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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

Advances in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Section Number
Section Chair
Ulrich Hamenstädt
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Section Co-Chair
Nanette Levinson
American University

This Section’s purpose is to allow participants to discuss and share their pedagogic research and responsibilities as scholars of political science. The Section also encourages the participants to reflect on how their experience and results of research can be used to enrich and improve teaching practices and the student learning experience and vice versa. It will allow participants to identify the challenges, which may hinder desired practice, together with proposing ways of overcoming these barriers.

We expect to showcase examples of good practice with the benefit of providing inspiration and encouragement for improving existing ways of teaching and learning. It is the relevance of this Section across all of the sub-fields of political science, and therefore to all scholars, that makes it a vital one to support.

Our Panels will be devoted to discussing both new and more traditional ways of teaching political science for the benefit of student learning. We will invite the contributions that analyse the experience with using new media, online teaching, blended courses and similar methods that facilitate teaching large groups of students and catering to the needs of less traditional student groups, including students with families, disabled students, distanced learners and professionals already advanced in their careers. One Panel shall invite contributions discussing innovative methods in political science education and those less frequently used learning activities and methods. Two Panels shall be focused on learning through movies. We will particularly encourage the contributions that discuss the topics such the assessment of/for student learning and the contributions that go beyond discussing the practice in one course or at one institution.

Panel 1: Innovating Political Science
Chair: Gabriela Pleschová, University of Economics, Bratislava
The purpose of this Panel is to discuss examples of innovative approaches to teaching and learning in various Political Science courses. We particularly welcome Papers that discuss experience with novel pedagogic methods and ways of learning and are provided with evidence in the context of existing literature on teaching and learning in higher education. The contributors can discuss issues such as the ways of overcoming existing barriers, disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives and practices, use of new technology, employment of non-traditional assessment methods, examples of problem based-learning, among others. We expect the contributors to showcase examples of good practice with the benefit of providing inspiration and encouragement for improving existing ways of teaching and learning.

Panel 2: Reimagining MOOCs: On-Line Learning Opportunities and Challenges for 2016 and Beyond
Chair: Nanette S. Levinson, American University, Washington
The last five years have seen enormous growth in Massive, Open On-Line Courses (MOOCs) and in the broader arena of on-line learning in the fields of political science and international affairs. This Panel presents Papers that identify best practices from across Europe and around the world, including comparative perspectives. It highlights opportunities as well as challenges based upon what we have learned since the early MOOCs of 2011. Answering questions such as how can MOOCs be used in face to face classroom teaching or what works today in designing and delivering MOOCs and related on-line learning or even what are the implications of MOOCs in terms of university-private sector partnerships (pitfalls and benefits), this Panel supplies an up-to-date view of a continuing development in political science learning. In sum, the Papers provide new insights into MOOC trends and possibilities in our field and in higher education.

Panel 3: Teaching International Relations with Movies
Chair: N.N.
Teaching International Relations with the help of movies is highly popular nowadays. There is a direct link between ‘fictional’ movies and what we are teaching in International Relations, for example when we think about the James Bond movies or Star Trek. Movies often deal with theories and cases from International Relations and security studies – however, this connection is often more implicit within the movies. Therefore this Panel deals with best practice examples of how movies can help to bridge cases and theories in IR and be an enriching teaching tool. The Panel also offers space for projects that are in process and Papers that deal with the connection between IR theories and movies.

Panel 4: Bridging two worlds: Political theory through movies
Chair: Ulrich Hamenstädt, University of Muenster
Students sometimes struggle with theoretical perspectives in political theory, feeling that theory is somehow displaced from the understanding of the everyday world. Many movies are based on theories or assumptions about the world and society, which students can relate to as something tangible. In the last few years, the approach of using movies as a tool for teaching political theory has gained popularity. Therefore, this Panel seeks Papers that draw the connection between movies and political theories – also offering space for projects that are in process.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P025Bridging Two Worlds: Political Theory through Movies View Panel Details
P185Innovating Political Science Education View Panel Details
P358Reimagining MOOCs: Online Learning Opportunities and Challenges for 2016 and Beyond View Panel Details
P394Teaching International Relations with Movies View Panel Details
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