This resource will enable students to: enhance their understanding of the US Presidential election using a visual, map-based approach; deconstruct the simple red state/blue state dichotomy used by the mass media; improve their geographic information literacy; identify patterns and trends that impact the election process; discover quantitative data sources that are useful for political and social analysis; and explore different election scenarios with an interactive map. This resource will enable faculty to supplement and enhance instruction about the upcoming election with materials to integrate into their course work, and help students conceptualize the election in a visual format. Maps for the project were designed in ArcGIS 9.2 using the US Census Bureau's Generalized Cartographic Boundary Files. State-level election data was collected from the US Federal Election Commission's Online Library. County-level election data was downloaded from the Geovisualization of the 2004 Presidential Election project at Penn State, and was improved with minor additions and error corrections. The interactive 2008 election prediction map is being licensed from Creative Ventures LLC and is copyrighted. (from MERLOT description)
Type of Material:
* Supplement and enhance instruction about election process with materials to integrate into their course work.
* Help students conceptualize the election in a visual format
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will: enhance their understanding of the US Presidential election using a visual, map-based approach; deconstruct the simple red state/blue state dichotomy used by the mass media; improve their geographic information literacy; identify patterns and trends that impact the election process; discover quantitative data sources that are useful for political and social analysis; and explore different election scenarios with an interactive map.
Target Student Population:
Ideal for policital science students or others with a general interest in the U.S. political process
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A basic understanding of the U.S. electoral process would be beneficial but is certainly not required.
This is a very visual and extremely well thought out tutorial. Data in the tutorial is well written and easy to understand. A bibliography included with the tutorial provides resources for further exploration. The turial provides useful documentation elaborating on the tutorials creation (e.g., copyright, authors, software used, etc.)
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Identifies learning objectives and meets these objectives. The visual representations and interactive maps really help to demonstrate the concepts presented.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This tutorial provides just the right amount of data for a tutorial. The interactive electoral map is an excellent way to show the strategic nature of presidential elections. The site works well to reinforce the importance of geographical concepts and could be used to model the often geographical/graphical nature of data.
The text feels a bit small a cramped. It would be nice to have the text portions of the tutorial formatted to provide a better reading experience.
Other Issues and Comments:
An excellent resource for political science students.
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