Faculty Spotlight: Podcast Panels with Dr. Lenore Martin

Instructor: Lenore Martin, PhD., Professor of Political Science

Lenore Martin is the chair of the Political Science Department; she is also an Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and serves as an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, also at Harvard. Dr. Martin has extensive experience in International Relations having taken many trips to Turkey and the Middle East. She has written three books.

Courses: POLSC 1401 – Introduction to International Relations

Intro to International Relations is designed to give perspective Political Science or International Studies students an inside look into the highlights of the study of International Relations.

About the Project/Idea/Tool: Podcast Panels

Dr. Martin divides the class into groups and each takes on a specific political conflict scenario such as for example, “What is the best response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine?” Each group consists of a host and officials from different countries: Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. “Ukrainian rebels” and “journalists” – the rest of the class – ask questions of the students that represent different interests.

Requirements for students before and after their panel presentations:

  • Along with scholarly sources students may use news magazines, newspapers, internet resources, and information from interest groups.
  • Each participant will submit her or his background notes to the professor at the end of class.
  • Each student will assess their own presentation and submit it within one week of the panel and post the assessment online.

Goals:

The main goals of this learning activity is to engage students in team work, research and collaboration and to have them practice and express orally one’s ideas on international relations clearly. Students learn to critically analyze current international events by discussing how international relations affect people’s lives, and by explaining the perspectives of people from many regions in the world during class presentations.

Technical Requirements:

Podcasts are 45 minutes long and taped. The video presentations are posted, using MediaCore, on the class LMS web site for review and discussion.

Outcomes:

Here is a comment by a student who took the course in Fall 2014:

“These panel podcasts forced my group and I to work together as a team on many different occasions to research our country’s positions and develop questions that we think we could answer that the “journalists” would ask of us. Not only did this assignment give me a chance to research a certain country’s position on issues, but it also forced me to become that country so that I would be able to field any question thrown at me regarding the issue. When we presented these panel podcasts to the class, a student worker from ATIG came up and filmed us and later uploaded our presentation to media core on ECLearn. After presenting, Dr. Martin then asked us to watch ourselves present on media core and analyze our presentation style in an effort to make us better public speakers. Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment because not only did it require a fair amount of teamwork and research, but it also gave us a unique opportunity to scrutinize our own presentation skills.”


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