Disseminating new knowledge as a scholar-teacher at doctoral, masters and undergraduate levels, and enabling inclusive educational opportunities around the world through accessible cyberlearning and open access seminars and venues


Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is Associate Professor at the School of International Service and Kogod School of Business at American University and is affiliated with the AU School of Communication. His research and teaching includes: global information and communication technology and socio-economic development; multistakeholder institutional mechanisms for Internet governance; transnational policy networks and epistemic communities; and the socio-technical infrastructure for geographically distributed collaboration in knowledge work.  In 2016 Dr. Cogburn took an extended sabbatical where he served as a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, on the Faculty of Creative Multimedia at Multimedia University in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, and at the International Institute for Public Policy and Management (INPUMA) at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  This semester, Dr. Cogburn is teaching his virtual graduate seminar on Big Data Analytics and Text Mining and the capstone Practicum for the Master of Science in Analytics, through American University's participation in the 2U platform. 

My teaching philosophy sees research and teaching as being closely inter-related, and focuses on three major thrusts, which reflect my ongoing research interests and activities: (1) accessible multistakeholder global governance for ICTs; (2) geographically distributed collaborative work and learning; and (3) big data analytics and text mining in international affairs. 

Teaching Philosophy

Over the course of my academic career, I have worked extensively with doctoral, masters, and undergraduate students at in all of my academic homes (American University, Syracuse University, and the University of Michigan). I have also integrated students into the sponsored research activities in COTELCO, IDPP, and all of my research centers.  I have been actively engaged in formal classroom instruction, developing multiple innovative graduate seminars, all of which have also been taught at the doctoral level, and undergraduate honors and capstone seminars.

I believe that research and teaching are closely interrelated, and my teaching program is tightly integrated into my on-going research program.  Given my arguments about globalization and the emergence of an information society, my teaching has focused on preparing students to be critical global thinkers with the ability to work collaboratively, and especially in geographically-distributed knowledge environments.  I am deeply committed to innovative rigorous teaching at the doctoral, masters, and undergraduate levels.  This commitment is illustrated in my course development and performance, as well as my service activities related to teaching.  I have also engaged in a number of service and professional development activities at Michigan, Syracuse, and American serving on the Doctoral Committees at all three institutions, and contributing lectures to the Enriching Teaching Seminars organized by the Center for Support of Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at Syracuse, participating in Project Big Chalk, and serving as a Faculty Technology Associate (FTA) for the Faculty Computing and Media Services (FCMS).  At Michigan, I served on both the Doctoral and Master’s committees at the School of Information, and advisory board membership for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) as well as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).  At American, I have worked closely with the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL), participating in their annual Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching and Learning, and I have also worked closely with the American Political Science Association (APSA) on their annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC), serving for multiple years as the chair for Integrating Technology into the Classroom track. At the doctoral and post-doctoral level, I have supported the International Studies Association (ISA) serving as the inaugural co-chair of the Junior Scholar Symposium (JSS) and for several years as a JSS Mentor.  I also presented one of the first ISA Short Courses, with a seminar for faculty and doctoral students on Big Data Analytics and Text Mining in International Affairs Research.  In addition, I have served for several years on the Faculty Committee for the University of Maryland Summer Institute on something or other.  Finally, I have worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as part of its Science, Technology and Policy Fellowship Program, serving as a member and chair of the Diplomacy, Security and Development (DSD) Program and the Big Data and Analytics (BDA) Program.

University Classes taught currently or previously by Dr. Cogburn include:

American University


  • SIS 750 Big Data Analytics and Text Mining in International Affairs Research (Graduate Seminar/Online, Synchronous/Asynchronous)
  • SIS 650 Big Data Analytics and Text Mining in International Affairs Research (Graduate Seminar/Online, Synchronous/Asynchronous)
  • SIS 695: Research Seminar in International Communication: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (Graduate Seminar/ Face-to-Face and Synchronous Online Course)


  • SISU 419-020: Towards Inclusive Sustainable Development in the Year 2030
  • SIS 419/628: Survey in Telecommunication Policy and the Global Information Society (Graduate/Undergraduate Seminar/ Face-to-Face and Synchronous Online Course)
  • SIS 496/628: Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Global Virtual Teams (Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Seminar/ Face-to-Face and Synchronous Online Course)

Syracuse University


  • IST 776: Research Seminar in Information Studies: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (Doctoral Seminar/ Synchronous Online Course)
  • IST 990: Networked Organizations and Technologies (Doctoral Proseminar/ Synchronous Online)
  • IST 615: Globalization and the Information Society: Information, Communication and Development (Graduate Seminar/ Synchronous Online Course)
  • IST782: National and International Information Policies (FTF Graduate Seminar)
  • IST 600: Design and Practice of Social Science Research: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed-Methods Approaches (Graduate Seminar/ Synchronous Blended Online and Face-to-Face Course)


  • IST 500: Distributed Collaboration and Emerging Technologies (Graduate Seminar/ Face-to-Face and Synchronous Online)
  • GET 234: Global Enterprise Technologies: Effective Collaboration in Globally Distributed Enterprises (Undergraduate Seminar/ Face-to-Face and Synchronous Online course)
  • IST456: Information Policy and Decision-Making (FTF Undergraduate Seminar)
  • AAS 300: McNair Program Summer Seminar in Research Methods (Team-Taught FTF Undergraduate Seminar; serve as lead instructor)

University of Michigan


  • SI 669/767: Global Electronic Commerce: Information Policy and Strategy (FTF)
  • SI 607/707:Globalization and the Information Society: Information, Communication and Development (Blended Graduate Seminar/ Synchronous Online Course)
  • SI 575 Community Information Corps Seminar (FTF)
  • DTK: Introduction to Geographically Distributed Collaboration (FTF)
  • DTK: Globalization and Business Ethics (w/Univ. Pretoria Center for Business Ethics) (Online)

Ateneo de Manila University


  • POS 210: Graduate Seminar in Public Policy (Blended, Face-to-Face and Online, Synchronous)
  • POS 260: Advanced Political Analysis and Methodology

University of Malaya


  • POS 210: Graduate seminar on Developmet Policy (Blended, Face-to-Face and Online, Synchronous)

I have taught a wide variety of courses, through many different modalities. Please feel free to explore some of my courses by clicking on any of the following links and syllabi.

SIS 750: Big Data Analytics and Text Mining in International Affairs Research

This course is designed to help participants understand the opportunities and challenges of “Big Data Analytics” in International Affairs research by exposing you to the tools and techniques used to analyze large-scale unstructured textual data. These approaches are applicable for a range of social science research topics, such as identifying: core themes in State Department speeches and blog posts; sentiment analysis and affect in twitter feeds; emerging areas of concern or interest on email lists; similarities and differences in national reports on international treaty commitments. Previous masters and doctoral students have found these techniques to be extremely valuable. While the concept of Big Data is relative to each field, as much as 75-80% of available data is unstructured text, making it perhaps the largest single data source for the modern social science investigator. In the aggregate, these data sources can easily run into thousands or millions of discrete textual items, but perhaps stored in only gigabyte file sizes. Textual data at this size and scale is particularly challenging to analysts using only traditional forms of content analysis, and is even challenging to those scholars using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) tools, who find it difficult to cope with the time and effort required to analyze these large data sources. As a result, many scholars work alone (or in very small teams) on limited datasets and risk making Type I errors (rejecting a null hypothesis that is true) or Type II errors (accepting a null hypothesis that is false). Others make extremely slow progress using traditional hand-coded forms of analysis. Moreover, many still work in small, discipline-specific groups that do not incorporate insights from disciplines such as computer science and mathematics. In this course, we employ a “learn by doing” framework. This means the seminar will include theoretical background, but will focus on a practical, hands-on, approach where students can Bring Your Own Data (BYOD) for exploration in the seminar. This allows participants to spend substantial amounts of time working in the software that enables them to harness computational power to analyze the large-scale unstructured textual data. Essentially, this course will help you find the proverbial needle in the international affairs big data haystack. Green Mobile Learning Strategy: Another innovative aspect of the course is its green mobile learning strategy, which allows you to access nearly all course material and class sessions – including the synchronous course sessions – from your smart phones or tablet devices (iOS, Android or Windows). While there are synchronous sessions, there is no physical classroom for the course. This approach will afford you great flexibility in how you approach the course. All weekly synchronous sessions will be recorded, and available in the LMS after the session concludes.

SISU: 419-020: Towards Inclusive Sustainable Development in the Year 2030

This senior capstone seminar will explore the background, strategies and mechanisms for achieving and evaluating the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015. It will review the process of creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, as well as evaluating the successes and failures of its predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Seminar participants will investigate a range of key issues related to the Sustainable Development Agenda, including the role of public policy, information and communication technologies and ongoing digital and knowledge divide(s), Internet governance, inclusive development strategies, smart cities, financing, partnerships, and measurement of the SDG Agenda, along with specific goals in the Agenda including: ending poverty and hunger, ensuring healthy lives and quality education, intersectionality in development (gender, age, race, ethnicity and disability), water and energy management, promoting employment and a resiliency infrastructure, building inclusive societies through multistakeholder development and participation in accessible global governance. The seminar will also focus on the role of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in managing the process of implementing the SDGs In addition to the Sustainable Development Agenda, the seminar will review related high-level global strategies and processes, such as WSIS+10, Habitat III, and the CRPD and regional initiatives such as the Incheon Strategy. A series of assignments will lead up to a major capstone project at the end of the semester. Each student will be able to focus their capstone project on a subject of their choice and taking a variety of approaches in consultation with the seminar professor. Towards the middle of the semester, interested students may participate in an optional meeting at the United Nations with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), where they may discuss their capstone projects. DESA officials and other international development experts will participate virtually in the final project presentations of the seminar.

POS 210: Graduate Seminar in Public Policy

This course is designed to provide an introduction to public policy, with an emphasis on the global, regional, sub-regional, and national influences on the complex policymaking and implementation processes. The course also highlights the integral role of politics in the overall process, and develops an understanding of the policy environment, especially the challenges, opportunities, risks, and constraints to decision-making found in developing countries. This approach is aimed at enhancing the understanding of those who design, implement, advise, or evaluate public policy, particularly in a post-2015 sustainable development environment. The course presents conceptual frameworks that view decision-makers in government as positive change agents who seek to solve social problems in a multistakeholder policy environment. In this course, we will focus on the following four areas: (1) Examining policy theories as a foundation for understanding the nature of public policy; (2) Locating and exploring the policy context by triangulating power, institutions, and political culture, with reality; and (3) Critically assessing the policy process as an engagement between decision-makers and other stakeholders; and (4) Exploring various analytical tools and frameworks that may contribute to positive action and political change.detection of, and response to cybersecurity breaches. The Center conducts collaborative, objective, multidisciplinary research related to cybersecurity governance, enterprise risk management, and cyber risk management across business, legal, public policy, and public administration disciplines.