Implementing Campus-level Programming: Pathways for Online Civic Engagement
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In a year marked by social unrest and a global pandemic, the 2020 presidential election occurred within a context of polarization and incivility. An American Democracy Project (ADP) campus believed that two ways to offset these complications were teaching students how to maintain norms of civility and helping students gain political knowledge that positioned them to contribute to online political discussions. ADP used Web 2.0 tools, namely social media and a web conferencing platform, to host political civic engagement activities and to promote civil political participation. Written from the perspective of a campus ADP chair, this reflective essay draws upon (in)civility, undergraduate political engagement, and online political discourse bodies of literature to offer suggestions for experimenting with Web 2.0 tools as a way to encourage students’ political civic engagement. In doing so, educators learn techniques for helping students become civil, informed, and engaged citizens in a polarized era.
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