Creating a Safe Space for Online Discussions Assignments and Syllabus Ideas

Published: Aug 4, 2020
Contributor: Julie Mueller

License: CC BY NC SA 4.0 license – Allows revisions and additions but forbids commercial use.

These resources were developed for APSA’s Summer 2020 Virtual Teaching Workshop: Innovative Approaches to Online Teaching and is part of a collection of online teaching resources available through APSA Educate.

One of the most difficult situations that professors of political science need to address, both in face to face classes and online, is creating a safe and encouraging classroom environment to discuss political issues, which can be divisive and challenging. But for students to learn, it is vital that we do this. There are many strategies that professors can use to make these discussions easier and more productive. The following resources will help professors give a short lecture on critical thinking, craft a statement for the class syllabus that sets the tone, assign students a self-reflective essay on the origins of their own views, and craft a list of discussion rules as a class.

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