CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

CIRCLE E-Update March 2013

March 25th, 2013
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New CIRCLE Working Paper Examines Civics, Digital Badges and Alternative Assessments

With support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, CIRCLE recently published “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions,” which explores digital badges and alternative assessments for civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. This working paper also considers ePortfolios, rubrics, games, simulations, and other assessment and learning tools that might expand options for those committed to improving civic education.

States are, to a greater extent, using multiple-choice-only tests that focus primarily on memorizing information, rather than demonstrating civic skills. Furthermore, assessments focus mostly on the history and geography of the United States; far fewer states assess students in world affairs or economics. Are we preparing and assessing students to be engaged citizens?

We explore this question and the broader landscape of alternative assessments, here, in an online presentation.

Registration Open for 2013 Frontiers of Democracy Conference

Do you work on or think about issues around public engagement, deliberative and participatory democracy, collaborative governance, educating for democracy and civic learning, public work, building social capital or any form of strengthening democracy?

Join us at the Frontiers of Democracy conference, sponsored by Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, the Democracy Imperative, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium. Learn more about the conference and register here.

CIRCLE Evaluations Explore Interventions on Combating Polarization and Fear-Mongering in Politics

During the 2012 election, the Democracy Fund invested in a wide range of experiments to improve the quality of public discourse and to combat polarization and fear-mongering in politics. The Democracy Fund asked CIRCLE to evaluate six of these interventions and to share what we learned with the grantees and the field. Most of our evaluations are now complete, and we will disseminate the findings of broadest interest this spring. The grantees were the Annenberg Public Policy Center,, The Center for Public Integrity, The Columbia Journalism Review, George Washington University and AmericaSpeaks, and the Healthy Democracy Fund’s Citizens Initiative Review.

You can find more information on CIRCLE’s evaluation services on our website.

Registration Deadline for the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement Extended Until May!

CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, NSLVE, offers colleges and universities an opportunity to measure student registration and voting rates and to study the effectiveness of educational programs designed to increase civic learning and engagement in democracy. This study is easy, free, and does not involve any surveys: find answers to the most common myths about NSLVE here, and register via the CIRCLE website.

IARSCLE seeking proposals for 2013 Conference

Proposals are now being accepted for the aInternational Association for Research and Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSCLE), for the theme “Reinvigorating our Process of Discovery: Research Informing Practice in Service-Learning and Community Engagement.”

Stay connected to CIRCLE on facebook and twitter to learn more.

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