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American Government Across Time, Space, and Location
Unformatted Document Text:  11 be at the very least a perception of an overall difference between community colleges and universities. METHODOLOGY Sample This study assessed the impact of American Government 101 on college-aged students at two colleges in Southern Illinois. One of the institutions was a community college (JALC) and the other was a major state university (SIUC). The target population consisted of students enrolled in American Government 101 at the two institutions during the Fall, 2006 and Spring, 2007 semesters. Forty-six separate sections of American Government 101 were included in the study. There were actually 76 sections of the course taught during the time of the study. However, the scope of the study prevented the inclusion of night courses, block classes, and distance learning courses. Therefore, this study represents 60.52% of all American Government 101 sections offered during the term of this project. Four sections were offered online at JALC, while none were offered online at SIUC. The other 42 sections were offered throughout the week between the hours of 8a.m. and 3p.m. The Instrument A 74-item multiple choice assessment tool was developed by the researcher to measure the effects of American Government 101 on college students’ political knowledge, internal political efficacy, and confidence in government (Appendix A). Test fatigue and content validity were the two main concerns of the researcher in selecting the number of items on the assessment tool. Niemi and Junn (1998) measure the effects of the high school government course with a 150-item questionnaire, but others rely on a much more limited scope of questions (Langton and

Authors: Bryant, Jane.
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11
be at the very least a perception of an overall difference between community colleges and
universities.
METHODOLOGY
Sample
This study assessed the impact of American Government 101 on college-aged students at
two colleges in Southern Illinois. One of the institutions was a community college (JALC) and
the other was a major state university (SIUC). The target population consisted of students
enrolled in American Government 101 at the two institutions during the Fall, 2006 and Spring,
2007 semesters.
Forty-six separate sections of American Government 101 were included in the
study. There were actually 76 sections of the course taught during the time of the study.
However, the scope of the study prevented the inclusion of night courses, block classes, and
distance learning courses. Therefore, this study represents 60.52% of all American Government
101 sections offered during the term of this project. Four sections were offered online at JALC,
while none were offered online at SIUC. The other 42 sections were offered throughout the week
between the hours of 8a.m. and 3p.m.
The Instrument
A 74-item multiple choice assessment tool was developed by the researcher to measure
the effects of American Government 101 on college students’ political knowledge, internal
political efficacy, and confidence in government (Appendix A). Test fatigue and content validity
were the two main concerns of the researcher in selecting the number of items on the assessment
tool. Niemi and Junn (1998) measure the effects of the high school government course with a
150-item questionnaire, but others rely on a much more limited scope of questions (Langton and


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