Polisci Lounge

What we're talking about in PoliSci

New! Exit Polling Assignment Series

Are you interested in having your students participate in a class exit poll this fall? We're currently working on an assignment series that will guide students through the planning and prep work of an exit poll, and then provide them with everything they need to conduct an actual exit poll and analyze the data. We've always loved the exit poll project that Dr. Jocelyn Evans organized for her students in 2004 and 2006 at the University of West Florida. (You can read about the project in the ...

> Continue

Blended Learning in Political Science

Earlier this month at the SSSA annual meeting in San Diego, I heard an interesting presentation on "Blended Courses in Political Science" byDr. Sam Fisher, Associate Professor at the University of South Alabama. In his research, he surveyed political science faculty about their experiences teaching blended courses. Of the 21% who taught blended courses in political science, over 70% used the online portion of the class to post documents, refer students to web links, and engage students in...

> Continue

Spotlight: California Budget Challenge

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new assignment for Americans Governing titled California Budget Challenge. The new assignment, authored by Dr. Tressa Tabares of American River College, includes a link to an online budget simulation by the nonpartisan group, Next 10. The simulation requires students to decide how much to spend on schools, prisons, the environment, and other state programs, as well as how to pay for them. Email the Polisci desk to have it added to your course!

> Continue

Data Visualization: U.S. Newspaper Growth

In a few weeks, professors might be getting ready to cover the media in their various government classes. If you're one of them, here's a link that you might want to consider. Gathered from the Library of Congress, the Journalism's Voyage West data visualization "plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States." The graph works quite simply, just take the arrow which starts in the year 1690 and move it steadily to the right. You can also click on particular...

> Continue

Simulation Link: "Inside the Haiti Earthquake"

At Soomo, we love us some simulations. And thanks to Amy Atchison, assistant professor at Valparaiso University in Indiana, who sent us this pretty awesome link she got from the UNDP.

"Inside the Haiti Earthquake" allows for a "first-person simulation based on documentary footage from Haiti and real-life decisions scenarios." You begin by deciding on whether to "play" as the journalist, the aid worker, or the survivor. Depending on your decision, you are immersed in different situations;...

> Continue

New Original Video Assignments for Between Nations (IR)

Soomo Publishing recently released a new collections of original videos as part of Between Nations, our collection of online homework assignments for International Relations.

For this video series, we sat down with a few folks smarter than we are for a candid discussion about three prominent IR theories. Watch as these engaging IR scholars talk about theory, politics, and The Matrix.

Theory in Action: Realism

Theory in Action: Liberalism

Theory in Action: Constructivism

Theory in Action: The War...

> Continue

Want to Talk to Students About Federal Taxes?

Ever wondered where exactly your federal taxes go? Well thanks to the White House's website, now you can receive a receipt! Just type in your social security security tax, medicare tax, and income tax and then click "calculate receipt." Below will be an itemized listing of how much of your money went to social security, national defense, health care, jobs, veterans benefits, space programs, etc. And in case you or your students don't happen to have that info handy, you can choose an estimated...

> Continue

Interactive Graphics for Midterm Elections (2008 and 2010)

Today we have a cool link, courtesy of Dr. Jocelyn Evans at the University of West Florida, detailing the electorate's voting behavior in 2008 and 2010. In its article titled "Unaligned Voters Tilt Rightward En Masse," The Wall Street Journal describes how, in the 2010 midterms, independents tended to vote for Republicans over Democrats. Common knowledge, perhaps, but the really neat thing about this article can be found by going to the interactive graphics tab at the top.

By presenting...

> Continue

Check Out President Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal

President Obama released the proposed budget for 2012 yesterday (February 14th). The New York Times states that the "budget projects an annual deficit of more than $1 trillion before government shortfalls decline to sustainable levels for the rest of the decade, and says that that is merely 'a down payment' on what needs to be done for the nation’s long-term fiscal health."

On closer inspection, you'll notice the proposed budget strongly considers the nation's growing aging population, and...

> Continue

Resources for Egypt

For those who teach Comparative or IR, here are a few links for discussing the current protests in Egypt:

  • CNN has a great interactive timeline, summarizing the events concerning the country's disorder. It's current as of February 6th.
  • The New York Times has two great interactive links. The first is via Google Earth, which provides a literal "birds-eye-view" by mapping the protests in Cairo. The second link allows you to follow the movement of the protests surrounding Tahrir Square from...

> Continue