Digital Portfolio: POLS 8980 Online Course

POLS 8980 Campaign Organization and Management: Campaigns and Elections in the U.S.

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Gershon
TA: Kristina LaPlant


This class will examine contemporary American campaigns and elections. The goal of this course is to provide students with an overview of the critical normative and academic questions in political science regarding campaigns and elections in the U.S. In particular, we will focus on candidates, campaign organizations, electoral outcomes, media coverage, campaign events, voter turnout and vote choice. Our readings will include pieces from national, local, presidential and midterm elections.1 The primary questions we will seek to explore include (but are not limited to): Why and when do candidates run for office? How do candidates maximize their chances at winning through campaign messaging, media coverage, political events, voter outreach and fundraising? When and why do Americans participate in electoral politics? Ultimately, what factors shape electoral outcomes?

Course Introduction Video

Creating a “Course Introduction” video for online classes is a useful tool instructors can use to emphasize learning objectives, explain assignments, and also personalize the students’ learning environment. This video serves as the alternative to the introductory lectures of in-person courses in which the instructor discusses assignments, procedures, and expectations. In this video, the course objectives are illustrated via PowerPoint and voice over. Text and visual cues are utilized to reinforce the instructor’s expectations for students in the digital classroom.

Guidelines for Literature Review

Creating a “Guidelines for Assignment” video is a critical component of teaching online. These videos replace pages of guidelines, formatting specifications, and grading rubrics for a more streamlined discussion about the assignment. Textual cues and colorful annotations are utilized to hold the student’s attention while reiterating key aspects of the assignment.

Weekly Recap Video

“Weekly Recap” videos are a great way for instructors to check-in with students in a digital environment. Instructors can utilize these videos for a myriad of purposes such as: introducing upcoming topics, highlighting exemplary student work, addressing areas in need of improvement (e.g. discussion board posts), answering FAQs, or reiterating assignment deadlines.

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