Student Engagement on the Cheap: Small-Scale Active Learning Components in the American Government Course

26 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2013

See all articles by Daniel E. Smith

Daniel E. Smith

Northwest Missouri State University

Date Written: January 23, 2013

Abstract

This paper discusses the incorporation of several short real-world oriented active learning activities – volunteering or attendance at live political events, short online activities and an experimental Congress simulation – in the General Education American Government & Politics course in the Fall 2013 term. The goal of the project was to assess the efficacy of activities that are easily designed and reasonable in implementation, even with heavy course loads and large student populations. Feedback was obtained through a detailed supplemental course evaluation, assessment of student performance on course components relating to the activities, and informal observations (my observations, plus insights by students during debriefing). For the most part the activities proved both manageable and, at least initially, valuable to the course objectives. Activities were created, assigned, completed and graded with only modest increases to instructor workload, and – subject to caveats discussed below – a reasonable increase in demands on students. In subsequent terms similar active learning components will be utilized in the class, and further data will be obtained to more closely assess the impact on learning outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Smith, Daniel E., Student Engagement on the Cheap: Small-Scale Active Learning Components in the American Government Course (January 23, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2214587 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2214587

Daniel E. Smith (Contact Author)

Northwest Missouri State University ( email )

Maryville, MO 64468
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
rank
263,269
Abstract Views
526
PlumX Metrics