Career Courses Archive

Articulating Your Teaching Philosophy

Instructor: Jamie Frueh
Applications for teaching positions and for tenure/promotion routinely require statements of teaching philosophy that outline the candidate's approaches to pedagogy and make a case that those approaches result in effective student learning. There are practical reasons for these requirements; students are more likely to engage in their courses if instructors can articulate how the structure, materials, and assignments facilitate learning. Instructors are more likely to invest in creative solutions to pedagogical problems if they are confident in their personal and professional fundamentals. Despite the advantages of a coherent pedagogical foundation, the general disciplinary assumption seems to be that academics, having spent so much of their lives in classrooms, have simply absorbed a comprehensive approach to pedagogy by osmosis. Deep exploration of the purpose and meaning behind teaching is too often left up to chance, and to graduate program directors, who, given the dominant incentive structure at doctorate-granting universities and the dearth of opportunities for professional development in this area, are likely to have neglected such exploration in their own careers. This workshop provides opportunities for participants to discuss with interested others the most effective ways to represent their enthusiasm for teaching. Participants will collaborate in multiple small groups organized by institutional type and career stage to refine the language and structure of their statements of teaching philosophy for various purposes and audiences. Such conversations can help academics at all stages of their careers feel more confident articulating why they teach the way they do, and provide deliberate, conscious foundations for making pedagogical decisions large and small.

Using Diplomacy to Teach Core Concepts and Skills in International Studies

Instructors: Amanda M. Rosen, Victor Asal & Joseph W. Roberts
The game Diplomacy has a long history in the college classroom to teach the core paradigms in international relations as well as key skills in negotiation, teamwork, and strategic thinking (Asal 2005; Bridge and Radford 2014; Arnold 2015; Mattlin 2018; Rittinger 2020; Mattlin 2021). Participants in this course will play through a game of Diplomacy and learn how to facilitate it with their own students. We will also discuss the learning benefits and drawbacks of using Diplomacy as well as how to play it in physical, virtual, and hybrid classes.

How to Get a Job at a Liberal Arts College

Instructor: Rachel Vanderhill
How do you get a tenure-track job at a liberal arts college? Do you want a job at a liberal arts college? This workshop will include a discussion of careers at liberal arts institutions and provide attendees with an overview of the unique dynamics of their application process. Along with offering practical advice about how to develop a high-quality and relevant application, the workshop will include some time for review of attendees' existing application materials.

Conducting Policy-Relevant and Responsibly Engaged Public Scholarship

Instructors: Naazneen H. Barma & Oliver Kaplan
This course offers professional development training for scholars of international affairs seeking to engage more publicly with their research. It brings together the core content of two longer-form, well-established professional development programs funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York under its "Bridging the Gap" initiative: the International Policy Summer Institute, which is a professional development program for international affairs scholars who want to build the tools and networks to produce and disseminate policy-relevant academic research; and the Responsible Public Engagement Initiative, which addresses challenges around direct engagement with policy actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research to policy audiences. It also incorporates training material that focuses on ethical and context-sensitive scholarship from the Advancing Research on Conflict consortium.

Engaging IR Undergraduates through Collaborative Learning

Instructor: Jamie Frueh
This workshop provides both philosophical foundations and practical advice about how to create stimulating and effective learning environments through the use of collaborative learning techniques. Collaborative learning is a strategic approach to empowering students as participants in their own education that makes pedagogy more active and interactive. The techniques are adaptable to all size and level of classes, and are particularly well suited to the study of global politics. Career course participants learn pedagogical techniques, practice their use in small "base" groups, and discuss ways to avoid problems often associated with student discussions in undergraduate classrooms. Base group members workshop ways to adapt collaborative learning pedagogy into their own syllabi and jointly craft discussion questions likely to provoke undergraduate student thought and participation.

Grants and Fellowships: How to get them, where to find them, and how they can bolster your scholarly success

Instructors: Caleb Schmotter & Julie Taylor
Do you want more funding and time for research? Do you want to partner with other scholars and organizations to achieve your research goals, raise your visibility, and enhance your influence within your university?

This workshop teaches research development--the practice of pursuing outside funding to achieve specific research aims, while also building the long-term research prospects of individual scholars and their institutions. While faculty are often offered professional development opportunities to improve research skills or proposal writing, they are rarely challenged to think about the larger picture: building sustainable, long-term strategies for supporting their research and professional objectives. And yet, as research costs climb, skills alone are insufficient. A more strategic approach is needed to compete for resources and use them to their fullest advantage. This course prepares scholars to navigate the shifting external funding environment.

Introduction to Network Analysis

Instructor: Annelies Kamran
This course is an introduction to the use of both quantitative and qualitative network analysis as a research methodology in the social sciences. Students will learn the historical background of the methodology; how and why it developed, and how it has been used in different fields before moving on to discussion of how to generate network data, explanations of the most commonly used measures, and how they should be interpreted. It will introduce the free and open source network data application Gephi and guide students through hands-on examples of data manipulation, analysis, and visualization.

Teaching International Relations in a Post-Truth Era: methodology, politics, evidence

Instructor: Ilan Zvi Baron
Expert knowledge and what counts as evidence are both under sustained attack, posing a threat to our vocation as academics. When what counts as evidence is so easily dismissed in the public sphere, how are we as educators to teach our students how to discern "fact" from "fiction"? Yet, even this dichotomy is problematic. It is not always clear what facts are, and neither should we dismiss meaningful narratives that help us to navigate our way in the world. As educators, the easy answer here could be to focus on methods and what tools of analysis yield factual evidence. However, this approach only replicates the problem by ignoring how the production of "facts" contributes to the political and public crisis over facts that characterize a post-truth politics. Consequently, this course takes a different approach by focusing not on method, but on methodology and on how as educators we can use methodological debates to help navigate our way through the challenges of teaching international relations in a post-truth/alternative facts world. The course addresses how the scientific method can undermine itself when deployed in the public sphere, how the "absence" of evidence can itself serve as a source of evidence, and why we need to be sensitive to the existence of different methodologies and their respective forms of knowledge production.

Case Writing and Case Teaching in International Relations

Instructor: Volker Franke
This half-day course introduces participants to the case study method and exposes them to ways for developing and using case studies effectively in an academic classroom. This course presents a number of different teaching cases (historical, fictional, decision-forcing) and engages participants as both active learners and potential instructors. The course will also discuss how to adapt the case teaching method for using novels and films in the classroom.

Teaching the Intro Course: Approaches to the Comparative and International Relations Survey Course

Instructor: Victor Asal and Amanda Rosen
This course will focus on tools, ideas, and approaches to use for teaching introductory courses in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Participants will discuss useful approaches to thinking about syllabi components, assignments, grading techniques, and innovative approaches (such as the flipped classroom and using simulations and games) that can be used to enliven and enrich classes for students while meeting learning outcomes. The workshop will be appropriate for instructors of classes of all sizes and student populations cover tools for small as well as very large classes (and will include advice on teaching with and without the assistance of TAs).

How to Successfully Use Participatory Methods in Formal Education

Instructor: Kathryn Mangino
Is the PowerPoint / lecture combination the best way to connect with students, ensure information retention and inspire learners to love the subject at hand? Many professors, lecturers and educators would disagree - and add that HOW content is presented is just as important as (if not more important than) the content itself. It is therefore often desirable to use participatory methods in classroom instruction - whether you're creating a brand new syllabus or updating an old one, preparing for large lectures or small seminars. But what does this mean? How do you do it? This career course will not only introduce participants to a variety of participatory methods, but will also give attendees the time, space and instruction to practice these new methods during the session. By the end of the career course, participants will develop the skills needed to make immediate applications in their own classrooms and professional situations. This career course is highly interactive and allows participants to learn from each other, share best practices and meet other ISA professionals with similar interests.

Case Writing and Case Teaching in International Relations

Instructor: Volker Franke
In this half-day course, participants will be introduced to the case study method and learn how to develop and use case studies effectively in an academic classroom. This course presents a number of different teaching cases (historical, fictional, decision-forcing) and engages participants as both active learners and potential instructors. The course will also discuss how to adapt the case teaching method for using novels and films in the classroom.

Intelligence Analysis as Discovery of Evidence, Hypotheses, and Arguments: Connecting the Dots

Instructor: Gheorghe Tecuci, Mihai Boicu and Dorin Marcu
Following the instructor's recently-published book with this title, this course teaches the evidential and inferential issues involved in "connecting the dots" to draw defensible and persuasive conclusions from masses of evidence of all types, in a world that is changing all the time. To facilitate the understanding of these issues and enable the performance of complex analyses, the course also introduces an intelligent analytical tool (Disciple-CD) for evidence-based hypotheses analyses. The course will be taught with many exercises, in a style congenial to the interests of a broad audience, regardless of its prior background and training. It will also discuss how various university or professional development courses may integrate modules with some of the presented topics.

How to Successfully Use Participatory Methods for Training and Education

Instructor: Kate Mangino
This career course will not only introduce participants to a variety of participatory methods, but will also give attendees the time, space and instruction to practice these new methods during the session so they will develop the skills needed to apply them in their own professional situations.

Simulations and Games in International Relations

Instructors: Amanda Rosen and Victor Asal
This career course introduces instructors to the benefits and drawbacks of simulations and games as well as practical tips for employing them in the classroom. Participants will play through several different simulations and games during the session and will receive extensive materials and guides towards employing them in their own classes.

Case Writing and Case Teaching in International Relations

Instructor: Volker Franke
In this half-day course, participants will be introduced to the case study method and learn how to develop and use case studies effectively in an academic classroom. This course presents a number of different teaching cases (historical, fictional, decision-forcing) and engages participants as both active learners and potential instructors. The course will also discuss how to adapt the case teaching method for using novels and films in the classroom.

Training Future Peacebuilders: Designing International Education Programs to Maximize Transnational Networks and Peacebuilding Outcomes

Instructor: Jeff Pugh
This session helps educators design program models that intentionally cultivate cross-cultural interaction and network building, and support follow up that translate these networks into practical peacebuilding outcomes over time.

Case Writing and Case Teaching in International Relations

Instructor: Volker Franke
This half-day course, participants will be introduced to the case study method and learn how to develop and use case studies effectively in an academic classroom. This course presents a number of different teaching cases (historical, fictional, decision-forcing) and engages participants as both active learners and potential instructors. The course will also discuss how to adapt the case teaching method for using novels and films in the classroom.

Doing and Using Elite Interviews

Instructor: Peter Haas and Kathryn Hochstetler
The course will seek to combine goals of rigor with the art of elite interviews. The course will introduce students to issues involved with conducting elite interviews: the nature of data, how to design an interview, logistics, data confirmation, and dealing with IRBs.

Introduction to Big Data Analytics and Text Mining in International Affairs Research

Instructor: Derrick Cogburn
This course is designed to introduce participants to some of the opportunities and limitations of “Big Data” Analytics in International Affairs research. While the concept of Big Data is relative to each field, as much as 75-80% of the world’s available data is unstructured text. Data of this type includes: email archives, websites, twitter feeds and other social media, blog posts, speeches, annual reports, published articles, and much more. In the aggregate, these sources can easily run into thousands or hundreds of thousands of discrete items. Textual data at this size and scale is particularly challenging to the analyst using only traditional forms of content analysis, and is even challenging to those scholars using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) tools, who find it difficult to cope with the time and effort required to analyze these large data sources. This course provides an initial exposure to the tools and techniques used to analyze large-scale unstructured textual data. These approaches are pplicable for a range of social science research topics, such as identifying: core themes and regional variation in State Department blog posts; sentiment analysis of twitter feeds; emerging areas of concern or interest on email lists; similarities and differences in national reports on international treaty commitments. In this course, we will employ a “learn by doing” technique. This means the course will include an introduction to the theoretical background to big data and text mining, but will focus primarily on a practical, hands-on approach. This technique allows participants to spend more time working in the software that enables them to harness computational power to analyze the large-scale unstructured textual data. Essentially, this course can help set participants on the path towards being able to find the proverbial needle in the international affairs big data haystack.

Simulations and Games for the Classroom

Instructors: Victor Asal, Nina Collars, Chad Raymond, and Amanda Rosen
In this Career Course, participants will examine the use of simulations and games in the classroom. They will play several simulations to learn about the benefits and challenges of running such exercises with students. The instructors will also provide a wealth of resources, including samples of games and sims that can be used with little modification in their own classes.

About Career Courses

ISA Career Courses are a key component of the Association’s Annual Convention professional development programming. These courses provide registered participants an in-depth instruction on topics such as methodology, teaching strategies, software, and more.

More about Career Courses