2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Civic Intelligence Research and Action Laboratory


Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012 quarters

Douglas Schuler social informatics, computer supported cooperative work, computer science, software engineering , John Baldridge (S) geography
Fields of Study
communications, community studies, geography, media studies and sociology

The Civic Intelligence Research Action Laboratory (CIRAL) program, launching in fall 2011, will integrate theory and practice in an ongoing way.  We will undertake to better understand civic intelligence while exploring ways that we can collaboratively cultivate civic intelligence.  Devoted to the theory and practice of civic intelligence, the program will evolve into a type of real-world "lab" with student leadership roles that would normally be reserved for graduate students.  A significant part of the program will ultimately be devoted to working with people and organizations that are local (including those in Thurston county but also at Evergreen itself) as well as those outside of the region or even the country.  The program will be offered every quarter for at least two years, but ideally will continue to be offered for several years.  Students can elect to take the program multiple times.  This is intended to be a long-term enterprise that promotes long-term collaboration between Evergreen students and communities around the world.  Our plan is to develop structures that aren't beholden to the academic schedule.  We plan to use this perspective to guide our own work.  For example, we try to avoid setting goals in advance (for launching projects, etc.) that align themselves specifically to academic quarter boundaries.

Part of our work fall quarter will be looking at what students developed in spring 2011, including the first draft of a freely-available, Open Text Book on civic intelligence.  We will explore the meaning of civic intelligence, review examples and counter-examples of civic intelligence in order to inform our preliminary planning.  We will read texts from a variety of disciplines including sociology, geography, political science, media studies, and cognitive science, among others.  Students will be alert to examples of civic intelligence and will make this information more widely available. 

In winter quarter, we will continue the exploration of what types of projects we should pursue and how to do so.  This probably means that we will begin communicating with some organizations.  Students will work in teams to formulate proposals for civic intelligence projects. 

In spring quarter, we hope to actually establish working arrangements with projects, and John Baldridge will join as an additional faculty member. John will integrate diverse approaches and perspectives from geography and other social sciences into the program, including mapping, social science methodologies, place-based institutional analysis, and game theory/design.   

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Wed, 10a-5p Sat (four Saturdays per quarter, fall dates Oct. 1, 15, Nov. 5, Dec. 3 )
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Offered During
Evening and Weekend