2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Undergraduate Research in Civic Intelligence

Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Douglas Schuler social informatics, computer supported cooperative work, computer science, software engineering
Fields of Study
community studies, computer science, sociology and study abroad

This learning opportunity requires considerable initiative and motivation and students will work with considerable autonomy. The opportunity is designed to allow students of various knowledge and skill levels to work with students, faculty, and others inside and beyond Evergreen who are engaged in real-world research and action in actual and potential projects. The program will help students develop important skills in organizational and workshop design, collaboration, analysis and interpretation, written and oral communication, and critical thinking skills. We also expect to focus on the development of online services, information, and tools, including civic engagement games and online deliberation.

Civic intelligence attempts to understand how "smart" a society is in addressing the issues before it and to think about – and initiate – practices that improve this capacity. It is a cross-cutting area of inquiry that includes the sciences – social and otherwise – as well as the humanities. Visual art, music, and stories, are as critical to our enterprise as the ability to analyze and theorize about social and environmental issues.

Although there are many ways to engage in this research, all work will directly or indirectly support the work of the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Laboratory (CIRAL). These opportunities will generally fall under the heading of "home office" or "field" work. The home office work will generally focus on developing the capacities of the CIRAL lab, including engaging in research, media work, or tech development that will support the community partnerships. The field work component will consist of direct collaboration outside the classroom, often on an ongoing basis. Students working within this learning opportunity will generally work with one or two of the clusters of topics and activities developed by previous and current students. The first content clusters that were developed were (1) CIRAL vs. homelessness; (2) environment and energy; and (3) food. In addition to a general home office focus cluster on institutionalizing CIRAL, another focused on media and online support.

We are also hoping to support students who are interested in the development of online support for civic intelligence, particularly CIRAL. This includes the development of ongoing projects such as e-Liberate, a web-based tool that supports online meetings using Roberts Rules of Order, and Activist Mirror, a civic engagement game, as well as the requirements gathering and development of new capabilities for information interchange and collaboration.

Normally students taking this option will have worked with Doug Schuler previously or are otherwise familiar with CIRAL and the idea of civic intelligence. Students who are interested in type of work and have not met those informal requirements are encouraged to take the Social Innovation and Civic Intelligence program in 2013-14.

Advertised Schedule
4:30-6p Wed for team meetings; other work done at mutually arranged times
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During
Evening and Weekend