Reading Time: 1 minuteAuthor: Emily Farris Texas Christian University
I am trying to convert my lectures online, and to come up with activities for students to engage with the content – to replace some discussion in my lectures usually. Stefan Kehlenbach, a PhD Candidate from University of California Riverside, saw my Open Secrets activity and offered his own (which is much better than mine!). Kehlenbach has previously taught Introduction to American Politics online and has generously offered his four activities to students.
The Open Secrets Site
He has students research interest groups using Open Secrets to find out how much money they spend and what they spend it on. Students investigate whether their interest groups have any “revolving door lobbyists” and what laws they lobbied for. The students write up their research in a blog post that they share with their classmates.
This assignment, along other assignments on the Declaration of Independence and Bill Tracking, is a great option if you are thinking about moving your classes online. After teaching online for several years, Kehlenbach has written his tips for teaching online. These exploratory assignments, as he points out, are a benefit to teaching online.
Online classes have their advantages. You can send your students to other locations for learning materials. To facilitate self-guided learning, I create exploratory assignments. To track the progress of a bill, students can go to websites. Students can also request optional material. – Stefan Kehlenbach