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“From International Relations to Global Politics” - Interview with prof. Raffaele Marchetti (February 18th, 2015)

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Agatino Grillo: Welcome professor Marchetti. Could you introduce yourself and the Mooc course “From International Relations to Global Politics” of LUISS University.

Raffaele Marchetti: I am an assistant professor (or associate professor using the Italian academic qualifications) in International Relations at the Department of Political Science at the School of Government of LUISS, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies) one of the most important Italian universities.
I got my degree in Rome University “La Sapienza” and a Phd at the London School of Economics (LSE). For other information you may follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/rafmarchetti or visit my personal website at http://docenti.luiss.it/rmarchetti/
From International Relations to Global Politics” is the first MOOC - Massive Open Online Course - of LUISS: it started on November 16th, 2015 and will finish after 10 weeks.
The course is held in English so the only requirement to participate is a laptop/desktop computer with a stable internet connection and a very good understanding of English.
I am very excited about it. Not only is one of the first MOOCs on IR, but we already have thousands of enrollments. The fact that there are so many people interested in understanding better and discussing international affairs is simply great. I think this has a huge potential for creating a cross-cultural learning community.

Agatino Grillo:  Could you better explain what is a MOOC?

Raffaele Marchetti: As stated in Wikipedia a MOOC is an online course addressed to unlimited attendants  and open access via web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education which was first introduced in 2008 and is emerging as the most popular mode of learning nowadays.

Agatino Grillo: What is the format of LUISS “From International Relations to Global Politics” course?

Raffaele Marchetti: Starting from February 16, 2015 every week I will upload a number of videos with the related quizzes which you need to do in order to move on.
Furthermore you will find additional materials and references for your consultation.
Also, from time to time you will have the possibility to discuss in public some contentious issues and to write short essays that will be marked in a peer-to-peer mode. These are optional, however it is an opportunity to learn and engage with the others.

Agatino Grillo:  What is the syllabus?

Raffaele Marchetti: The course is divided into ten units each of them has its own sub-units.
The ten units or chapters are:
Chapter 1  - How to study International Relations
Chapter 2 - Realism
Chapter 3 - Liberalism
Chapter 4 - Marxism and Constructivism
Chapter 5 - Foreign Policy Analysis
Chapter 6 - International Political Economy
Chapter 7 - Security studies
Chapter 8 - Globalization and the context of global politics
Chapter 9 - Global Politics
Finally there will be an optional exam scheduled from April 20th to May 4th 2015

Agatino Grillo: Are there prerequisites?

Raffaele Marchetti:  Just two suggested pre-readings:

1.    Morgenthau, H.J., Politics among Nations: the Struggle for Power and Peace. New York: Knopf, 1985 (available here in pdf format)
2.    Khanna, P., How to Run The World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance. New York: Random House, 2010 (available here in pdf format)

Agatino Grillo: Is the course free or it has to be paid?

Raffaele Marchetti: Our Mooc course proposes three different tracks:

  1. Audit Track: it is completely free and includes all course material, possibility to participate at course community, statement of participation
  2. Certificate Track: it costs 49 Euros and add to previous track features, a graded online exam, a certificate of accomplishment and a certificate supplement. A “Certificate of Accomplishment” is an identity-verified certificate with your final grade, signed by the instructor. If you achieve a top 10% grade, this will be noted on your certificate. All our certificates are all identity verified. A “Certificate Supplement”contains detailed information about the course content and your learning achievements, backing up your hard work with the details employers may ask for.
  3. ECTS Track: it costs 149  Euros. As with the Audit Track, you get access to all the course materials, lecture videos, assignments, and more. However, unlike the audit-only option, the ECTS-Track also gives you access to an on-site exam at the end of the course. This exam will be professionally graded by the course instructor. This gives you a chance to showcase the skills you’ve acquired. After successfully completing the on-site exam, you will receive an identity-verified Certificate of Accomplishment with your final grade and 3 ECTS-Points, signed by the instructor. If you achieve a top 10% grade, this will be noted on your certificate.

ECTS or European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries.

Agatino Grillo: Why study the “International Relations?”

Raffaele Marchetti:  Globalization has a considerable influence on contemporary politics. In my opinion today is easier to understand the national and local political positions if we consider them respect to issues of international politics and globalization: integration of markets, delegation of sovereignty, global challenges.

Agatino Grillo: Does it make sense to define oneself as right-wing or left-wing?

Raffaele Marchetti: Inside both sides we have to distinguish those who have open positions towards globalization and who contrasts it. This helps us to understand for example why today in many countries there are centrist governments formed by large coalitions against oppositions of anti-globalist and localist.
Another example comes from the recent European elections in May 2014, where the Eurosceptic parties from the left and right have joined forces against the pro-Europeans.

Agatino Grillo: Thank you very much for your time professor Marchetti.

Raffaele Marchetti: Thank you

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LUISS University launches its first MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses, on International Relations (February, 16th 2015)

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About LUISS

LUISS – Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, or the Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies – is an independent Italian university.
LUISS offers an innovative educational approach at its four Departments:

  1. Economics and Finance,
  2. Business and Management,
  3. Law,
  4. Political Science.

Its goal is not simply to convey knowledge but to “instill flexibility” in young people, giving them a sense of mastery over their future.

First MOOC at LUISS

On February 16th, 2015 LUISS launched its first online course, in International Relations: a series of twelve weekly online lectures entitled From International Relations to Global Politics, with Professor Raffaele Marchetti, professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science.
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are a format for free distance learning that is widely used by major universities in order to reach a large number of users around the world.
“It is an innovation of recent years,” says Marchetti, “a revolution that is slowly but decisively taking hold, reshaping the concept of teaching at university.”
LUISS is one of the first Italian universities to move in this direction and the course in International Relations is one of the first online courses on that topic offered in the world.
In their passage from university classrooms to e-learning platforms, the course’s content and methods had to be radically rethought.
“The production phase required us to rewrite the course in the form of a script in order to be as concise and understandable as possible, by breaking down the lectures into a number of small units between five and ten minutes long.”
The recording of lectures was done at the Rai (Italian public television) studios in Milan so as to recreate all of the video environments and settings using computer graphics.
“It was essential to use not only words but images, videos and a whole range of media to encourage interaction with my virtual students and make the class more dialogue-based.”
Aside from attending virtual classes, students will study additional materials and carry out a series of peer-to-peer tutorials and reviews (“assessments that are less 'official' than those of the professor, but which have the value of including many points of view”), to prepare for a final exam which, if passed, will lead to a certificate and 3 ECTS university credits.
The online course From International Relations to Global Politics already counts several thousand enrolled students from around the world: “From Germany to India, from Spain to the United States, with a fairly high percentage of students even in cities like Kabul.”
The course will remain active for about three months, to then be relaunched in the fall, along with a new MOOC in Management with Professor Andrea Prencipe, which is already being prepared.

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(1,13 minutes)

 

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