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Columbia and Stanford Share a Virtual Classroom

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November 1, 2005. The course African Civil Wars in Comparative Perspective, a graduate research seminar offered by the Political Science department here and at Stanford University, uses various technologies to create and share a virtual classroom space. A collaboration between Professors Macartan Humphreys (Columbia) and Jeremy Weinstein (Stanford), it engages students in the "rigorous, empirical analysis of multiple dimensions of contemporary civil conflict."

Using a networked-based video conferencing system and online tools to share data sets, presentations, and a whiteboard, the students grapple with data sets to debate issues surrounding civil war, including the organization of rebel groups and bargaining as a part of negotiating peace processes. Students in the Columbia course meet in the Experimental Digital Classroom in 308 Lewisohn Hall, which is outfitted with a Polycom video conferencing system complementing the SmartBoard system already in place.

Electronic Digital Classroom