Join APSA for a unique meeting to promote greater understanding of high-impact practices and innovative methodologies for the political science classroom. The conference provides a highly interactive forum for scholars to participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Sessions focus on sharing pedagogical techniques and trends in political science education for students at all educational levels and learning institutions. We welcome proposals from all educators who teach political science and related subjects—university faculty and administrators, high school teachers, graduate students, research scholars, and others.
We invite proposals for paper presentations and engaging workshops. Papers are presented in a collaborative working group environment, in which the participants in each track learn about and discuss each other’s research for the duration of the conference. This working group model has proven to be highly effective at enhancing the instructional effectiveness and scholarly productivity of conference attendees.
Workshops are designed to be highly interactive and provide hands-on experience. Each workshop will demonstrate a learning tool or technique in which participants could immediately implement at their institution. Examples of workshops at previous Teaching and Learning Conferences include using mapping software to teach students how to visualize political information, creating campus-wide initiatives, and using innovative tools to enhance student learning.
Proposals are due September 15! Submit Your Paper or Workshop Proposal »
Paper and Workshop Themes
See below for more information on this year's Teaching & Learning paper and workshop themes. Each of these themes will run as a track. Every attendee selects a track in which to participate for the duration of the conference. The conference uses a working group model so that all attendees in each track will serve as, and be listed as, discussants for that track's presentations.
Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines and Across the Campus
This theme will assess and evaluate the active learning techniques that are aimed at enmeshing students into their local and global communities. It is particularly focused on finding ways to teach civic engagement across disciplines and across the campus through service learning, a civic engagement calendar of activities in which all students can participate, and in assessing the most effective techniques to do so. What efforts are being made to utilize events like Constitution Day or registering students to vote to involve students and what do we know from careful assessment about what works and what doesn’t? What is necessary to get the entire university involved in civic learning and civic engagement? What is the impact of these techniques upon civic participation, class participation, or political knowledge and student learning?
Core Curriculum/General Education
Political science course offerings are often a part of an institution's core curriculum requirements. How does political science contribute to and enhance undergraduate general education curriculum? Papers in this theme will evaluate such topics as: assessing the impact of political science courses in developing reasoning and communication skills, and exploring techniques for teaching non-majors effectively. What are engaging and high-impact practices which political science can offer?
The Inclusive Classroom
This theme focuses on efforts to increase diversity, equity, access, and awareness in the political science classroom. Topics may include, but are not limited to: high-impact practices that foster students' understanding of and engagement with people possessing cultural and other identities that are different from their own, the adoption of curricula that are attractive and useful to historically underrepresented groups, and the ways in which content encourages analytical thinking about issues of inclusiveness in governance and politics.
Innovative Subfield Strategies
Political scientists are increasingly expected to demonstrate the discipline’s value and relevance at micro- and macro-levels. This theme explores strategies for overcoming the challenges of teaching a wide body of subfields in a variety of institutional environments. Proposals might address questions such as: How does one design an undergraduate curriculum or deliver a specific course that clearly demonstrates value to both majors and non-majors? How does one effectively teach a topic for which one received no training graduate school? How does one teach graduate students to teach in multiple subfields and at a variety of levels? What are the most engaging methods of teaching quantitative and qualitative literacy to students who possess a diverse set of interests and skills? How can one incorporate community engagement, service learning, or problem-based learning into courses in subfields that might at first glance seem incompatible with these strategies? This track welcomes papers in these areas and more.
Integrating Technology into the Traditional, Hybrid, or Flipped Classroom
While much attention has been paid to the rapid growth of online teaching in recent years, technology has also permeated into our traditional, flipped, and hybrid classes. This track will address the challenges and opportunities of incorporating technology in courses that include some face-to-face interaction. These technologies include, but are not limited to, clickers, podcasts, blogs, wikis, synchronous and asynchronous videos, document sharing, and online collaborative tools. Papers assessing the effectiveness of each tool and how to maximize their effect are welcomed.
Online courses in today’s world offer a unique opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and continue their education without being confined to the traditional college campus. However, it is often difficult to develop an online course that offers quality instruction and student engagement while still maintaining the schedule flexibility many students require. Track proposals may focus on a variety of online learning topics, including but not limited to: innovative course designs and teaching methods that encourage active learning; improving student engagement with course content; overcoming challenges in online teaching; the implementation and evaluations of specific online learning tools. Additionally, proposals on the development of specific online programs and assessing online courses are also welcome.
Simulations and Games
Simulations and games can immerse students in an environment that enables them to experience the decision-making processes of real-world political actors. Examples include in-person and online role-play scenarios like the Model European Union and ICONS, off-the-shelf board games, Reacting to the Past, and exercises that model subjects like poverty, institutions of government, and ethnic conflict. Papers in this track will examine topics such as the effects of gamification of course content on student motivation and engagement, cognitive and affective outcomes from simulations and games in comparison to other teaching techniques, and the contexts in which the use of simulations and games makes sense for the instructor.
The Socratic Method Today
This theme will explore the Socratic Method in teaching political science and particularly political theory. Proposals might address topics such as: the Socratic Method and its purpose in teaching; how was it understood by Plato and other subsequent thinkers; how the Socratic Method is relevant for the classroom; and effective ways to teach the Socratic Method today. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of the Socratic Method, how to implement it, and its pedagogical value.
If your paper or workshop proposal doesn’t fit into one of the above themes, please submit your proposal under the open call category. Open call proposals must still be relevant to the goals of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, which is to promote greater understanding of cutting-edge approaches, techniques, and methodologies for the political science classroom. We welcome research on teaching and learning involving any topic or subfield in political science.
Proposals are due September 15! Submit Your Paper or Workshop Proposal »
*Please note that membership must be current at the time of the conference in order to receive the member rate. Please check your membership status before registering. If it expires in advance of the conference, please be sure to renew before registering to get the member rate.
The 2017 TLC will be held at the Westin Long Beach.
APSA TLC guests will receive a discounted rate of $179/night for single or double occupancy.
About Long Beach:
Located in the heart of sunny Southern California, Long Beach blends urban sophistication with the relaxed atmosphere of a beachside community. It’s home to cutting-edge museums, award-winning restaurants and a thriving, multi-faceted arts and culture scene. Satisfy your inner urbanite at downtown Long Beach’s vibrant waterfront scene. Explore its eight distinct neighborhoods that lead to Long Beach being voted one of America’s “Most Walkable Cities.” Visit museums, tour a 1930s ocean liner, the Queen Mary, and watch sea lions at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific. Enjoy live performances and cruise Naples canals. Spot dolphins at play on your way to Catalina Island. Or take a short jaunt to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, or other Southern California attractions.
From downtown Long Beach, LAX and Orange County airports are less than 30 minutes away while the ultra-convenient, affordable Long Beach Airport is seven minutes. Explore Long Beach on foot, bike or onboard the free downtown Passport shuttle. Downtown’s First Street Station connects you to Los Angeles attractions and surrounding cities.
Check out Visit Long Beach for more information.
The program committee for the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Political Science sets the themes for the meeting and oversees the formation of the conference tracks: