During the 2015-2018 European Commission Erasmus+ granting cycle, European Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will carry out a Jean Monnet Action Module which will equip students and young professionals with knowledge of EU subjects relevant for their academic and professional lives and enhance their civic skills. Module instructors will achieve three objectives: 1) necessary upgrading and updating of a pre-existing EU simulation modules to meet the specific needs of students in Law, and Masters in Business Administration and Public Policy graduate students who require specific knowledge of matters pertaining to trade and the EU’s role in global development policy and trade; 2) broadening the use-value and applicability of blended learning modes within the University of achieve higher teaching efficacy, in particular to the 600 undergraduates enrolled annually in the International Studies major who currently have very little knowledge of the EU; and 3) provide updated content to existing EU specific teaching porfolios, encompassing new developments in the EU politics and process, new economic developments, and equipping graduate students early in their professional careers with advanced knowledge of practical matters relating to the EU in its global context. Part of our objective is to mainstream and diversify EU-related subjects through the curricula proposal by high education institutions to their students.
Elizabeth Covington, Executive Director of European Studies and Faculty Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will lead this initiative, in partnership with the Jean Monnet Chair, Professor Nils Ringe, and recent doctoral recipients. The WISC-EU Module aims to create specialized teaching on the European Union through highly developed course offerings on EU affairs through two methods: 1) “blended learning” formats which combine online teaching with traditional classroom modules, replacing portions of lecturing with online tasks which develop skills-based knowledge and active participation, and 2) specialized short workshops for professional students in Law, Business Administration, Education (for K-12 teacher certification), and Public Policy. Covington has revised a simulation module which we developed over a decade ago, which is now defunct due to the changes in the Eurozone, the eastern enlargements of 2004, 2008 and 2015, and the Lisbon Agenda voting protocols enacted in November 2014. This EU simulation module for the International Studies major, where she teaches each spring (40 hours a year), allows for advanced active learning over four weeks of a fifteen-week course on the EU. The course adds traditional interdisciplinary subject matters from political science, history and political economy with a practical exercise in EU simulated decision-making, which requires the students to develop a very nuanced and practical understanding of how the European Union works. Covington has prepared modules on youth unemployment, migration policy, and will work on a security policy for 2017.