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Model Capstone Exercise to Incorporate Global Perspective into Amer Gvt GE Courses
Unformatted Document Text:  engagement overall in classes experiencing this capstone exercise seem significantly increased, however quantitative analysis is lacking to document this perception. As part of the overall course curriculum, this instructor often pulls in experts to give short guest lectures on specific topics. As example, in Fall, 2007 as part of the “interest group” component of the American Government course, a representative of “All of Us or None,” a national non-profit organization of prisoners, former prisoners and felons whose mission is to combat the many forms of discrimination faced as the result of felony convictions, was asked to share her experiences. Knowing beforehand of this capstone exercise, the representative was pre-warned and thus prepared to speak to immigrants’ experiences in the California penal system, replete with statistics, resources and a battery of multimedia tools. The class, then, received from an ancillary authority, other than the instructor, information to further develop their research models and ideas. Students are given time at the end of each class session (usually 20 to 30 minutes) to work together as a team to coordinate their studies. This allows students time to build a cohesive team and, with little encouragement, often opt to form study groups outside formal class hours to conduct their studies. In the on-line offering, instructor and student contact is maintained via class email and/or message boards with threaded discussion. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions as often as daily and at least weekly. The instructor monitors discussions daily and contributes as often as several times per day and at least multiple times per week. Optionally, students and/or instructor can communicate via one-on-one email, class Chat Room, instant messaging, and telephone. Instructor also optionally chooses to utilize audio and/or video communications with students. In most cases, face-

Authors: Kiraly, Michael.
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engagement overall in classes experiencing this capstone exercise seem significantly
increased, however quantitative analysis is lacking to document this perception.
As part of the overall course curriculum, this instructor often pulls in experts to
give short guest lectures on specific topics. As example, in Fall, 2007 as part of the
“interest group” component of the American Government course, a representative of “All
of Us or None,” a national non-profit organization of prisoners, former prisoners and
felons whose mission is to combat the many forms of discrimination faced as the result of
felony convictions, was asked to share her experiences. Knowing beforehand of this
capstone exercise, the representative was pre-warned and thus prepared to speak to
immigrants’ experiences in the California penal system, replete with statistics, resources
and a battery of multimedia tools. The class, then, received from an ancillary authority,
other than the instructor, information to further develop their research models and ideas.
Students are given time at the end of each class session (usually 20 to 30 minutes)
to work together as a team to coordinate their studies. This allows students time to build
a cohesive team and, with little encouragement, often opt to form study groups outside
formal class hours to conduct their studies.
In the on-line offering, instructor and student contact is maintained via class email
and/or message boards with threaded discussion. Students are encouraged to participate
in class discussions as often as daily and at least weekly. The instructor monitors
discussions daily and contributes as often as several times per day and at least multiple
times per week. Optionally, students and/or instructor can communicate via one-on-one
email, class Chat Room, instant messaging, and telephone. Instructor also optionally
chooses to utilize audio and/or video communications with students. In most cases, face-


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