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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Overcoming Injustice in Political Science Education Through Online Learning: The Case of the IPSAMOOC Program

Social Justice
Max Steuer
Department of Political Science, Comenius University Faculty of Arts
Max Steuer
Department of Political Science, Comenius University Faculty of Arts
Andressa Liegi Vieira Costa
Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas
Ana Figueroa
Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP)
Bruna Veríssimo
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Globally, significant differences in access to quality education in Political Science persist. To the extent that the understanding of basic political phenomena is essential for developing an appreciation for human rights and democracy, including the principle of justice, these differences may have an impact on the overall functioning of domestic and regional political systems. At the same time, the proliferation of internet access and available online learning tools provides new opportunities to combine global quality knowledge with local experiences and needs. Using original survey data and semi-structured interviews, this paper explores the effects of an emerging global set of Massive Open Online Courses of the International Political Science Association (IPSAMOOCs) that cover the basic areas of comparative politics, political concepts, research methodology, democracy studies and international relations, on the understanding of and interest in political phenomena. By asking a set of questions that examine whether and how the IPSAMOOCs have had an enabling effect on the course participants, the paper enriches the scarce existing scholarship in the area, discusses the potential and limits of this form of learning and presents recommendations for course development. In so doing, it provides insights to the broader puzzle of the potential of a specific online educational tool to overcome the unequal access to knowledge around the globe.
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