MUN/Design blueprint

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Course Description

Model United Nations (MUNs) are experiential learning programs where participants discuss ideas and brainstorm solutions to global challenges as model diplomats. MUNs are run around the world and operate at some campuses in Australia but we believe this is the first run as an accredited subject. If you are interested in International Studies, Global Citizenship and Communications, Negotiation and Diplomacy - this subject is for you.

Intended target audience

The subject will run as a 200 level subject and is a core subject of the International Relations major of the UOW Bachelor of International Studies and Bachelor of Arts, and will have a fully online OER cohort who participate in parallel.

Design approach

This is a brand new course, built from scratch. Although we have found a number of open resources to plug in to various topics, the majority of the materials need to be produced from scratch.

Course learning outcomes and link to assessment

Assessment Learning Outcome
Assessment 1: online quiz LO1: A sound understanding of the role and functions of the United Nations systems and the key challenges it faces.
Assessment 2: Country issues/briefing paper LO2: Ability to develop briefing papers on complex international challenges from the perspective of a country other than  the student's country of origin;

LO3: Capacity to appraise qualitative and quantitative data in order to develop policy proposals

Assessment 3: MUN e-sim contributions LO4: Negotiate and present effectively on global matters and challenges.
Assessment 4: MUN debrief and reflection LO5: Critically reflect upon personal and societal assumptions about how societies should function and be able to challenge these.

Overview of the delivery model

The course will run as four modules or micro courses. The first module is an Introduction to the United Nations system, while the second is on researching and writing briefing and policy papers on. Both of these modules work to prepare student for the Negotiation and Diplomacy (3rd module) and the MUN simulation (4th module). Students will take on the role of a particular country, research that country and use that research to respond to a current issue, as a model diplomat from that country and act in the United Nations simulation.

The course runs parallel with a local, campus-based cohort. All lectures are online for all students. We are hoping to broadcast the two hour workshops between campus students and remote participants via Adobe Connect. All resources are online and the key steps of the MUN simulation will also be online. Formative assessment around weekly tasks will be via the online discussion/twitter/WEnotes (and in workshops for the local students), and there will be an online quiz for all students to assess the first (intro to the UN) module. The second module (research and write a briefing paper) will require online submission of a briefing paper and will introduce students to twitter and/or WEnotes for online resource and research sharing and discussion. The MUN e-simulation is a lock-step process with online submission, presentation and online voting at each step of the way. There will be a final learning reflection piece at the end.

What is your approach to validate student identity with regards to participation and assessment?

Most likely an interview backed up with portfolio of related work, focusing on the reflective learning piece and the process of the MUN.

OERs on this topic (partners please add to the list if you know of any good ones)

Please see our OER review page for a table of resources we have been able to locate with a view to incorporate into the course. Please add any other of URLs to possible re-usable OERs underneath.

Summary of the interaction strategies

  1. Student-content interactions - fully online short papers and short video clips including cases of UN interventions.
  2. Student-student interactions - regular and online, we will consider combining a face-to-face with an online student to form a group of two to represent a country, and to develop the briefing paper and MUN submissions together.
  3. Student-support interactions - the first module (background to MUN) will be free-standing self-paced, the second and third modules will have more regular collegial/peer support via online tools, the MUN activities will see the on-campus students provide updates and feedback all online so that should support the fully online students.

Online tools that students may need

We are investigating specialist MUN operation software to handle the allocation of students to countries, the online voting and so on. Students will most likely need to use twitter to share their submissions, and a blog to publish their submissions. We are hoping to use Adobe Connect to broadcast on-campus workshops and allow remote participants to tweet contributions and ask questions via audio.

How can students get formal credit? (potential collaborators please add your thoughts)

Which institutions are interested to explore giving credit for this subject? Towards which of their programs? As core and/or elective?

Thoughts on assessment for credit?

Interest in collaborative development of course content?

Interest in collaborative exam-for-credit development?