Workshop: Pedagogies for Citizenship, Activism and Just Futures, 24 May, UCL

ALPS readers who may be in or around London on 24 May and anyone interested – join us on UCL campus for a workshop on pedagogies for active citizenship and creating a more just future.

The Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP) and the Climate Politics Cluster (CPC) at the UCL Department of Political Science are joining forces for a day bringing together academics and students interested in the role of political citizenship in pedagogy – related to a range of themes including climate change, conflict and insecurity, gender inequality and assessment diversity for political engagement.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day and the event is free to attend!

Find out more, see abstract submissions and sign up here.

Programme highlights include:

Opening address by Professor Bryony Hoskins, chair in Comparative Social Science at the University of Roehampton  

           Panels and discussions on:  

• The pedagogies of climate education and environmental action
• How e-portfolios facilitate students’ civic engagement
• Pedagogies of global (in)security and war
• A chance to chat informally and share experiences with our guests and other educators at all career stages

Online panel event: Teaching politics through games and simulations (1 May, 3.30 – 5.00pm)

This academic year, the UCL Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP) is hosting a series of online panel events that bring together a mix of political scientists and political theorists to discuss their work and thoughts on a particular pedagogical theme.

So far, we have held events on ‘Using technology to teach politics’ and ‘Liberating the politics curriculum: theory and practice’. 

Our next panel event is on the theme of ‘Teaching politics through games and simulations’ and is taking place on Wednesday 1 May, 3.30-5.00pm (UK time). The panel includes some ALPS stalwarts:

Simon Usherwood (Professor in Politics & International Studies, Open University) 

Amanda Rosen (Associate Professor & Interim Director, Writing and Teaching Excellence Center, US Naval War College) 

Frands Pedersen (Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Westminster) 

Tomer Perry (Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Minerva University) 

We hope for a wide-ranging discussion on the use (and abuse) of games and simulations for the teaching of political science and political theory with plenty of time for audience Q&A.

The event is aimed at political scientists and political theorists who have an interest in pedagogical scholarship and/or who teach and are interested in more practical tips and insights. 

If you would like to attend, please register beforehand on the following event page, whereupon you will receive access details: UCL CPP panel event: Teaching politics through games and simulations.

Online panel event: Liberating the politics curriculum: theory and practice (5 February, 3.30 – 5.00pm)

This academic year, the UCL Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP) is hosting a series of online panel events that bring together a mix of political scientists and political theorists to discuss their work and thoughts on a particular pedagogical theme.

If you are a regular reader of the blog, then you will have enjoyed the recent guest post by one of the panellists from our first event, Simon Sweeney, developing ideas on AI and assessment that he presented at that session.

Our next panel event is on the theme of ‘Liberating the politics curriculum: theory and practice’ and is taking place on Monday 5 February 3.30-5.00pm (UK time). It will include contributions from the following panellists alongside time for audience Q&A:

Prof. Robbie Shilliam (Professor of International Relations, John Hopkins University)

Dr. Manjeet Ramgotra (Senior Lecturer in Political Thought, SOAS University of London)

Dr. Darcy Leigh (Lecturer (Law), University of Sussex)

Dr. Helen McCabe (Associate Professor in Political Theory, University of Nottingham)

The event is aimed at political scientists and political theorists who have an interest in pedagogical scholarship and/or who teach and are interested in more practical tips and insights. We hope for a wide-ranging discussion on liberating/decolonising the curriculum from a variety of perspectives.

If you would like to attend, please register beforehand on the following event page, whereupon you will receive access details: UCL CPP panel event: Liberating the politics curriculum: theory and practice.

We hope to see some of you there for a thought-provoking discussion!

Generative AI changes teaching and learning: how to protect the integrity of assessment

This academic year, the UCL Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP) is hosting a series of online panel events. Our first event on 30 October was on the theme of ‘Using technology to teach politics’. In this guest post, one of the panellists at that event, Simon Sweeney (University of York), offers further reflections on the challenges involved in higher education’s embracing generative AI, where tools such as ChatGPT call into question issues of authorship and have profound implications for assessment.

A few years ago, we were worrying about students’ using essay mills, a form of contract cheating that plagiarism detection software struggled to identify. The Covid-19 pandemic and online delivery coincided with a reported increase in academic dishonesty (AD). In late-2022 the arrival of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) chatbots like ChatGPT is a further challenge to the integrity of assessment.

Universities realised that banning chatbots was not feasible, as AI has become an established feature in our lives and graduate employment. As educators, we need to respond positively to the opportunities AI presents, recognising its benefits and assimilating AI into teaching and learning practice.

This means developing strategies that accommodate students’ use of GAI while protecting assessment integrity.

Continue reading “Generative AI changes teaching and learning: how to protect the integrity of assessment”

Online panel event: Using technology to teach politics (30 October, 3.30 – 5.00pm)

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will have enjoyed recent posts by some of my colleagues at the UCL Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP), Cathy, JP, and Kalina.

You might also be interested to hear about a series of online panel events UCL CPP is organising this year, each of which will bring together a mix of political scientists and political theorists to discuss their work and thoughts on a particular pedagogical theme.

Our first panel event on the theme of ‘Using technology to teach politics’ is taking place this Monday (30 October) from 3.30-5.00pm (UK time).

Our four panellists are: Dr. Natalie Jester (Gloucestershire), Dr. David Roberts (Loughborough), Prof. Georgina Blakeley (Huddersfield), and Dr. Simon Sweeney (York) .

We hope for a wide-ranging discussion, including reflections on effectively incorporating new tech, concerns about certain uses of tech, and ideas for using older tech in new/better ways, with plenty of time set aside for audience Q&A.

If you would like to attend, you can register beforehand at the following event page, whereupon you will receive access details: UCL CPP panel event: Using technology to teach politics.

We hope to see some of you there for a thought-provoking discussion. If you are unable to attend, fear not – we will be sharing some of the main insights from the events on this blog throughout the year.

Chat GPT: Possible Responses Crowdsourced from ISA

At ISA a couple of weeks back, I facilitated a Teaching Cafe discussion on AI and Chat GPT’s impact in our classes. Thanks to the Innovative Pedagogy Conference Committee generously allocating us space, several colleagues from a variety of different institutions stopped by to share their thoughts and ask questions about the ethics, practical responses, and positive aspects of this technology. I’m going to share a few of these responses in case they aid others in thinking through how AI will affect their teaching, with the caveat that AI is advancing at a rapid rate and many of the strategies we discussed will be outdated very quickly.

I’ve categorized our conversation into three themes: how to mitigate the impact of AI in our classes; ethics and academic honesty; and leveraging AI to teach.

Continue reading “Chat GPT: Possible Responses Crowdsourced from ISA”

Do you need to livestream your event?

Nor do you need a swing in your seminar room

Short answer: probably not.

A colleague of mine, who has a lot more experience than I do, has a rule of thumb for events.

For a free, in-person event in London he estimates that only about 50% of those who sign up will actually turn up, plus a handful of people who didn’t sign up do turn up.

Add in a fee and/or a less immediately accessible location and you get more of your sign-ups showing on the day.

I thought about this at various points in recent weeks, as I organised, attended or discussed the new hardy perennial of events: do we livestream?

As someone who doesn’t want to just pretend that Covid didn’t happen, I’m glad that we’re exploring how best to connect online and in-person experiences, but I worry that the default of ‘stick a camera on a speaker and you’re done’ isn’t the solution we’re looking for, whether in the classroom or the conference panel.

This is where we go back to my colleague.

Continue reading “Do you need to livestream your event?”

Early Career Instructors: Supporting ISA’s next generation of teachers

I’m back from Montreal with an overwhelming to-do list. Regular ALPS readers may have noticed that in recent years I haven’t been writing here as much; that’s partially due to free-riding on Simon and Chad, who do an excellent job; part because I don’t teach undergraduate students anymore; and part because I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’ve promised Simon that I’ll start posting more, and so here’s an initial effort: unpacking the excellent roundtable discussion on early career instructors at ISA 2023: why we are remiss as a profession in providing support, and some tools and considerations for changing that.

I co-chaired the roundtable with Michael Murphy of Queens University–and if you aren’t reading his work, you should. He is the one who coined the ‘early career instructor’ moniker, an important way of considering the needs of those who are first starting out teaching. As a profession, we generally do a terrible job of preparing our ECIs for the classroom. With some exceptions, graduate students are rarely actively encouraged and supported in pursuing opportunities related to teaching: in general, such opportunities impose some kind of cost to pursue, in time, money, or reputation. Many have shared that they are either actively discouraged from spending any time on learning to teach, and that they are told their career will suffer if they are perceived as caring too much about teaching.

Let’s talk about the problems with this practice.

Continue reading “Early Career Instructors: Supporting ISA’s next generation of teachers”

Notes From a Conference of Damp Showers and Wet Snow*

Continuing on a theme . . . some notes on today’s pedagogical discussion at ISA 2023:

Teachers want to create an environment that facilitates learning and stimulates a spirit of curiosity. Students may have different expectations. As one session participant put it, students can have the purely transactional attitude of “I’m not going into debt so I can feel emancipated.”

In a similar vein, we talk about what students should get out of a college education, but we don’t ask what they bring to it; e.g., a K-12 education where the teacher was the sole authority in the classroom.

So we are frequently faced with a situation where students don’t want to engage unpredictably with new knowledge because it makes them feel uncomfortable, which they do their best to avoid.

To resolve this dilemma, students need to become familiar with tools for giving and receiving feedback productively so that they can learn from each other. They also need to learn how to articulate why they hold certain positions, why those positions are important to them, and what they mean when they state those positions.

During the conversation, I thought of a tweak to an assignment that might help with the above. As I have written previously, many of my students are unable to identify the author’s thesis, independent variables, and dependent variable in Perusall readings. I’m thinking of adding “What is a question about this article that you want answered?” to the assignments, with the stipulation that the answer needs to come from their classmates, not me. This could also be a way of getting students to design their own quiz questions.

*Allusion to 19th Russian literature, of which I am mostly ignorant — a known unknown that I am at present mostly comfortable with.

New Journal – Call for Papers

An announcement:

The School for International Training (SIT) is debuting an academic journal for the publication of research on the world’s most critical global issues.

The new Journal of Critical Global Issues, a peer-reviewed, open-access digital journal, will contribute to SIT’s mission to educate future scholars and professionals to address critical issues in pursuit of a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world. The journal aspires to support respectful communities, foster intercultural understanding, advocate for social justice and inclusion, and promote sustainability.

The Journal of Critical Global Issues invites proposals from researchers and scholars to contribute to an online roundtable discussion in May focused on the following areas: climate and the environment; development and inequality; education and social change; geopolitics and power; global health and well-being; identity and human resilience; and peace and justice. Roundtable presenters will have the opportunity to publish work related to their roundtable presentation in the inaugural issue of Journal of Critical Global Issues. We seek contributions from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives to join us for this event.

Event information:

Location: Virtual
When: May 15-17, 2023
To submit a proposal for a roundtable discussion, please submit a 500-word abstract of your presentation here by February 15.

Questions? Contact university.relations@sit.edu.