Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research

​Founders and Co-Directors

Elizabeth Bennion
Professor, Department of Political Science
Indiana University South Bend
Bio and Curriculum Vita

Cherie Strachan
Director, Women and Gender Studies Program
Co-Director, Citizen Engagement and Public Service Division
Professor, Political Science Department
Central Michigan University
Bio and Curriculum Vitae


Purpose

As political scientists, we are increasingly called upon to enhance our students' levels of politic​al knowledge, as well as to encourage them to more fully engage in civic and political life.   Demonstrating that our efforts, both in the classroom and across campus, are effective in transforming our students into active and informed citizens is a challenging task.  Yet, in the tradition of teacher-scholars, many political scientists now apply the research methods of our discipline to assess the effectiveness of our pedagogy and civic engagement efforts.

Most faculty members, especially those at teaching institutions, do not have the time or resources to conduct systematic collection of data beyond a single campus, or perhaps even a single classroom.  Yet cross-campus data collection is essential to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning (SotL) in our discipline. 

After hearing this concern expressed repeatedly over the years, at panels sponsored by the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Political Science Education Section and at APSA’s Teaching and Learning Conference (APSA-TLC), Professors Elizabeth Bennion and J. Cherie Strachan proposed an inter-campus consortium to address this problem.  Political scientists now have a way to cooperate with one another to conduct cutting-edge, cross-campus scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).  With the support of the Political Science Education Section, the Consortium is designed to facilitate the completion of high quality, multi-campus SoTL research assessing the effectiveness of political scientists’ efforts to develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary for effective citizenship in a democracy. 

When you join the Consortium you will have the opportunity to participate in one of our inaugural projects and to learn about new Consortium-sponsored projects in the future.  When you help collect data for a Consortium-sponsored project, you will have access to the raw data collected from your own campus or region, as well as a summary report of findings relevant to your campus.  In addition, you will be eligible to submit a project of your own to the Advisory Board.​​