Integrating Classroom and Online Instruction in an Introductory American Government Course

Integrating Classroom and Online Instruction in an Introductory American Government Course

Richard Engstrom
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-880-2.ch015
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This case outlines the author’s experience teaching a large Introduction to American Government course using a hybrid classroom/online approach. The benefit of adding a set of online modules to the course was that students were able to engage the material in ways that are more readily available in traditional, smaller sections of a course. The rationale behind each module, as well as the problems and successes that accompanied each of them, are presented. Finally, the technical and human challenges that accompany the approach and the overall benefits of adopting hybrid approaches to teaching and learning are discussed.
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Introduction to American Government is a class that is often required of undergraduate students in the United States. It is usually part of what is known as the “core curriculum,” the set of classes that college students must take as part of their program of study, regardless of their major or areas of interest. As citizens in a democracy, one assumes, some training in the details of that democracy is a useful component of the education we give to those who will participate in -and perhaps even lead- democratic institutions. Therefore, along with introductory courses in written communication, basic mathematics, and physical education, American students often find that they must satisfactorily complete a course that outlines the institutions and processes of American government. Indeed, several states require as a matter of law that students who receive an undergraduate degree from a public institution in their state successfully complete a course in American Government.

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