Posts Tagged 'eCitizenship'

eCitizenship Webinar #2 on Thursday; How to Attend

On Thursday, citizenship goes digital again as the American Democracy Project’s eCitizenship initiative presents its second webinar, entitled, “Where Do Students Get Their News and Why Does It Matter?” See below for more information on content and how to access the presentation.


Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 1:30 p.m. EDT
eCitizenship Webinar (2):
Where Do Students Get Their News and Why Does It Matter?”

This webinar will summarize research on the ways college students access information and how that impacts their engagement. It will also provide insight on ways to use this information in classes and university programs that seek to help students think critically about the information they access online.

Chapman Rackaway, a political science professor  at Fort Hays State University, will also share the Informed Citizen Project with attendees.

In the pursuit of greater student engagement, ADP has tried to encourage civic participation among students.  The eCitizenship initiative focuses ADP’s efforts in the online world.   To help build the skills that college students need, the Informed Citizen Project brings campuses together to develop and share efforts towards one of civic engagement’s most important foundational skills: media and information literacy.

Media and information literacy are more important than ever.  The fragmented media environment requires that we are more critical of the information we consume than ever.  Online text, audio, and video tools all make for new ways to communicate and engage in civic leadership.  Web 2.0 tools mean that content consumers are now creators and must be cautious about what we communicate to the whole world.  The prevalence of polls mean that today’s voter must understand how survey research works to ensure they maximize the informational value of polls.

The Informed Citizen Project Areas of focus:

1)      News consumption

2)      Recall of news

3)      Print and online media

4)      Web 2.0 and students as content producers

5)      Source differentiation

6)      Critical thinking

7)      Polling and data criticism

The Informed Citizen Project is beginning to add member schools who are currently engaged in or interested in creating media and information literacy programs to join.  Project member schools share best practices in college-level media and information literacy and innovate new programs to ensure the next generation of graduates have the critical thinking skills necessary to be leaders in today’s society.

TO JOIN THIS EVENT, on Thursday, October 24th at 1:30 p.m. EDT, visit: to view the webinar AND then via phone (US Toll Free: 1-866-642-1665, enter participant code 499385) to access the audio for the meeting.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for the other three webinars:

  • December 5, 3013 @ 1:30pm EDT
    “Shared Values and Collective Impact”
  • January 23, 2014 @ 1:30pm EDT
    “Project Management for Student Leadership”
  • February 20, 2014 @ 1:30pm EDT
    “Sustaining Student Leadership on Civic Engagement Projects”

What We’re Reading: eCitizenship Special Issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs


Volume 2, Issue 1 of the eJournal of Public Affairs — a collaborative effort between Missouri State University and AASCU’s American Democracy Project was just released. This is a special issue dedicated to ADP’s eCitizenship Initiative and is guest edited by the Faculty Chair of eCitizenship, Mike Stout who is an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State.

This special issue contains a Guest Editor’s Introduction and three peer-reviewed articles that consider ways in which social media is being used to further civic learning goals. You’ll find abstracts of the introduction and the articles below and more information about ADP’s eCitizenship Initiative here.

Guest Editor’s Introduction

Guest Editor’s Introduction

Michael Stout, Ph.D.
Apr 29, 2013 • Vol 2, Issue 1
On occasion the eJournal of Public Affairs publishes special issues highlighting research and best practices related to American Democracy Project (ADP) initiatives. This special issue is organized around the ADP eCitizenship initiative and it highlights three projects that relate to ways social media technologies are being used to teach students civic skills on four college campuses in the United States.
Civil Dialogue for the Twenty-First Century: Two Models for Promoting Thoughtful Dialogue Around Current Issues on a College Campus

Civil Dialogue for the Twenty-First Century: Two Models for Promoting Thoughtful Dialogue Around Current Issues on a College Campus

Emma Humphries, Ph.D., Shelby Taylor and H. Anne Weiss
Apr 29, 2013 • Vol 2, Issue 1
This manuscript describes two models for promoting civil dialogue around important social and political issues on a college campus—Democracy Plaza at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and The Civil Debate Wall at the University of Florida (UF)— and examines the differing types of expression fostered by each platform, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. By doing so, it offers important insights for institutions of higher learning that seek to promote not just civil dialogue, but also a culture of civility and engagement, on their respective campuses. Whether armed with a budget of one million dollars or just one thousand dollars, campuses can and should create spaces for meaningful dialogue surrounding important issues.

iPolitics: Talking Government with the American Idol GenerationiPolitics: Talking Government with the American Idol Generation

William J. Miller, Ph.D.
Apr 29, 2013 • Vol 2, Issue 1
In 2008, Mark Bauerlein sent a shot across the bow of the Millennial generation, suggesting in The Dumbest Generation that no one in our country under the age of 30 could be trusted. Bauerlein warned that: Millennials “care about what occurred last week in the cafeteria, not what took place during the Great Depression…they heed the words of Facebook, not the Gettysburg Address.” Yet this should not be the case since the constant communication amongst their peer groups has made it so that “equipped with a Blackberry and laptop, sporting a flashy profile page and a blog…teenagers pass words and images back and forth 24/7.” In this article, I conduct a survey of Millennial college students to test their political knowledge and awareness in comparison to their understanding of pop culture. I then see how they respond to the unspoken challenge issued to them by Bauerlein.

Tomorrow’s People: Using Facebook to Advance Civic Engagement  and Global Learning in a First-Year Seminar

Tomorrow’s People: Using Facebook to Advance Civic Engagement and Global Learning in a First-Year Seminar

Carlton A. Usher II, Ph.D.

Apr 29, 2013 • Vol 2, Issue 1
This research examines the use of Facebook as an instructional tool in two first-year seminar courses during two consecutive years. The convergence of social media and in-class instruction throughout the semesters was examined to identify whether Facebook has positive utility in teaching and learning. The areas of convergence focused on two learning outcomes, global learning and civic awareness and engagement. In order to assess learning effectiveness and participation, student perception of the efficacy of convergence was collected using an automated response and data collection system. Additionally, pre- and post-course surveys, real-time assessment of learning goals, and a questionnaire on Facebook were used to assess Facebook utility. This research found a significant level of viability for Facebook in a first-year seminar course for students in transition. Accordingly this research offers the foundation for the use of Facebook as a pedagogical technique and how to best execute these learning opportunities. While research concerning Facebook utility appears to offer mixed assessment of value, these results are consistent with the ever-increasing evaluation that tends to offer a positive assessment of Facebook’s viability and effectiveness.

Want more democracy in your life? There’s an app for that!

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

American Legacy AppIn the 2004 film National Treasure, the hero Ben Gates waxes nostalgic about the Declaration of Independence (as he well should):

Of all the words written here about freedom, there’s a line here that’s at the heart of all the others: ‘But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security.’

The heroine of the film and Gates’ soon-to-be-something-or-other, Abigail, assures him that people don’t really talk like that anymore, and Ben comes back with this: “I know, but they think like it.”

However, thanks to the Center for Civic Education and iTunes, those of us who do think like that but a need a little help remembering our lines can give patriotic monologues just like Gates. As with everything else these days…there’s an app for that!

The American Legacy app available via iTunes gives users more than the Declaration of Independence at a tap of their finger; it presents an entire collection of documents that encompass essential ideas of American democracy. These foundational pieces are arranged chronologically beginning with the Mayflower Compact.

American Legacy includes the full text of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and features excerpts from The Federalist Papers, Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, George Washington’s “Farewell Address”, Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?,” Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among many others. Also included is an extensive index to the U.S. Constitution.

Priced at only $1.99, I couldn’t resist the chance to offer my own rendition of the Founding Fathers at a moment’s notice or be able to prove myself right during an argument about America without Google.

Install, please!

ADP Research: IUSB’s Elizabeth Bennion on effect of E-Mail Outreach on Voter Registration

Elizabeth Bennion, faculty member and ADP Campus Coordinator from Indiana University South Bend and her co-author David Nickerson, have published an article in Political Research Quarterly. The article is based on an research study involving 26 American Democracy Project campuses.

“The Cost of Conviencence: An Experiment Showing E-Mail Outreach Decreases Voter Registration” suggests that classroom-based registration is much more effective than email-based outreach. Although e-mail registration appeals proved ineffective (see article), student registration rates rose by 10% following professor-led presentations and by 9% following peer-led presentations on 16 AASCU campuses following a fully-randomized experimental protocol for classroom-based voter registration. Another article on their classroom findings is forthcoming.

The Cost of Convenience: An Experiment Showing E-Mail Outreach Decreases Voter Registration
By Elizabeth A. Bennion & David W. Nickerson


Lower transaction costs have shifted voter registration activities online and away from traditional modes of outreach. Downloading forms may impose higher transaction costs than traditional outreach for some people and thereby decrease electoral participation. A randomized, controlled experiment tested this hypothesis by encouraging treatment participants via e-mail to use online voter registration tools. The treatment group was 0.3 percentage points less likely to be registered to vote after the election. A follow-up experiment sent reminders via text message to randomly selected people who had downloaded registration forms. The treatment increased rates of registration by 4 percentage points, suggesting that reminders can ameliorate many of the negative effects of directing people to downloadable online registration forms.

voter registration, e-mail, online, mobilization, civic participation, experiment, procrastination

Published online before print September 24, 2010, doi: 10.1177/1065912910382304 Political Research Quarterly December 2011 vol. 64 no. 4 858-869

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