The last course module includes political activity and issues that affect all Americans — participation, public opinion, and media. All three will contribute to and/or undermine your political education and thinking and your obligations as a citizen in a democracy. The purpose of this assignment is for you to take an active role in your political education.
The topic of the last paper is “The Internet as One Approach to Political Education”. The concept here is not that one should rely completely on the Internet to learn about American politics. Rather it is that the Internet provides one important and accessible vehicle for students to take actively design and control their knowledge about American political life. This, in turn, offers one form of socialization and political action that students can design, control, and amend over time.
One critical purpose of the Internet as media is to compete for attention and money. Media can both educate and misinform. We are interested in the Internet as a vehicle for factual and useful knowledge about our political life.
Your paper should be organized as follows:
*Introduction (written last so you know what you are introducing)
*Identify, define, and discuss two important and generally different federal policy areas and/or issues THAT MATTER MOST TO YOU. Students can select broad policy areas, such as civil liberties and economic or domestic or foreign policy, and/or specific policy issues, such as immigration or voting rights or the federal budget. The idea here is that students identify policies and issues that matter most to them. The assumption is that high level of interest increases one’s desire to know a great deal more. Explain why they matter so much to you.
*Then, develop, describe, and implement your approach and strategy that, second, enables you to identify/describe/analyze (a) EIGHT superior, fact-based, and robust web sites for each of the two policy areas or issues and (b) TWO sites for each of the two policy areas or issues that are some combination of propaganda, misinformation, deception, and/or distortion. Identify and explain the criteria you use to distinguish legitimate, fact-based sites from those that are not. This section should be divided into two subsections according to the two policy interests. Thus, Policy/Area #1 with 8 and 2 sites, then Policy/Area #2 with 8 and 2 sites. No Wikipedia or similar site can be included in the TWENTY identified web sites.
*Conclusion that (a) identifies the three most important things that you learned from this assignment, (b) evaluates the usefulness of this assignment in enhancing your learning about American politics, and, if appropriate, (c) suggests one way to improve this assignment.