Tuesday, November 5th, 2024

This is Election Day in the United States, and it is an historic Presidential Election for many reasons. 

But did you know that there are many many other candidates and issues up for voting as well?

These local and state level candidates and issues will play a much larger role in everyone’s lives in this country as well as around the world.  

Join us for a class that will offer structure, political science tools, and a brave space to engage with topics around this momentous event.

Class Overview

Class Dates

September 9 - November 17th, 2024

Age Range


Class meeting information

As a Guided Course, this class has no weekly live meetings. This class includes 30 minutes of live scheduled "office hours" interaction with instructor at a time mutually agreed upon.

Learning Objectives

  • Engage with the 2024 U.S. Election with structure and guidance
  • Develop tools appropriate for analyzing and researching political topics
  • Understand the role that elections play in the larger landscape of democratic societies and politics
  • Learn about how policies like registration laws, the Electoral College, first-past-the-post affect the process of elections
  • Practice articulating and discussion politics and elections in a scholarly, non-inflammatory way that encourages constructive discourse
  • Common Core Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Common Core Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. (varies based on assignments and format chosen)


  • Learners will need a computer with internet access to utilize the materials provided on Teachable.
  • Video and audio resources will be used for this class.
  • Learners will be expected to have basic access to news and media sources. A subscription to a mainstream, reliable news source is recommended, but not required.
  • Learners will need to be able to use Discord (available as a free computer and smartphone application) for interaction with peers during the course
  • Learners should be able to open and view PDF documents, access online articles, and create documents. A Google Drive account is recommended for Google Docs, but other options are acceptable for assignments.
  • Email will be the primary "official" feedback and administrative communication channel.

Schedule (tentative):

The course starts on Sep 9th (Monday) and ends on Nov 17th (Sunday night).

Weekly content includes: overview of current events by instructor, context for assignment, assignment information, guidance for supplementary activities.

Assignments will be assigned on Monday and will be due the following Sunday night. 

Feedback will be returned within 3 working days.

Final projects will be returned with feedback within a week.

Course Detailed Information: 

This is a Guided Class (no live meetings, online scheduled assignments and lectures) that will provide a framework for following the upcoming 2024 General Election season, culminating in Election Day on Tuesday, November 5th, 2024

The focus of this class will be on encouraging engagement with local politics and issues, such as: town/city, county, state level races, and ballot issues. Congressional races (House of Representatives and Senate) will also be emphasized. While we will acknowledge the status of the Presidential race, the greatest political and social leverage comes from local races and representation at the federal level through Congress, so these will be our main focus.

As a U.S. centric class, learners will choose the area they live as the focus of their research and assignments. For example, a learner will be responsible for update the rest of the class on the status of their Senatorial races and for educating about issues in their local community (municipal, county, etc). Additionally, students will choose a state of their choice to follow issues in to compare/contrast with their locality and to learn about a different part of the country.

Students who do not live in the United States will get to choose a location to focus on with guidance from the instructor. This will enable classmates to share and educate each other about issues affecting them where they are to show the complexity of political issues. Impacts on and influence by politics in other nations may be included as part of discussion where relevant.  

Because this is a current events class, please be ready to be flexible and responsive to sudden changes in topics, breaking news, and other unexpected events. Be aware that content in this course may touch on difficult issues; please contact the instructor proactively if accommodations need to be made regarding certain general topics.

You may enroll in the base class (no grade, feedback on assignments) or the graded class (grade provided, evaluation on assignments, stricter deadlines and requirements) for an added price. If choosing the graded class, we will discuss grading requirements for your needs and agree upon the standards before the class begins.

Participation Requirements:

Learners will be expected to participate in at least three (3) Discord discussions each week. 

This includes: 

  • Sharing from your assignment this week, usually an update on a local race or ballot issue with effective analysis and data, with sourcing. 
  • Responding substantively to other learners’ posts (amount TBD based on enrollment)
  • Local news coverage and/or commentary about a race or ballot issue. 

A template will be provided when the class starts as a rough guideline for what is expected in these posts. 

Assignments / Grading: 

The basic enrollment for this class will not include grading for assignments, but will include general feedback when assignments are submitted on time. Late assignments may not receive feedback. Learners are responsible for meeting deadlines and for reaching out if extensions need to be requested (this is part of the metacognitive skills development of this course).

Enrollment in the graded option will include a consultation before the course begins about achievement goals and grading requirements for the learner. 

Assignment types will include: 

  • Local race / issue tracking: report on, analyze, and/or offer an informed prediction regarding a local political race or issue. This is a way for learners to learn from each other and to practice presentation skills.
  • History and context of a political issue on the ballot: research, collect reliable sources, and show connections between past history of an issue and how it is currently being voted on. 
  • Voting systems/processes analysis: report on, analyze, and provide context on a process or system of voting that is relevant to the current election season. Examples of these can include: gerrymandering, redistricting, ranked-choice voting, Electoral College math. 
  • Media analysis: Choose one or more pieces of media that are reporting on the election to analyze and evaluate, such as for accuracy, bias, editorializing, advocacy, or education. 

Final project: 

Final projects for this class will revolve around tracking outcomes of issues/candidates you have followed through the class, as well as looking at how the pieces fit into the whole. 

Format/mode of project will be decided collaboratively by learner and instructor. 

Examples of final projects could include:

  • Make predictions for outcomes on Election Day based on your work in the class
  • Track election coverage and write/share effective commentaries
  • Review election results locally and federally
  • “What’s next?”: do a post-mortem analysis and choose three issues that you could work on locally to help prepare for the next election. 
  • “What went wrong?”: what were some issues regarding elections that happened, and how did people react to them? What were causes?

Social Norms and Support Needs: 

Social Norms:

Because the topic of this class, and this particular election cycle, is controversial and emotionally “hot,” we will strive to foster a constructive educational “brave space”. 

Some general norms for this class include: 

  • Respect different opinions
  • While connecting a position on issues to morality is acceptable, there needs to be a focus on the issues, not on people (especially fellow learners), and there must be openness to valid alternative positions
  • No campaigning for a particular candidate or issue. Presenting arguments for/against in an academic context is acceptable, as is a reasonable amount of personal disclosure, “I support this issue because [reasons].”
  • Everyone is responsible for not passing on misinformation or disinformation. Fact check sources, and cross-reference to reliable/trustworthy sources where possible. Provide context for uncertain sources (“This was discussed on tiktok, and I haven’t been able to find other sources supporting this yet. What do we think about this?”)
  • Do not use ChatGPT or similar LLM (large language model) (also inaccurately called “A.I.”) for assignments. This is against Dayla Learning policy and learners may be removed from the class with no refund. 
  • Assertions, especially ones resembling political propaganda/influence tactics, such as “both parties are the same” will be interrogated through Socratic Method as part of learning critical thinking skills.

Support Needs:

Please contact the instructor if you have specific support needs or have questions about this class's fit with your learner's level or needs.

Note on class interaction:

Discord is required for this course. This platform allows for asynchronous, controlled interactions among learners with instructor supervision. This platform also offers practice with digital community literacy. If Discord cannot be used, please contact the intructor regarding reasonable accommodations.

Learners will be expected to have basic self-management and emotional management capabilities for this course.

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