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College students are young, have little or no history of voting, and are residentially mobile, which makes them a population in great need of registering to vote. Universities have a civic, pedagogical, and legal obligation to register their students to vote. In 2006, we conducted a controlled experiment across 16 college campuses to test the efficacy of classroom presentations to increase voter registration. The 25,256 students across more than 1,026 classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) a control group receiving no presentation; (2) a presentation by a professor; and (3) a presentation by a student volunteer. Verifying registration and voter turnout from a national voter database, we found that both types of presentations increased overall registration by 6 percentage points and turnout rates by approximately 2.6 percentage points. These results demonstrated that universities can take simple steps to engage their students in politics.
This Short Review critically evaluates three hypotheses about the effects of emotion on memory: First, emotion usually enhances memory. Second, when emotion does not enhance memory, this can be understood by the magnitude of physiological arousal elicited, with arousal benefiting memory to a point but then having a detrimental influence. Third, when emotion facilitates the processing of information, this also facilitates the retention of that same information. For each of these hypotheses, we summarize the evidence consistent with it, present counter-evidence suggesting boundary conditions for the effect, and discuss the implications for future research. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–9)
This year's participants in the Civic Engagement II track agreed with
last year's participants that civic engagement is both a means and
an end. Active learning through community or political engagement
can provide students with a deeper understanding of political
science concepts while also helping them develop the skills they
need to become engaged citizens. Participants in this year's track
focused on how to assess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions
that students develop through coursework, internships, and
The seventh annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from February 5 to 7, 2010, with 224 attendees onsite. The theme for the meeting was “Advancing Excellence in Teaching Political Science.” Using the working-group model, the TLC track format encourages in-depth discussion and debate on research dealing with the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Community-based learning (CBL) reflects the principle that political
science courses should do more than simply teach students about
politics. As participants in the community-based learning track, we
believe that courses in our discipline should equip students with
the combination of knowledge, skills, and values required to engage
in a life of active citizenship. Designing a course that meets these
goals is not impossible. Community-based projects include several
different types of experiential learning, including:
service-learning, community-based learning, and community-based
research. We believe that all of these forms of learning about,
from, and with the community inspire and encourage students to live
an active political life.