.

Notes: We try to stay true to the original content as far as we can, and then we give some input as to how it worked out when we used the tool in real time.

Learning Objectives: We give learning objectives for each exercise.

Related Tools: Related tools are tools that we think fit neatly before or after a tool in a presentation, or they are tools that are a minimized or maximized version of the current tool. For example, Storti (1999) offers a tool called “Dividing the Spoils,” which is also in the Toolbox. The Storti version is simpler and takes less time, so it might come in handy to be able to compare the current version to the Storti version.

Reviews:  A place for users to post comments or feedback.

Theoretical Frameworks:  These are notes that might be useful for more advanced users who want more information concerning needs analysis, assessment, creating a certification, etc.

Two Ways to Search

1.     A simple search

A simple search will quickly search for tools based on group size, cost, duration of tool, type of tool, kinesthetic, and AAC&U Rubric outcomes. You should use the left-side toolbox to run a simple search. Most activities are currently experiential in nature and for small groups, but we expect the HubICL to grow to include a more diverse toolbox.

For example:

Let’s say that you know that you have an hour or so to work on an experiential activity. You don’t have any available funding, and the seating doesn’t allow for anything except sharing to your right and left, so pairs or small group work is needed. Moreover, you think your group needs to work on self-awareness and openness. You input these parameters into the simple search dialogue boxes.

Subgroup Size: Small Groups

External Cost: No

Duration: 60-75 minutes

Tool Type: Experiential

Kinesthetic: No

AAC&U: Self-awareness, Openness

The results are Barnga, D-I-E, and Sherlock Holmes. You take a sneak peek: Barnga requires playing cards. Sherlock Holmes requires “four to six packets of three to four small objects.” You’ve waited until the last minute to get this ready, so you don’t have time to collect materials. The good news is… the third choice—the D-I-E—provides a PowerPoint and a link to a journal article that demonstrates pedagogical efficacy. A few materials are listed, but the PowerPoint offers a no-additional materials alternative. Some dear soul has even included notes as to what you could do in combination with D-I-E, in case there is extra time. The learning objectives look exactly like what you are looking for. D-I-E it is!

2.     An advanced search

An advanced search will also ask for tool type, kinesthetic, AAC&U rubric, group size, costs, and duration. It will provide optional options to search using the Intercultural Development Continuum, Dr. Michael Vande Berg’s processes, and participant skill areas. The advanced search has a click-through interface. You can run an advanced search by scrolling to the bottom of the left-hand tab and selecting “Advanced Search.” You should clear filters from a simple search unless you want to include the same information in a new search.

For example:

In this case, let’s pretend that you just became an IDI Qualified Administrator, and you are pretty sure that the group of Polytechnic students you are working with is in denial when it comes to intercultural attitudes, skills, and knowledge. Additionally, they don’t seem to understand differences in worldview frameworks. You are trying to help them see the importance of being open to one another’s perspectives to better work together as a team. Of course, you have no money to spend, and you have only paper and writing utensils as far as materials go. You have 45 minutes to do an intercultural learning activity. This is what an advanced search would look like in this scenario.

Tool Type: Experiential

Kinesthetic: No

Subgroup Size: No Dividing-All Together

Duration: 0-45 minutes

External Cost: No

AAC&U: Attitude of openness, Knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks

Skills: Friendship, Teamwork

IDC Stage(s): Denial

MVB Process(es): Self-awareness

If you ran this search, your suggested tool would be: Working in Unfamiliar Surroundings Quiz.

Hearing from You: A Collaborative Effort

For the Toolbox to continue to grow, we will need as many interculturalists as possible to add the tools (experiential, media, assessment, curricula, and reflection) that they use for intercultural learning. Try inputting a tool yourself at If you don’t know the answers to every category, leave what you don’t know blank. Our CILMAR team will put each new tool through an approval process, and we’ll add the missing pieces when we curate the tool.

As you experiment with the Toolbox, please use the Help button in the top right hand corner of each webpage to request technical assistance or to report a technical problem. To comment about content, feel free to use the Review function included with each tool or leave feedback at


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