Tag Archive: role playing & sims

Prepping Students for Collaboration

A recent tweet from Dr. Kelly Zvobgo prompted a discussion about how to address interpersonal issues that might come up between students during peer collaboration for a course assignment. When I was a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), this question was often on my mind, as WPI employs project-based learning across its curriculum, which inherently requires lots of peer collaboration. As someone who hated working in groups for my course grade as an undergrad, I was reluctant to require students to work together. Mostly, I was unsure how to facilitate effective and equitable teamwork in a way that would address the pitfalls of group work that I had experienced as an undergrad (e.g., different expectations, skills, interests, and availability among team members). But…

#IRiA #SocialMedia

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been writing about my Topics in International Politics for the Active Learning in Political Science site. My first posts examined the structure of the IRiA Simulation and how I evaluated its use in my course. After the first round in Spring 2014, I reconfigured the assignments for the course based on student feedback. While they were enthusiastic about the course and sim, the students reported that there was a bit of a disconnect between the first half of the course – structured around lectures, discussion, and in-class activities – and the second half in which we played the game. As a result, I was motivated to restructure the course calendar and to redesign…

Assessing Learning Outcomes of IRiA Sim

I recently guest-blogged on the Active Learning in Political Science website, giving an overview of the International Relations in Action simulation that I incorporated into my GOV 1320: Topics in International Politics course that I teach at WPI. There’s a new follow-up piece addressing the issue of assessing the learning outcomes of using sims, and specifically pondering how I should assess learning outcomes for this particular sim. Please check it out!

Overview of the IRiA Simulation

At WPI, I’m slated to teach an intro to International Relations course (GOV 1320: Topics in International Politics) every year. Although I’ve taught the class about half a dozen times before at Brooklyn College, it was in a traditional semester format. To rebuild it to fit WPI’s 7-week terms, I decided to implement a longer-term simulation in class to get students into applying theories and concepts almost immediately. I’ll be writing about the experience over on the Active Learning in Political Science site in the next month or so. And the first post is up!

Battening Down the Hatches

I’m excited to announce that my team’s proposal, “Battening Down the Hatches: Major Storms & Community Resilience,” was accepted by InTeGrate through SERC (the Science Education Research Center at Carleton College). InTeGrate is “a community program, a collaboration between faculty in the sciences and other disciplines, educational specialists, and evaluation experts at a diverse group of institutions,” which focuses on interdisciplinary methods for teaching about the Earth and sustainability. The “Battening Down the Hatches” team is made up of a geoscientist in New Hampshire, an emergency management specialist in New York, and myself – a political scientist in Massachusetts. We will spend the next two years creating, piloting, and revising a teaching module that focuses on the risks and hazards…