Teaching on the Global Stage

by and | Jul 28, 2021 | 0 comments

Chantal Kirby

Aiden Warren

Associate Professor

The strategies showcased here were used in several courses within the International Studies program. Each course is taught in face-to-face mode with students attending weekly lectures and tutorials.

School: GUSS

Year Level

Year: 1st - 3rd

High Effort

Cohort Size: (Lectures) 70 – 100/120 students


100% face-to-face lectorial (multi-screen spaces)

Note: Collaborate Ultra is being used for live checkpoints with students aside from the face-to-face sessions. Some students prefer to watch the lectures from home, rather than coming onto campus.

Low Effort

Low Effort (hours, less than a day)


Implementation level: Low


The structured interviews and twitter strategies showcased here promote student’s direct engagement with global political realities and actors within the International Studies program in GUSS.

Approaches Implemented


The courses emphasise in-person and online contributions to class discussions and the development of student’s public contributions to the critical understanding of global politics. Students are assessed on a range of activities related to their in-class participation (their preparedness (quizzes), their analysis of the readings, their contribution to discussions and collaborative exercises.)

Instructional Videos:

Short, pre-recorded videos provide instruction on the assessments and critical key concepts. They facilitate:

  • Clearer understanding of the assessments
  • Fewer student questions
  • Fuller understanding of the expectations for assessment and, as a result,
  • Better assessment contributions and results.

Twitter Activities

First and Second-year students in POLI1110 Introduction to Global Security and HUSO2328 Contemporary Foreign Policy develop skills in engaging publicly in political discourse through Twitter. They follow Twitter commentary by exemplary IR opinion channels and contribute to Twitter commentaries within their level off confidence.

Students are required to post a minimum of two tweets per week based on the theme/topic of the week’s lecture and something from readings. Tweets may include posts from media outlets such as the New York Times, the Diplomat, thinktanks, reputable analysts/experts, reputable institutions such as university history departments etc, UN, Human Rights Watch, and government sites. As most readings authors are on Twitter, it is also worth looping them into student conversations if applicable.

At least two of the tweets must contain a quote or paraphrase of the key takeaway from the cited post. All tweets are to include links to the media content the students have engaged in and include the hashtag. E.g.

  • #globalsecurity2021 and
  • @IntlStudiesRMIT

Students could add Associate Professor Aiden Warren and Dr. Adam Bartley (tutor) to their twitter handles and are strongly encouraged to add their fellow classmates. Students are further encouraged to interact with the tweets of their fellow classmates in a responsible and courteous manner.

LIVE Interviews

The purpose of the Liver Interviews is to expose students to the broad range of political and opinions that impact topical current events – like the US elections. The format brings together students from across the Program in an open, discussion-friendly way:

  • Interviewees are chosen from the following demographics: Male, Caucasian, Small Business Owner, Seattle, Trump Voter; Female, African-American, Public Policy, Washington DC, Biden Voter; Female, African-American, Nurse, Detroit, Biden Voter; Female, Asian-American, Influencer, Washington DC, Trump Voter; Female, African-American, Public Policy, Washington DC, Biden Voter; Male, Caucasian / LGBQI, Marketing, Dallas, Biden Voter; Male, Caucasian, Ex-military unemployed, Phoenix, Trump Voter.
  • Aiden conducts the interview with set questions to see patterns across all interviewees.
  • Students are included in a chat where they can ask questions to the interviewee after Aiden’s structured question chat, in which they can voice or type questions.
  • Students’ questions contribute to their participation grade.

Benefits/ Challenges

Instructional Videos


  • Quick creation
  • Saves time down the track in explaining assessment tasks
  • Although classes are back on campus, students have a self-paced reference point.

LIVE Interviews


  • Open to all students across the program
  • Exposure
  • High attendance and participation rates
  • Easy implementation alongside existing content in place
  • Sparked including real LIVE interviews across other courses such as the Global Governance International Law for next semester.
  • Deep dives into different pathways showcasing different perspectives (Commercial, Government, Global)


  • Availability of interviewees
  • Microsoft Teams (view) does not allow for entire visibility therefore, Zoom (external to RMIT) was utilised.
  • Recording – consent / security

Twitter Activities


  • Quick implementation
  • Provides students with a voice.
  • Different perspectives
  • Networking opportunities (also connecting on LinkedIn)
  • Informal feedback
  • Communication skills


  • Some students did not want to sign up to create a Twitter account.
  • Tweets could have a controversial turn at times.

Student Experience and Feedback

“Balance of contemporary topics vs older ones. Very comprehensive, teachers are really great at breaking down complex topics and issues. Very balanced approach to contentious issues. Teachers are genuinely interested in what we say and care about the quality of the course. The Real Americans series went above and beyond at conveying this. Assignment feedback was super detailed.” 


“I enjoyed this course due to the great and in-depth discussions we had in tutorials. I liked the focus on America’s foreign policy as it was very much current due to the election. I also enjoyed the 6 interview sessions with different voters. It was great to hear a different perspective from people on the ground there.” 


“I liked starting the semester off with U.S. history because I think it set up the context of the course very well. I found the course material highly interesting and enjoyed the small group discussions. The extra zoom sessions with ‘real Americans’ were great as well.” 


“The conversations we have in class are very though-provoking. Adam and Aiden are very skilled in forming a healthy debating environment. I also love Aiden’s provision of further resources to keep updated with current issues related to US Foreign Policy. The idea of the Twitter assessment task is a very original way to create a healthy space to exchange ideas on social media in a professional, and yet accessible, manner.” 


“The content covered in this course was so interesting and engaging. I have really enjoyed it. The twitter participation task was a great way to expand my reading and ensure that I stayed up to date with the news. I think this is a really valuable piece of assessment and I enjoyed doing it. Practising writing briefing papers for assessment was also awesome practical experience and an interesting task. 


The video explanation tasks of assessment tasks were also super helpful and acted as a good substitute for having a face-to-face explanation in class. 


The readings were really interesting and helped to expand both my general and specific knowledge. 


Having the online lectures broken into 3 parts made it feel much more accessible and manageable at a time (COVID) where things often felt overwhelming. 


Overall, thanks for such a great course! Looking forward to continuing our discussions in Contemporary Foreign Policy.”