This month I am sharing some of my syllabi, lectures, and assignments for a “Global Studies Theory” class. Today I am sharing the lecture on Classical Marxism. Please feel free to use and adapt this for your own classes.
Yesterday I shared a syllabus for a hybrid global studies class. Today I wanted to share a rubric that I adapted for a case study project in this theory class. The assignment itself is quite easy to summarize: “Case Study: The student will write an eight to ten page paper, which will briefly apply two (or more) theories to the same global issue, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each. The paper will be uploaded into Assignments by 5pm on Monday of exam week: 25% of final grade.”
The goal of this project was to have students reflect on how to apply more than one theory to a particular situation. In this way, I hoped that they might begin to realize that theories can be like tools in a tool box. It’s useful to try more than one approach to understand a situation, and to evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses.
One challenge with this assignment is that students might be tempted to use a paper that they have written for another class, perhaps not understanding that it is possible to self-plagiarize. This happened. In order to avoid this, I would carefully explain that this is not permitted, but more importantly scaffold the work throughout the quarter; that is, in week four they would share an outline in the discussion board, in week 6 share their first three pages. In this way, not only would students be able to give feedback on each other’s papers, but also you could see they were truly creating the work.
Please note that I didn’t use this assignment in all my theory classes, including the hybrid class for which I shared the syllabus yesterday, in which I instead used a slideshow project. Although the content is mine, I don’t know who created the original rubric framework (especially the grading key) that I adapted. It had passed through too many hands by the time it reached me. If anyone knows, please contact me and I will give them credit.
Case Study Rubric
Student Name: _______________________________________________
|Content||Writing and Organization||Originality and Insight|
The writer demonstrates a mastery of both the theory and the specific case. The student clearly explains the strengths and the weakness of the theories. Their work is based on excellent research with well-chosen articles. The writer supports their arguments with specific detail.
The essay is well-organized, flows logically, and has an introductory and concluding paragraph. The paper is free from grammar and spelling mistakes.
The essay is original and demonstrates insight. The student has a number of new ideas or arguments. The essay’s creativity leads the reader take a fresh perspective on issues.
The writer has demonstrated sufficient understanding of the theory and the specific case. There is adequate research. The writer uses specific examples and detail to support their argument.
The essay is well organized and flows logically, but lacks a clear beginning or conclusion. The organization could have been tighter, although their argument is clear. There are few grammar and spelling mistakes.
The essay shows insight or creativity.
The writer generally shows their understanding of the theory and specific case, although at times they could have used more detail and demonstrated a great mastery of the material. They could have more clearly described the strengths and weaknesses of the theories.
The essay has some organization, but sometimes jumps from one topic to the next. There is no clear beginning or conclusion. There are frequent grammar or spelling mistakes.
While the essay has some originality and insight, it is not highly creative and has only occasional insights.
The essay has does not convincingly demonstrate the student’s mastery of the theory and specific case. Key detail is sometimes omitted, or there are errors in their discussion of theory.
The essay sometimes rambles. The transition from one section to the next is not always clear, or the argument does not flow well. The essay lacks an introduction or conclusion. There are significant grammar and spelling mistakes.
The essay has few examples of original arguments or insight. The essay does not demonstrate thoughtful reflection.
The essay fails to demonstrate the students understanding of either the theory involved, or the specific case. The paper lacks critical supporting detail, or the research was insufficient.
The essay lacks organization, and jumps from one topic to the next without any coherence. The essay is either too brief to adequately cover the topic, or too disorganized. The grammar and spelling mistakes are so significant that they detract from the argument.
The paper lacks original thought or new ideas. There is little or no evidence of reflection or fresh insight.
|Grading: A = All excellent A- = Mostly excellent B/B+ = Mostly Good C+/B- = Good with some sufficient C or below = Mostly Sufficient to Needs Improvement D or below= Mostly Weak or Needs Improvement|
Remember: students may not use material from another paper that they have written.
I’ve shared a syllabus before for my face-to-face theory class, but that was from 2012. Although I haven’t taught the course for while now, I wanted to share this more recent syllabus for a hybrid class, in case anyone else is interested in using it. Please feel free to take, adapt, and use this syllabus in any way that you might want. Please click on page “2” below to view. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll also share more assignments, rubrics and lectures for the course.
Kim and I have completed the third edition of our textbook. After nearly three years of work, the first copy showed up in my mailbox last week. With this rewrite we didn’t just update references, but rather rework the text entirely. For example, Kim created a new organization for the exercises in our work to ensure greater consistency. We created new case studies, such as one in the health chapter that looks at Indigenous health in Australia’s outback and Canada’s Nunavut. And we gave particular attention to the rise of nationalism and populism globally, as well as to profound changes in our energy systems.
When it came to the Instructor Resources, we similarly wanted to rework our text. What’s been important is that we’re able to build on what we’ve seen about which resources are used, as well as the feedback from our peers. For example, one of the most popular resources has been a list of films that are appropriate to use in an intro class. We’ve worked with our colleagues and our students to update that list from scratch. We’re currently reworking sample essay questions. We have a new introduction, our published paper that talks about universal design for learning. And we have a new assignments section, which includes rubrics that I’ve been using in the class myself for many years. In short, it’s a comprehensive set of resources, which will make it easy to step into this class for the first time, or to adopt a new set of tools. All these materials will be available before the end of August, which is also when the book will also be released for purchase.
Kim and I have been working on the third of edition of our textbook, An Introduction to International and Global Studies. I think that this is the best of version the book yet. We radically rewrote chapters, gave extensive attention to the rise of populism and nationalism, adopted new case case studies, and created different assignments. It’s been a lot of fun working on the book. Believe it or not, we actually wrote this edition in Google Docs, which was the best tool for us to share work, and to track changes. I originally wanted to use an image of a globe light that I took at the Arts building at McGill University. But it looked too historical when placed on the cover. I’m really happy with this image that the press selected in the end. I’ve used the image of the globe light for my new podcast instead. You can find it here: Dispatch 7: global trends from all seven continents.
We’ll be working on the teacher’s manual throughout the summer, and we’re looking forward to sharing these resources soon. I’m happy to see that our textbook is now up on the UNC website, and available for pre-order. Copies will be available for immediate delivery in August 2020.
Thank you Kim for working with me on our project for all these years. I can’t imagine having done it with anyone else.
If you are interested in hearing more about global topics, please listen to my podcast, Dispatch 7. You can find it on Spotify here, or by searching whichever podcast platform you prefer.
One of the great lessons in life is the power of radical simplification. Everyone who has traveled has had the experience of realizing that even the most basic statements and vocabulary can allow you to exchange key information. Right now, many people are radically simplifying their lives in self-quarantine, whether it be having a family member cut their hair, or using an old sewing machine to make face masks. The number of people rediscovering the value of even a small garden reminds me of England during World War Two. Our grandparents and great-grandparents already did this.
So it’s interesting to learn that the same trend is happening in online education, where people are interested in how to use phones as a learning tool. The idea alone might make some of my senior colleagues’ heads’ spin around much like Linda Blair’s in the 1973 American horror film “the Exorcist.” They believe that phones are responsible for the decline of civilization and culture, much as Plato and Socrates once argued that the invention of writing had destroyed memory skills and damaged learning. Nonetheless, in some developing nations smart phones are playing a key role in permitting online learning during the COVID-19. I recommend this article by Anya Kamenentz in NPR on “How Cellphones Can Keep People Learning Around The World.” It turns out that phones may also be an appropriate technology in many educational contexts. …
Two weeks ago I was supposed to be giving this paper in Hawaii. But I pulled out of the conference in early March, and then the International Studies Association conference itself was cancelled shortly thereafter. As I write these words China, the United States, Canada and most of Europe are moving courses online, in perhaps the greatest pedagogical shift in global history. In this climate, I wanted to share the paper’s content quickly. This paper was never intended to become an article. Instead, it is a practitioner’s paper, and is intended to support people who are moving their course work online.
In essence, this paper examines how a Negotiated Syllabus can create engagement in the online classroom. This paper is primarily directed towards asynchronous classes (which don’t have a defined class-time) rather than streaming lectures. As you can see in the acknowledgements at the end, I particularly want to thank the Instructional Designers at the Office of Academic Innovation at PSU, who helped me to reshape my classes over the last several years. To everyone struggling to adapt to remote teaching, thank you for how you are addressing this immense societal challenge in the midst of a pandemic, in order to best serve your students.
The Negotiated Syllabus: how to create community in online International Studies classes
Saturday, March 28th, 4:15pm
Tapa 1, Tapa Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village
International Studies Association Conference
March 2020, Hawaii
*cancelled due to COVID-19
Shawn Smallman, Portland State University
At the same time that institutions with rich online offerings experience rapid growth (Southern New Hampshire University; Oregon State University), many faculty in the United States continue to hold negative attitudes towards online classes. In particular, they are concerned that faculty will not come to know their students, that the classes lack rigor, and that students will lack a sense of engagement both with their peers and with the class material. Critics of online learning, such as Power & Morven-Gould (2011, abstract) suggest that online teaching is associated with student isolation and withdrawal. There is a common theme that runs through these concerns, and that is engagement; that is, faculty who exclusively have experience with face to face classes often believe that the students will lack a learning community, so that they will fail to engage not only with the faculty member, but also with each other, in a way that will allow students to successfully achieve the course learning outcomes.
The reality is that online classes have many advantages for creating student engagement. Because the discussion board is often the core of an online class, faculty get to know all of their students, not only the ones who are comfortable speaking in class. Students who are introverts may be more comfortable sharing ideas in an online format, and they have often engaged deeply with the course material. Students also have the ability to join the discussion at the moment that they are best prepared. Finally, the online class can make it easier to structure peer review and group activities without the limitations posed by a class period. Still, one additional pedagogical tool can build on all of these advantages, and create a rich set of opportunities for faculty to connect their students.
This paper will argue that classes can achieve a high level of engagement -including a sense that the class constitutes a learning community- through the Negotiated Syllabus and Universal Design, which will include such elements as co-constructed curriculum, a capstone project that is shared with the entire class, peer-review as a community building tool, and a carefully constructed discussion board. This will be a practitioner-focused paper, which will be based on student discussion comments, teaching evaluations, student reflections, grade data and faculty journaling from seven online courses that have been repeatedly offered over the last six years. The goal is to give other faculty the tools necessary to foster student engagement in their own online International and Global Studies classes. …
I was talking with a student recently who said that they wanted to create a life where they could live in different locations or even nations. When I asked the student if they had ever heard the term Digital Nomad they said no. But when I began to explain the term for this movement, they said that they felt a chill. I’ve talked about digital nomads before, because every year I come to know several of them through my online classes and advising for my department’s online track.
In week ten of my Introduction to International Studies course we focus on careers, using the “Where to Go Next Chapter” in our textbook. But I’ve also added some other content now addressing Digital Nomads; I’ve also created a discussion prompt (its an online class) around this topic. You can see both the week’s content and the discussion prompt below:
Week 10, Careers and International Travel
Watch: No videos this week.
Listen: Podcast on International Careers
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen: Where to go from here and Conclusion.
Smallman (2017), “Digital Wanderers.” Blog post, Introduction to International and Global Studies.
Beverly Yuen Thompson. (2018). Digital Nomads: Employment in the Online Gig Economy. Glocalism: Journal of Culture, Politics and Innovation, 2018(1), Glocalism: Journal of Culture, Politics and Innovation, 01 June 2018, Vol.2018(1).
Do: Complete your first discussion post by Wednesday at 11:59, and respond to another student by Friday at 11:59.
Week 10 Discussion Prompt:
This week you read Smallman’s blog post about Digital Wanderers. Could you see yourself as a Digital Wanderer/Nomad? Why or Why not? If you were one, where would you wish to live? Why? Do you know any Digital Wanderers? Or if you are one, do you have any tips?
I’ve also asked my students for the career advice that they’d like to share with their peers. This is what they said:
Don’t let your education get in the way of your learning
Show up when others won’t
Take any experience that you can get
Your major does not determine your career
Be patient. You will find your career.
Stay open to opportunities because the unexpected can happen.
Hello everyone. Shawn and I have been working this summer to update the textbook and are pleased to have sent off revisions for the third edition to the Press. Since the last edition in 2011, world events have once again reshaped what may be central to the field of international/global studies. Additionally, a number of you have given us feedback on the information contained in the chapters and we have tried to incorporate many of your suggestions.
Students have let us know that the overall structure of the text has worked well for them in face to face, hybrid, and online settings. Students with learning differences have found the text to be very approachable and we have tried to draw upon universal design principles in this next edition. We continue to believe that undergraduate students can make a difference in the world once they have access to accurate information and are encouraged to make connections between the local and the global.
In the upcoming edition, look for the following changes:
- All chapters have been updated in terms of statistics and references.
- Activities are more consistent. Each chapter now has three activities moving from analysis to reflection to personal connections.
- There are multiple new case studies including a coffee plantation in Nepal, three small island nations, Inuit and Australian Aboriginal health crises, and land acquisition around the globe by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China.
- Students are guided in resume writing exercises looking towards the future
- There are two new cases studies in the conclusion: Ai Wei Wei and Jacinda Ardern
- We provide new perspectives on both globalization and globalism and explore the new tensions between nationalism and populism.
- BREXIT is examined in several chapters.
- Demographic and political dimensions of the refugee crisis are examined as is what is sometimes termed “the politics of exhaustion,” as the world faces the movement of millions of people.
- We explore the role of human security as an approach lets us explore more interrelated security threats, be they terrorist movements, cyberthreats, or pandemics.
- ISIS, Afghanistan, North Korea, Russia, the rise of China, and the possibility of a Great Power War are explored.
- Current energy issues now include more on what happened in Fukushima, the costs of fracking, and the complicated decisions now facing individuals and nation states in terms of sustainable energy choices.
As we have done before, we will compile a set of teacher notes that may help you as you use the textbook. We also welcome references to articles, films, and blogs that may have inspired you or your students. Over the next few months, we will post some of the exercises to give you a sense of the changes. We are grateful for your support and hope you find the new edition as workable and engaging as the previous editions. The new edition will be available in September 2020.
How does a university put classes, programs, and degrees online? What are the key points that administrators should know? Three years ago I wrote a successful internal grant to create an online track in International and Global Studies at PSU. Since then my colleagues and I have successfully moved core classes online, and we have many students completing their degree virtually. I do all of my teaching online now, and I’m the lead adviser for our online track in my department. Although I have a deep interest in pedagogy, particularly Universal Design and the negotiated syllabus, that’s not what I want to explore today. Instead, I want to talk about an administrator’s perspective (having been a dean and a department chair) regarding how to put programs or degrees online, based on this experience. Here are my top tips: …