Doing Sociology, Learning Objectives, and Developing Rubrics for Undergraduate Research Methods (2023)
The research project assignment can create meaningful opportunities for students to apply sociological concepts. For grading these projects, assessment rubrics are useful pedagogical tools to evaluate students’ abilities in achieving course learning objectives. In this study, I analyzed final research papers collected over multiple semesters in my undergraduate Methods of Social Research course. My goals are to (1) evaluate the grading rubric’s effectiveness in enabling students to meet course objectives and (2) identify improvements in students’ outcomes from revisions to the rubric over time. Findings indicate that rubrics can provide students the information needed to apply course concepts to their work and that rubric revisions are necessary to ensure validity, reliability, and equity across grading. In conclusion, I provide suggestions for implementing a semester-long research project assignment and initiating iterative revisions to rubric criteria.
In this study, we examined representations of race and gender in popular U.S. video games presented in Let’s Play videos on YouTube. We also investigate how Let’s Players, who are viewed as cultural authority to the gaming community, reacted to these representations. After filtering from a comprehensive list of Black characters from contemporary video games, we identified ten characters and searched on YouTube for associated Let’s Play videos. From our observations of the videos, we found that Let’s Players further co-opted Black culture within their videos and exhibited colorblind rhetoric. In addition, we found that the Black characters in these video games mirrored stereotypical tropes historically found in other forms of media. Black men were often portrayed as criminals, strong athletes, or minstrel characters, while Black women were portrayed as sapphires or jezebels. To increase the number of Black characters that do not adhere to these problematic tropes, we present support for increased efforts toward equity and inclusion from gaming executives and consumers alike.
Palestinian-Israeli land conflicts are rooted in the United Nations Resolution of 1948 declaring the statehood of Israel and causing forced displacement of Palestinians from their ancestral homes. Israel’s fascist and settler-colonialist practices have violated basic human rights for generations of Palestinians, including the current generation of Palestinian young adults: the Jil Oslo. In this paper, I discuss the traumatic effects of Israeli law, and the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in influencing conditions. I also discuss the various forms of resistance and activism among the Jil Oslo in Palestine and abroad. I conclude with a call for increased coalition building aimed at the fight for an independent Palestinian state.