Sunday, April 12, 2015

Caucus 101: Educating the world about Iowa caucuses -Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press Citizen

Steffen Schmidt has a voracious educational appetite. The Iowa State University political science professor, who answers to the nickname "Dr. Politics," says he often finds himself digging into two or three MOOCs — massive open online courses — at a time. But he usually treats such online educational opportunities as scholastic snacks rather than full intellectual meals. Schmidt is working to make that user-friendliness a key component of the MOOC he is developing about the subject he knows best: the role of the Iowa caucuses in the presidential nomination process. When the course goes live in September, the Iowa caucuses MOOC will be ISU's first official massive online offering. To create the course, Schmidt has been working for more than a year with ISU Web designers, technicians, videographers, online curriculum writers and other experts. He touts it as a "short, fun and free" discussion on the past, present and future of Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

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