Welcome to the Active Learning in Political Science © (ALPS) blog. Our mission is to:
- Evaluate simulations, games, and other tools for active learning so that instructors can use them with a minimum of fuss.
- Train educators and other professionals in the use of effective pedagogy.
- Analyze issues related to higher education.
ALPS was founded in 2011 by Chad Raymond, Simon Usherwood, Amanda Rosen, Nina Kollars, and Victor Asal in an attempt to create a space to share, discuss, and innovate methods and ideas for teaching in political science and international relations. The five founders met at the American Political Science Association’s Teaching and Learning Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and discovered a shared interest in simulation and game design and use, and ALPS was born five months later.
While our team’s background is primarily in political science, international relations, and European studies, much of what we do is relevant to teaching and academia writ large, and we regularly train and provide consulting services for education professionals.
We are looking for regular and guest contributors. Posts should be 450-600 words in length and in a non-academic writing style that clearly conveys essential information. Posts might be edited by us for style and content prior to publication.We prefer material that has not been previously published in digital form. Submissions can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writers specializing in fields outside of political science, such as history, economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, art, and art history, are especially welcome.
If you are interested in becoming a regular contributor to ALPS, please submit your c.v. and information on areas of writing interest in addition to a draft post. Regular contributors are expected to provide posts on a monthly basis at minimum on topics in higher learning and pedagogy. We also encourage people to submit ideas for writing a defined series of posts on a particular subject.
Meet the ALPS team
Dr. Chad Raymond, associate professor and former chairperson of the Department of Cultural, Environmental, and Global Studies, Salve Regina University. Chad teaches globalization, comparative politics, international relations, and political economy. He experiments with simulations, project-based learning, community engagement, and other forms of active learning. He also works toward making curricula more reflective of underrepresented and marginalized groups. He has created low-cost educational resources such as How to Write a Thesis.
Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey. Simon is a National Teaching Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy and has been the Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching in the Faculty of Arts & Human Sciences, with responsibility for over two hundred degree programmes. He has extensive expertise on comparative and European politics. His primary interest is in the use of simulation games in higher education and negotiation. He has produced various web-based resources on these and other topics.
Dr. Amanda Rosen, associate professor and Associate Director of the Teaching Excellence Center at the US Naval War College. Amanda teaches international relations, American politics, research methods, and environmental politics. She is a lifelong gamer and enjoys exploring how games and role-playing exercises can enhance learning in the classroom. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards. Rosen’s posts are her own personal opinion and do not represent the views of the US Naval War College or the Department of Defense.
Dr. Nina Kollars, associate professor, US Naval War College. Nina teaches courses in international relations, international security, and military innovation. Her scholarly research emphasizes the role of users and their contribution to technological innovation. Kollars’ posts are her own personal opinion and do not represent the views of the US Naval War College or the Department of Defense.
Dr. Michelle Allendoerfer, Faculty Coordinator for the International Politics Cohort of the Women’s Leadership Program, George Washington University. Michelle teaches comparative politics, international relations, and human rights and has much expertise in the use of active learning techniques.
Dr. Victor Asal, chairperson of the Department of Public Administration, University of Albany. Victor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on identity, violence, research design, comparative politics, international relations, with a special focus on the use of simulations and games.
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