The New International Studies Classroom: Active Teaching, Active Learning

By Jeffrey S. Lantis; Lynn M. Kuzma et al. | Go to book overview

15 Teaching Human Rights
Online: The International
Court of Justice
Considers Genocide

Howard Tolley Jr.

The Teaching Human Rights Online project (THRO) employs instructional technology to make case problems interactive. The “ICJ Considers Genocide” Web site1 enables students to play the role of a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The case brought by Bosnia in 1993 charged genocide, called for an end to the United Nations (UN) Security Council arms embargo, and sought damages from Serbia and Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia. Students can review the facts, research the law, and consider opposing arguments that support one side or the other. The prototype Web case can be used in three ways—as an interactive assignment for individuals, as a vehicle for asynchronous exchange of advocacy briefs prior to inclass simulation, and for a simulcast between competing student teams in distance learning centers at different universities. In this chapter I describe how the first two applications develop understanding of human rights and critical thinking skills.


Educational Objectives

Studies demonstrating how the case method enhances learning suggest that computerized problem-solving exercises should also promote critical thinking. The Pew Case Studies in International Affairs have brought to the undergraduate classroom teaching methods that worked well in law schools and colleges of business.2 “Thinking like

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