Introduction: COVID-19 and Emergency e-Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Introduction: COVID-19 and Emergency e-Learning in Political Science and International Relations

By Eric D. Loepp, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an integration of online learning into higher education that was well underway in political science before the virus struck. However, the swiftness of its arrival and the severity of its disruption prompted an abrupt and difficult conversion to digital education for which few instructors were adequately prepared. Indeed, the challenges we experienced in spring 2020 were not strictly a function of remote education—they were the result of emergency e-learning. Although academic programming in fall 2020 and beyond will benefit from extra time to prepare, new challenges and emergencies stemming from the pandemic’s many uncertainties likely will constrain higher education for the foreseeable future. To ease these transitions, this spotlight offers insights for political science educators from colleagues across the discipline.

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