Okoh Praised for Innovative African History Course

02/13/2017
According to Prof. Okoh, her enthusiastic students were able to really “roll up their sleeves and engage in the material.”

Prof. Oghenetoja Okoh

The Council on Foreign Relations recently interviewed history professor Oghenetoja Okoh of the University of Akron about her experience using the Council’s cutting-edge teaching website, Model Diplomacy. Okoh, an Assistant Professor of African History, used this innovative teaching tool in a recent course on Modern African history. Model Diplomacy encourages students to delve deeply into a single case study using critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In Prof. Okoh’s course, students used the program to engage in active learning through their exploration of the crisis in South Sudan. 

South Sudan proved to be an excellent choice for a Model Diplomacy simulation, a newly independent country experiencing major humanitarian crises. After learning about South Sudan’s history in Prof. Okoh’s class, students took on the roles of South Sudan’s leaders. Working together, students drew from their knowledge of South Sudan’s past to find solutions to the country’s present and future challenges. According to Prof. Okoh, her enthusiastic students were able to really “roll up their sleeves and engage in the material.”   

Students in the course also had a chance to creatively explore career paths in public policy or diplomacy. Prof. Okoh noted that a number of her students reported that “the simulation had made them rethink their career path and the kinds of things that they might be interested in.” When asked if she would use Model Diplomacy in the classroom again, Prof. Okoh replied with one word, “Absolutely.”

Read the Interview with Prof Okoh