January 2013 Newsletter

Official launch
This past summer saw the official launch of the OPOSSEM portal.  Though we are always trying to improve the site and increase content, we felt most major technical issues had been resolved and were very excited to launch the site to the wider community.  We did this primarily through announcements on discipline-based listservs. (A copy of the announcement is included below.) If you haven’t already, now is definitely the time to let your friends know about OPOSSEM. If you have additional ideas about getting the word out or want to submit a bug report, send them to admin@opossem.org.

Update your profile
In response to user feedback, OPOSSEM recently redesigned user profiles and the member directory. If you haven’t visited in a while, you might want to update your profile so your information is correct in the member directory.  

Post your syllabus
It’s the beginning of a new semester. Now’s a great time to post your methods class syllabus or even some lecture notes to the Instructional Materials area of OPOSSEM. Remember, you retain control all your contributed material, and can remove or update it at any time.

Follow OPOSSEM on Facebook and Twitter
The easiest way to stay up to date with OPOSSEM is to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll be posting updates during the academic year.  If you have any material you’d like to share with a wider audience, please bring it to the attention of the blog moderator, Chris Lawrence, at c.n.lawrence@gmail.com.

International Advisory Board
We have also established an OPOSSEM International Advisory Board to assist in advising and directing the continued development and growth of the OPOSSEM community. If you are interested in playing a more active role in the OPOSSEM community, please email Shane Nordyke at Shane.Nordyke@usd.edu.  

OPOSSEM  ListServ Announcement
Official launch of the Online Portal for Social Science Education in Methods (OPOSSEM).

OPOSSEM is an online portal to facilitate the sharing of various resources for teaching social science research methods among educators in secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate settings. The vision for the OPOSSEM Portal was a result of ongoing discussions at multiple APSA TLC conferences and the recommendations of the Undergraduate and Graduate Methods Committee of the Society for Political Methodology.  The development of the portal was supported by grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The portal is designed to be a one stop shop of pedagogical resources for those teaching research methods including lecture slides, problem sets, datasets, syllabi, and in-class activities that  are ready to be downloaded, customized if desired, and used in the classroom.  It is also designed to be a community of members that can answer questions, discuss ideas, post resources and share pedagogical or technological innovations to improve teaching outcomes or simply make the task of teaching research methods slightly less daunting.  Everything in the portal is free and made available through creative commons licenses.  

We encourage you to visit and explore the portal.  Specifically, you should check out the instruction materials available at http://opossem.org/instructional-materials to find resources that might be useful for your own classes or to find areas where you could contribute original content for the community.  We also encourage you to utilize the discussion forums for all of your methods questions or ideas that relate specifically to teaching research methods. Thinking about using a new stat platform or textbook next year and want to find out about others’ experiences in doing the same?  Start a new discussion thread here http://opossem.org/forum.  

We hope you will join and find useful our community of collaboration.  The project team includes Shane Nordyke (shane.nordyke@usd.edu), Jan Box-Steffensmeier (steffensmeier.2@polisci.osu.edu), Michelle Dion (dionm@mcmaster.ca), Bill Jacoby (jacoby@msu.edu), and Phil Schrodt (schrodt@psu.edu). If you have any questions or would like further information you can also contact Shane Nordyke at Shane.Nordyke@usd.edu.

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