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Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Abstract

Teaching intelligence collection within an academic setting can be difficult because of the clandestine nature of tradecraft and sources of intelligence. One course titled “Intelligence Planning, Collection and Processing,” offered as part of the undergraduate Homeland Security program at St. John’s University, requires students to engage in intelligence collection projects. Specifically, students are required to use techniques taught in class to plan, conduct, and process intelligence from open sources, human sources, and geospatial sources. At the end of each semester, data were gathered by a survey asking the students their perception of the utility of these projects in helping them develop a better understanding of the course material. Specific focus was placed on how the students felt these projects met the learning objectives of the course. Data were collected from students enrolled in this course over the span of three semesters, culminating in the Spring 2017 semester. This article presents and analyzes the results of these surveys in terms of how the students perceived the effectiveness of these intelligence collection projects in helping them better understand the class material and meet the course objectives. It is the hope that the research presented will not only shed light on the effectiveness of these projects but will also help guide the further development of experiential learning pedagogical techniques to enhance learning in both this course and other intelligence courses delivered in an academic setting.

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