Posts Tagged 'Research'

CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement webinar today!

Friday, March 21, at 2 p.m. EST.

CIRCLE (the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement) recently received a grant to study college student voting rates.  260 universities and colleges have already signed up including 43 American Democracy Project member institutions.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) presents an unprecedented opportunity for your campus to learn in aggregate numbers:

  • How many of your students are eligible to register to vote
  • How many registered and/or voted, and where (locally or elsewhere)
  •  The way your students voted (regular or absentee ballot)

By participating in this study, your campus will also help build a national database for future research. CIRCLE will be working with de-identified student lists, so your students’ privacy rights are fully protected. This is not a survey!

If you are interested, you can also correlate voting with specific demographic information such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, field of study, and class level. CIRCLE has also been able to provide peer comparisons by Carnegie classification.

To join the study, you must sign up by April 10th 2014.

NSLVE is offering ADP campuses the chance to learn more about what you can do with this data and share what information you would like to know in the future. Take advantage of this opportunity and join this conversation by attending a free webinar TODAY, Friday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

To join the webinar:

For additional specifics, go to the NSLVE page and/or contact Nancy Thomas, NSLVE director, for more information.

CIRCLE Working Paper Examines Civics, Digital Badges and Alternative Assessments

CIRCLE LogoWith support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, CIRCLE published “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions” (March 2013) which explores digital badges and alternative assessments for civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. This working paper also considers ePortfolios, rubrics, games, simulations, and other assessment and learning tools that might expand options for those committed to improving civic education.

States are, to a greater extent, using multiple-choice-only tests that focus primarily on memorizing information, rather than demonstrating civic skills. Furthermore, assessments focus mostly on the history and geography of the United States; far fewer states assess students in world affairs or economics. Are we preparing and assessing students to be engaged citizens?

CIRCLE explores this question and the broader landscape of alternative assessments, here, in an online presentation.

For more information, go here.

What We’re Reading: CVP’s College Students and Voting report

It’s been 42 years since the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 with the 26th Amendment, yet challenges to student participation in the voting process are still prevalent.  To mark this anniversary, Campus Vote Project, a project of the Fair Elections Legal Network (and an ADP partner organization!), released “College Students and Voting: A Campus Vote Project Perspective.” The report details the challenges students faced and some of the ways those challenges were overcome in 2012. In the report, Campus Vote Project provides specific examples of some of the creative approaches from last year and what can be expected in 2013.

Over the past year Campus Vote Project has worked with administrators and student organizations on college campuses throughout the country to help students overcome a variety of barriers that often discourage them from voting. Through this experience, the project observed several trends in the student voting experience.campusvote_sm

In 2012, young adults, ages 18-29, made up almost 19% of the electorate. While this is a slight increase from 2008, when students move to a new community to attend college they often face obstacles to voting that can drive down participation. These include:

  • Not knowing voter registration rules and deadlines,
  • Not having acceptable ID for voter registration or voting purposes,
  • Confusion about where to vote,
  • Lack of transportation to the polls, and
  • Election officials or poll workers who are unaware or unsympathetic to student voting challenges.

In addition to new laws in 2011 and 2012, intimidation from elected officials and dissemination of incorrect information created barriers for students.

To overcome these challenges in 2012, students, administrators, faculty, voting rights advocates, and others worked together to educate students and provide information on deadlines, where to vote, and making sure they had the proper information so they were able to cast their ballot.

A copy of the report can be found here: http://bit.ly/ZNL46w

For more information go to: www.campusvoteproject.org

8 Myths about CIRCLE’s NSLVE: Has Your Campus Signed Up?

Back in November we shared information on this blog about CIRCLE’s new National Study on Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) in this blog post. A number of ADP campuses have since signed up to participate in this free study (no survey completion required). The deadline to participate is March 15, but ADP campuses are being given a one-week extension until March 22!

CIRCLE has revised their FAQ – it’s still long, but it’s clear.  And they’ve streamlined the process, recommending that campuses sign up for the basic study before the March 15 deadline, and then worry about whether they want to participate in a special study or tailor the data fields considered.

CIRCLE also contacted campuses to learn what barriers might prevent their participation.  Based on those responses, they are doing some “myth-busting.”  Here are a few things that CIRCLE heard, and their response to these concerns:

We don’t have time/don’t want to run another survey or assessment.

You don’t have to!  This is NOT a survey.

We don’t want to send CIRCLE our student list.

You don’t.  You send the authorization form to the National Clearinghouse, which already has your list, and they add voting records, de-identify it, and send it to us.

The system seems to protect student privacy.  Does it really?

It’s hard not to say to everyone, “trust us!”  But we worked hard with FERPA lawyers up and down the east coast, and it took us nearly four months to get it right. We don’t want to know who your students are or how an individual voted.  We want to study aggregate rates and patterns and give campuses interesting data..

We need IRB approval.

We can’t speak for individual campuses, but only one campus so far has felt the need to seek an exemption from their IRB.  Why?  Because CIRCLE will be working from de-identified lists. Reports contain aggregate data, not student lists (de-identified or not).

It’s hard to figure out who should sign the form.

Here’s who can sign: presidents, provosts, vice presidents, institutional researchers, and enrollment officers.  We’re keeping track of who signs most, and right now, it’s a dead heat between student affairs officers and institutional researchers.

We don’t want to deal with it now.  We’ll wait for the next round.

Campuses won’t get 2012 numbers for comparison if they wait.  It’s the comparisons with 2014 and 2016 that will make this information really valuable.

March 15 is too soon.  We can’t pull it off.

You have plenty of time  to download the form, find the right person to sign it, and follow the instructions for submission on the bottom.  The average turnaround, based on downloads-to-submission data, is three days. And ADP campuses are being given an extension until March 22!

We can’t just sign this.  We have to read everything and understand it.  And it’s complicated, and no one has the time.

Join an upcoming info session.  There’s one a week, and they run around 30 minutes, give or take a few.  Or email Nancy Thomas (nancy dot thomas at tufts dot edu) with questions. She’s happy to chat with campuses one-on-one.

What We’re Reading: Circle Working Paper #75

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

To coincide with its recent announcement regarding the formation of a nonpartisan and scholarly Commission on Youth Voting & Civic Knowledge, CIRCLE has re-released a November 2012 summary of existing research entitled, “Voting Laws, Education, and Youth Civic Engagement: A Literature Review.”

This working paper serves as an example of the kind of research CIRCLE will provide to the Commission and the public. Sample of findings include:CIRCLE Logo

  • Civic education boosts knowledge and engagement.
  • Election officials and agencies may be effective civic educators.
  • Making registration and voting more convenient has a modest impact on turnout.

For more information on the commission and updates on its work, click here.


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