Ray La Raja and Jesse Rhodes have received a 2011 Microsoft IMPACT Grant for Blended Learning. The $10,000 grant will allow La Raja and Rhodes to integrate new and innovative uses technology into PoliSci101, American Politics.
By incorporating rich, online content, videos, tutorials, and simulations into the course, the instructors hope to more fully engage students in intense analyses of politics. According to La Raja, "[S]tudents memorize concepts and ideas, but do not have many opportunities to actively evaluate and analyze how institutions do (and do not) work. Our objective is to integrate more active forms of learning...so students can begin to apply and understand what they learn in multiple contexts"
Similarly, they also intend to connect students with "real world" politics. "Our plan is to create online and group activities that tie in with current events and controversies and help students learn how to use traditional and social media to learn about politics. By stimulating civic learning and participation, we hope to help students develop lifelong habits of following politics and engaging as citizens," said Rhodes.
La Raja and Rhodes will begin transforming their course this summer, and new technologies will be integrated into the Fall 2011 course.
The IMPACT grant is adminstered by the Office of Faculty Development on campus and are generously funded by Microsoft’s Academic Evangelism Program, with additional support from CHFA, CSBS, CNS, and the Provost’s Office.
- Faculty News