ISA Pedagogy 2019 Program and Events

More About Our Workshops

We have 8 workshops, presented twice during the conference, each of which have a morning and an afternoon session. Click through each workshop below to read their abstracts.

Presenters: Victor Asal, State University of New York-Albany and Amanda Rosen, Naval War College

This workshop will explore how simulations and games can promote effective learning and help energize the international studies classroom experience. We will engage in several simulations and games that instructors can use to teach themes of conflict and cooperation, and thus be able to analyze theories based on their own experiences. Key issues we explore include:

  • What are the educational objectives of using simulations and games?
  • What simulations and games have proven especially effective for teaching?
  • How do instructors implement these simulations and games in their teaching?

We will also assess the benefits and challenges of running such exercises with students through broad discussions of experiences. Materials for take away will include resources on the many games and simulations available, as well as guidelines on how to use these simulations effectively in class.

Presenters: Gigi Gokcek, Dominican University of California, and Patrick James, University of Southern California

This workshop offers innovative techniques and approaches for incorporating film or literature into international relations courses. Participants will learn how fictional movies and novels, when applied creatively and thoughtfully, can enhance student learning in IR. First, the presenters will give an overview of their experience teaching with literature and film. Next, participants will engage in classroom activities that demonstrate how students, in both small and large groups, may apply film and literature to their understanding of international politics. The workshop will address the following questions:

  • What types of fictional movies and novels are ideal for educating students of IR?
  • What kinds of pedagogical techniques and approaches may work best for using literature versus film?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks for relying on film and literature in an IR course?

As take away, participant will receive handouts of sample student activities, assignments, and be directed to additional resources for the application of literature and film.

Presenters: Mary Jane Parmentier, Arizona State University, Amy Below, California State University-East Bay, and Mandy Nydegger, Arizona State University

This workshop will uniquely be led by faculty and professional study abroad staff who have collaborated to design a session which will provide those with experience, as well as those new to leading study abroad, with the multiple institutional perspectives critical to the design and implementation of high quality study abroad programs. Short-term and faculty-led study abroad programs represent the fastest growing sector in international education. These programs can occur between semesters or in summer educational trips abroad, and they sometimes incorporate volunteering, work, or internships abroad. This workshop focuses on the practical and creative development of faculty-led study abroad programs, with special attention to the design of assignments and activities before and during the experience to allow students to integrate study abroad with their campus course of study. A sample of questions we will address follow:

  • What are best practices in development of faculty-led study abroad?
  • How is study abroad supported at your particular institution, and what institutional rules are there governing the design and running of programs?
  • How can we facilitate the integration of the education abroad experience into students’ personal development, academic curriculum, and future career?
  • What can we do to ensure that we build reciprocal relationships with the host community that are respectful, sustainable, and mutually beneficial?

The workshop is designed to accommodate those who have never led study abroad experiences before, as well as those who are veterans. Materials to take away include resources and suggested readings on the structure and educational goals of the program, including a workshop to help you get started with your study abroad program design!

Presenters: James M. Scott, Texas Christian University, and Yasemin Akbaba, Gettysburg College

This workshop will focus on the best practices in mentoring undergraduate researchers. Undergraduate research is increasingly considered as an impactful learning experience in and outside of the classroom. Unlike many other aspects of higher education, mentor-mentee relationships are difficult to replicate in a digital platform, and undergraduate research remains to be one of the learning moments that heavily relies on the mentor’s ability to navigate the research/teaching environment. We will explore the following aspects of undergraduate research programs:

  • What are the foundations, types, and components of approaches to undergraduate research?
  • How can undergraduate research be advanced within the structure of course-work?
  • How can program curriculum be organized to advance undergraduate research?
  • How can co-curricular undergraduate research programs be established to enrich learning?

The workshop will explore how mentors can design rewarding and sustainable experience, and identify opportunities and challenges of student-initiated research projects. Take away material will include lists of publications and examples of how to provide pedagogically sound and practical ways of approaching programs for undergraduate research and mentoring support.

Presenters: Jonneke Koomen, Willamette University, and Ami V. Shah, Pacific Lutheran University

While students around the world organize against white supremacy and colonial education, undergraduate IR courses are often silent on the ways colonial relations, racism, gender inequality, and other intersecting forms of oppression shape our world. Although IR scholars increasingly promote inclusive reading lists, these initiatives alone cannot sufficiently address these oppressions alone

This workshop will encourage participants to discuss the challenges of teaching undergraduate IR courses and explore the possibilities of disrupting and reimagining our canons, curricula, and pedagogies. We will examine the following interventions:

  • Interrogating the foundational concepts and premises of IR, including anarchy and the Westphalian international order;
  • Centering anti-colonial, postcolonial, indigenous, and other counter-hegemonic theory in IR courses and curriculum;
  • Reimagining IR knowledge claims, transforming our pedagogy, and honoring students’ lives and struggles in our classrooms;
  • Exposing and transforming the power relations of our academic disciplines, institutions, courses, and classrooms.

Take away material will include teaching strategies, sample syllabi, and other course resources.

Presenters: Jamie Frueh, Bridgewater College; Eric Leonard, Shenandoah University; and Brian Lai, University of Iowa

The purpose of this session is to celebrate pedagogical creativity, exchange diverse techniques for engaging students, and inspire continuing discussions about teaching global politics. Both the discipline and the state of public discourse generally are enhanced when undergraduates encounter global politics in an environment that engages their creativity, connects what they are learning to the real world, and invites them to practice working through global political complexities for themselves. Participants in this collaborative session workshop innovative teaching techniques brought to the group by presenters and participants.

  • Volunteers take up to 4 minutes each to “pitch” a single technique or tactic they have found effective in their undergraduate courses;
  • The Sharks and the audience then take up to 7 minutes to ask questions and offer comments and suggestions.

Promoting active teaching and learning, this interactive workshop operates on the principle that students are more likely to learn, and more likely to retain information, when their instructors also feel creative and engaged. Take away material includes information about creativity, hybridity, and blended learning in the classroom, promoting best practices in active teaching and learning.

Presenters: Paul Diehl, University of Texas-Dallas, and Mark Boyer, Executive Director of ISA and University of Connecticut

A basic course in international studies or international relations often fulfills core curriculum requirements and serves as a gateway for an increasing number of majors. But what are the “essential components” that make up the introductory course such that we can certify students as literate in this subject matter? How can this course better prepare students as citizens and prospective majors? This workshop will explore issues including:

  • To what extent should theory be covered, and if so, which frameworks are most important?
  • What is the ideal mixture of general topics (e.g., power, theory, foreign policy making) versus issue-specific concerns (e.g., conflict, political economy, human rights)?
  • How much should methodology and research techniques be explored?
  • How can we best get our students to develop beyond “describing” to “analyzing” global politics?

This workshop will explore these themes in relation to both the educational ‘product’ and ‘process’. We will discuss pedagogical techniques (e.g., problem-based learning, gaming) best promote student understanding of international studies, as well as what types of readings and assignments can fulfill educational objectives.

Presenters: Matthew Krain and Kent Kille, The College of Wooster

Assessment is a critical theme in higher education and for the international studies classroom. For instructors to successfully employ active learning in their courses, it is important to carefully set out the educational objectives of exercises and then to assess how well those educational objectives are being met. This workshop session will work with participants to:

  • Think critically about their educational objectives, and how to identify whether those teaching and learning objectives are being met;
  • Discuss the variety of approaches instructors can use to assess active teaching and learning techniques, from brief feedback mechanisms to more detailed assessment designs;
  • Identify educational objectives within their own courses, and begin to design assessment that meets their needs.

This session can serve as an important bridge for participants to connect to and employ the information provided in the other workshop sessions. Participants will also be provided with a bibliography of key assessment resources.


Jeffrey S. Lantis

The College of Wooster

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Some of our sessions have limited availability - make sure you register soon to reserve your preferred sessions! We also recommend that you check out ISA West 2019. It immediately follows the Pedagogy Conference and promises an exciting opportunity to continue networking and connecting with fellow scholars.

If you haven't already, be sure to register for the first-ever ISA Innovative Pedagogy Conference! Some of our sessions have limited availability - make sure you register soon to reserve your preferred sessions. (Register by September 1st to get the early discount!)

We also recommend that you check out ISA West 2019. It immediately follows the Pedagogy Conference and promises an exciting opportunity to continue networking and connecting with fellow scholars.

Our Thanks!

We are thankful for contributions of the International Studies Association leaders and staff, as well as members of the planning committee in development of this exciting new conference.

See the Committee