Civic Engagement Education: Foundations
This track will consider the foundations of civic engagement education in the classroom. What can political scientists do in the classroom to address issues of civic trust, tolerance, and voting? Topics discussed will include assessing civic learning outcomes, encouraging civic engagement in introductory courses, designing courses to incorporate civic engagement, assessing the long-term impacts of civic engagement education, and comparing methods of civic engagement in the classroom.
Civic Engagement Education: Across Disciplines, Campus, and Communities
Disciplinary Curriculum and Assessment
This track will consider issues related to the extension of civic engagement across campus, across disciplines, and into the community. It is particularly focused on finding ways to teach civic engagement through experiential learning, community engagement, campus initiatives, service learning, and cross-disciplinary programs. Participants will also discuss effective assessment techniques.
Curriculum design and course assessment are essential parts of a political science classroom. This track will look at a range of questions related to developing disciplinary curricula, setting general education requirements, teaching non-majors effectively, designing campus programs, and measuring outcomes and effectiveness. Participants will discuss how political science contributes to and enhances general education curriculum, and also addresses engaging and high-impact practices which political science can offer.
This track will explore topics related to teaching the liberal arts, and particularly political theory. Topics addressed include: teaching the liberal arts as a public good; educating students politically vs. ideologically; how liberal education promotes free and civil campus discourse; the connection between liberal arts and democracy; and effective ways to teach the liberal arts.
Simulations and Games
Teaching Research, Writing, and Information Literacy
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. 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.
Encouraging research, writing, and information literacy skills among our students is a common goal of the political science curriculum. This track will address how political science faculty can effectively teach these skills, increasing knowledge of research design and methods, teaching critical thinking, using data as a teaching tool, and high-impact practices for teaching information literacy.
The Virtual and Technologically Enhanced Classroom
This track will address the challenges and opportunities of both online and technologically enhanced teaching. Topics will include: innovative online course design and teaching methods, improving student engagement through the use of technology, and incorporating technological and online tools (including podcasts, virtual reality, blogs, synchronous and asynchronous videos, and document sharing) into the classroom. Papers in this track will examine how to maximize the effectiveness of virtual and technological tools for classrooms of all types.