Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


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Course portfolio developed as part of the UNL Peer Review of Teaching Project (peerreview.unl.edu)

Copyright (c) 2016 Nam Kyu Kim


This Peer Review Course Portfolio documents my teaching practices in International Political Economy (POLS 459) and analyze student learning in the course. POLS 459 is an upper-division course designed to introduces students to the study of international political economy. The most important goal of the course is that students should be able to demonstrate substantive knowledge of the political economy of international trade, investment and development. To this end, I mainly employ classroom lectures, classroom discussions, and small group work. Students work on six in-class quizzes, three exams, and one group presentation. My analysis of student learning reveals that many students found the exams difficult and challenging, although there is a group of students that consistently scored very high. However, I fail to find evidence that students majoring in economics or business administration performed better than those majoring in neither economics nor business administration. It suggests that prior knowledge of economics is not a key factor of success in this course. The analysis also shows a strong correlation between quiz scores and exam scores, confirming the importance of completing the readings. Regarding group presentations, I find that students did a great job in group presentations, successfully applying the analytical concepts and frameworks they learned in class to a current issue in the international economy. Based on the analysis, I would like to make some changes for the future course: I will 1) increase the number of group presentations, 2) switch a quiz format to a take-home quiz to motivate students to complete readings, 3) make discussion of news articles a regular course activity.