How can you use this game in your class? The website and game can be used minimally or maximally. Some instructors are using it as a point of discussion for the election or for extra credit. Other instructors are using it as a shared experience for their class. Their students are working in groups to research the elections (3-4 races each) with each student making their own picks in October based on the group’s research. Others have students doing an in-depth background on particularly interesting candidates, making campaign ads to highlight their biography, or producing fact-sheets for the class to reference. See example assignments and worksheets below for more detailed ideas. Regardless of how instructors use the site, student players are able to compete against others from around the country. That is fun. Fun can lead to interest and learning.
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goals for student engagement
- Students will hopefully have fun with something they do not consider fun. In doing so, they will get acquainted with how experts think and talk about elections in the United States. Students will learn ways in which elections in different states are tied to one another, and how they are independent of one another.
- Students will learn how to consume higher-order information about elections. Not simply the quantitative forecasts and models, which can sometimes feed into a horse-race understanding of American politics, but also with the qualitative information students will get by reading about the different elections in the news. The goal is to get students to want to be surrounded by higher quality information about elections, and give them the tools to understand this information.
- Students will learn about candidates they may have never heard of. They will focus on places they never think about. They will see how our system of government comes together geographically, and how different places produce different candidates and officeholders and, hopefully, they will see how all of these different people will come together to serve in congress in the coming years.
- We want students to understand why we (political scientists and government teachers) love elections. We want to give them a little taste of what it’s like to study our electoral system.
coming soon: expert picks, student breakdowns of individual elections, and more…