Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations
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Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon

With a focus on providing concrete teaching strategies for scholars, the Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations blends both theory and practice in an accessible and clear manner. In an effort to help faculty excel as classroom teachers, the expert contributors offer representation from various types of institutions located throughout the world. Split into three distinct parts, this book discusses curriculum and course design, teaching subject areas and in class teaching techniques.
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Chapter 8: Performance assessment in Europe

Alasdair Blair


The manner by which students are assessed is a central factor in determining the nature of their learning experience. Over the last two decades there has been a gradual shift in the engagement of the political science (PS) and international relations (IR) academic community with regard to teaching and learning practices. This has been reflected in greater attention being attached to the methods by which students are taught and assessed. As far as assessment is concerned, this has been reflected in a growing body of literature that has championed the use of innovative methods such as simulation exercises (Raymond and Usherwood 2013), problem-based learning (Archetti 2012) and placement learning (Curtis et al. 2009; Harris 2012). Articles such as these stress the value of introducing teaching and assessment methods that go beyond traditional classroom teacher-centered approaches that are often supported by assessment practices involving the likes of essays and exams. As has been rehearsed before in numerous books and articles, teacher-centered methods have a tendency to reinforce a surface-learning approach where student performance is influenced by their capacity to craft well-written essays and their ability to recall information in an examination format.

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