You would think since all of are here together, and four of us in the same room, that at some point we would have discussed a live blogging schedule–or even that we intended to live blog. I guess we are just a spontaneous bunch, us ALPSers. Take Victor, for example: he promised to do the post-track summary with an interpretation of the PSY song Gangnam Style, but chickened out at the last minute.
I want to echo the comments made by Simon and Chad though about how valuable this experience can be. TLC is such a great space for talking about teaching and doing research on teaching. The track style really encourages collaboration both at the conference and beyond. Questions get raised–why don’t we have good processes for sharing resources for our classes–and efforts are made to solve them (this blog is one of them, but certainly not the only one). In the Sims and RP 2 track, there is a culture of constructive dialogue rather than attack and tear down. Its a safe space to talk about what we are doing and push each other to do more.
The highlights for me have been the short-course on Simulation Design and the socializing. I can’t judge how effective it was for the participants, but it was fascinating watching my colleagues teach, as all of our styles are vastly different. We definitely want to revise the course and try it again in the future.
As for the socializing, it is those interactions where I generate new ideas for pedagogical research. Some of the most valuable professional relationships I have have been formed at TLCs past, and many of them started as random conversations in the halls and bars of the conference. This year I got the added fun of introducing people to Innovation, one of my favorite card games. I am trying to think through a way to apply some of the mechanics in that game to educational games for international relations, and playing the game as an effort at crowd-sourcing some solutions. While we did get some movement on that front, the real joy here was utterly trouncing Simon–twice.