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Sample Class Session: Case Study Activity

Case Studies

Especially in Comparative Politics courses, I use case studies as ways for students to apply course concepts to real world contexts. These activities generally involve an element of independent research, visualized dataset to develop data literacy, and critical analysis questions. These are usually assigned as in-class activities so that I can identify and work individually with students who are struggling while students who excel can dig deeper. 

Below is an example of how case studies work in my courses on Canvas. 

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Sample Syllabus: POL 105 Comparative Politics

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the study of Comparative Politics, a subfield of Political Science. In this course, we will investigate how different political processes and phenomena affect different places and populations. Each week we will  journey through the regions of the world, exploring how issues political participation, representation, contention, and conflict appear within and across different populations. 

Each class section will include interspersed mini-lectures, discussions, and in-class activities. As this is a no cost OER course, all readings and resources will be made available on Canvas.   

Student Evaluation: 


15% Weekly Work: Required Readings, & In-Class Activities 

 5% Participation

20% Country Case Studies

15% Comprehension Checks

15% Read, Reflect, and Responses

10% Activities Developing Data Literacy

20% Final Project

Student Expectations & Keys to Success:

Complete assignments on time and take the time to be thoughtful with your responses.

Communicate early & often with questions or concerns.


Sample Schedule:

Our course will be organized into the following five units:

1. The Nation State & Nationalism

2. Democracy & Autocracy: Institutions & Accountability

3. Political Representation & Political Participation

4. Corruption, Contestation, & Conflict

5. Identity & Inequality

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply key concepts in comparative politics, including but not limited to nation-states, political representation, identity in politics, and conflict

  2. Explain and evaluate the significance of specific historical events or eras in the context of the political and economic development of countries

  3. Compare and contrast political institutions , paying particular attention to historical, political, economic, geographical, and ethical aspects of governance


Activities & Assignments

Case Studies are assignments which will require you to review course concepts and apply them to real-world contexts. You will choose a country, population group, region, law, or other context (which will be assigned) and do your own independent research to answer questions given to you.

Required Readings will be assigned each week from scholarly sources (academic articles & textbooks) and/or other content like policy papers, news sources, etc.. These readings are in addition to any lecture videos and information included in required readings may be on exams and comprehension checks.


Comprehension Checks are short and easy quizzes embedded in each module. They are usually multiple choice and worth few points. The goal of a comprehension check is for you to receive easy points as a reward for doing what is required in the course. These assessments also help me to see where students might be struggling so that I can review core concepts as needed. 


Format & Feedback

Within the Canvas format, feedback is given using comments on assignments. Some assignments are graded for completion rather than content. Students may request further feedback on any assignment during office hours. Late work will be accepted, but will not receive the same timely return or feedback as on-time submissions. If you are someone struggling with course content or time management, please reach out! I am happy to help!


Academic Honesty:

The following behaviors serve as an operational description of student violations of academic honesty: 

  1. The student takes or copies answers from another student or source or uses unauthorized materials during a test. 

  2. The student turns in an assignment (labs, art projects, homework, prewritten or purchased papers, or work downloaded from the Internet) which is not his/her own. 

  3. The student uses words or ideas which are not his/her own without acknowledgment of the source (plagiarism). 

  4. The student knowingly deceives an instructor with the intent to improve his/her standing in class. 

  5. The student submits the same paper or project previously submitted in another class without the permission of the current instructor. 

  6. The student depends upon tools or assistance prohibited by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments. 

  7. The student acquires, without permission, tests or other academic materials belonging to a member of the GCC faculty or staff.

When a student engages in academic dishonesty, faculty have the options of requiring the student to see a college counselor, and/or assigning a lower grade, including F or 0 on the assignment in question. (AR 5501)



Student Support

Please check out for additional Student Support Services. 

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