(Faculty: Julia Edwards/Alix Van Sickle | CTEL Learning Designer: Barbara Stebbins)
Introduction to International Relations (POS104) has been offered through the Political Science department online in the fall, spring and summer semesters for the past two years. It was one of the first courses designed using an external website along with the traditional Blackboard site.
The external course website contains most of the course information. This includes the instructor contact, the responsibilities of instructor and students, course description, learning objectives, lesson material and assignments.
Blackboard is used for announcements, communication, discussions, quizzes/exams, turning in assignments, assessments and information about Statecraft Simulation. One of the challenges for POS 104 was replicating a model U.N. simulation that takes place in the traditional classroom. The students divide into countries, go to different locations throughout the classroom and negotiate through the “U.N.” in the best interests of their particular country.
Statecraft Simulation, developed by Dr. Jonathan Keller of James Madison University, fit the need. The simulation can be used totally online and is “an immersive simulation that allows students to experience the challenges, opportunities, and complexities of international relations in a very vivid, intense, and personal way” much in the same way as the face-to-face simulation does.
Students communicate with each other through the Statecraft site and then turn in their memos via Blackboard for credit.