The PoliSci U in Advanced Political Methodology is a cooperative program run between four participating CIC institutions (Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin-Madison). The program was created to provide advanced political methodology training to graduate students from the member institutions. The PoliSci U institutions invite you to learn about PoliSci U, peruse the past and present course offerings, read scholarly papers on past PoliSci U experiences, and take advantage of a centralized set of PoliSci U resources.
The PoliSci U institutions invite you to learn about PoliSci U, peruse the past and present course offerings, read scholarly papers on past PoliSci U experiences, and take advantage of a centralized set of PoliSci U resources.
About PoliSci U
In the 1995-96 academic year, an exciting experiment was conducted in distance education. In the fall semester, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, and Wisconsin universities participated in at least one of four interactive multi-site video presentations. In the spring, a class in Time Series Analysis was offered using the same technology with Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin Universities participating.
W. Phillips Shively, Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, was the impetus behind the project. He asked interested Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) political science departments to send representatives to a meeting at the 1995 Midwest Political Science Association annual conference to discuss the possibility of launching it. In the summer of 1995, the group met in Chicago with Roger Clark, Director of the CIC, and Michael Staman, President of CICnet. The project went forward with planning, technical, and monetary assistance from the CIC and the participating universities' departments, administrations, and technical staff. Testing for technical compatibility occurred over the summer.
The project was launched in the fall of 1995 with Chris Achen, Larry Bartels, Henry Brady, and John Freeman, all former presidents of the American Political Science Association's political methodology group, presenting their current research in a series of interactive video conferences.
The project was intended to build a larger community of scholars in quantitative methods, improve the quality of faculty and student work, and overcome a very practical problem: the expensive nature of graduate instruction in the area of quantitative methods (Freeman and Shively 1995). The project also served as a test for the practicality of multi-site interactive video teaching by people who are novices in using the technology. The long-term vision of the project includes a regular seminar series and regular offering of four advanced modeling classes on a rotating basis. John Freeman is a former director of the project, with Janet Box-Steffensmeier currently overseeing the PoliSci U program's efforts. The program coordinator is selected based on the recommendation of each of the participating department chairs.
Political methodology is a growing field. Because of the connections within this field that are fostered by the annual political methodology group summer meeting and the comparative advantage the departments of the CIC enjoy in this area, the project became a promising case study. See the current CIC Course Share Report [pdf].
The PoliSci U project now extends to regular course offerings. Additionally, PoliSci U continues to offer interactive colloquiua from political methodologists at the forefront of advanced quantitative methods.
Students, faculty, and program alums celebrated PoliSci U's 10th year anniversary at the annual Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago.
In February 2007, a local Champaign, IL, television station did a story on the PoliSci U /CIC CourseShare program (download and watch the video clip [wmv]).
An April 9, 2009 article discusses the growing use of CIC programs by students interested in specialized courses.
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