Ray Mikell

PoliSci/Policy: Instruction/Content. A Closer Look.

Ray Mikell

PoliSci/Policy: Instruction, Content

comparative politics

Comparative politics and government was one of my fields of study in graduate school at the University of Alabama. I even taught an introductory-level Scope of Political Science, which is a mostly comparative course, as a teaching assistant. Even so, I did not expect to teach intro courses in the field as often as I have over the past two years, nor to enjoy teaching them so much. I have always tried to keep up with international events and politics, however, so only mild adjustments from mostly teaching American politics and government have been necessary. 

On top of leading more courses in this political science sub-field, I have also recently done freelance question writing and instructor's guide material for a comparative e-textbook produced by a major higher ed publisher. (I am not allowed to say anything otherwise!) This has helped me keep up with comparative politics themes, shifts in popular theories and concepts, and subject matter. 

Finally, it was teaching comparative politics courses online that put me on the road to doing more presentations through Adobe Voice, an iPad app that easily allows the quick production of what might be best described graphics-intensive audio lectures, or simple presentations with voice-overs, however you want to put it. Then my taste for better-looking presentations there led me to do more professional presentations via InDesign (thanks to an educational discount for Adobe Creative Cloud) traditional classroom lectures. These presentations can now be placed online via Blackboard or other learning management systems as well.

Now, I have learned to do more advanced audio-visual lectures through InDesign, in tandem with Adobe video and audio editing software, and an inexpensive, but decent USB microphone. I am sure that in six months to a year, I will see these presentations as more flawed than I do now. It's a dangerous thing! The education, it never ends.

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