By Patrick Riechert
Rather than write individual term papers, political science students built a website to show how presidential candidates used Twitter during the 2012 presidential primary
In Fall 2011, Professor Adrienne Christiansen’s Cyber Politics class studied the impact that the internet and social media have had on political campaigning in U.S. elections. Students in the class undertook an innovative, semester-long research project to test the claims of many political pundits that Twitter, the social media microblogging tool, is “revolutionary” or a “game changer” in politics. Working together in teams, class members analyzed thousands of “Tweets” produced by four presidential contenders during the 2012 presidential primary election.
Students in the course also embraced the web medium as they studied it. They used a variety of social networking tools in order to do their collaborative teamwork, including Twitter, Wordle, Diigo, Google Docs, and Trello.
The culmination of the course was a website that makes the class’ research findings available to the public (http://www.macalester.edu/~christiansen/twitter/)
The site presents a dynamic and visually accessible overview of how Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman used Twitter to create the impression of an “authentic” self, advertise their campaigns, and raise money.
December 1 2012Back to top
More Academics News
Seeking Better Solar Cells
Yifei Sun explored a new, more environmentally desirable solar cell material.
September 19 2016
Cancer Immunology Research
Her first-year course at Mac introduced Jaclyn Kline to immunology. Her curiosity led her to a summer of research at Mass. General and Harvard.
September 10 2016
Geometries of Molecules
Marla DeVault is researching atmospheric chemistry, supported by a Beckman Scholarship.
September 8 2016
Advice for First-Years
We asked Mac students to share their wisdom about starting college.
September 6 2016
Replacing Heavy Metals
In Professor Cao’s chemistry lab, student researchers are actively seeking organic replacements for hazardous heavy metals.
September 2 2016
Global Cardiac Care
Mac Sustainability Ambassadors Travel from India to Malaysia Exploring the Work of a Twin Cities-based Health NGO.
August 22 2016
Estrogen and Lung Cancer
We don’t yet have a cure for lung cancer, but Maren Bettermann ’16 brings us one step closer by investigating the role of estrogen.
August 15 2016
Where Ideas and Music Meet
A joint German studies/music course gives students a deeper understanding of Western European cultural history.
August 15 2016
Three 2016 Grads Become NIH Fellows
Less than 10 percent of applicants are selected. Three grads tell how Mac helped them grow as researchers.
August 8 2016
Macalester once had nursery school kids playing and learning at the Miss Stella Wood Center.
August 3 2016
President Rosenberg congratulating a Class of 2016 graduate. This column is drawn from remarks he made at that May 14 Commencement ceremony.
August 3 2016
Gender and Political Media
A political science major Rose Allen's honors project explores how gender affects media coverage in the current presidential race
August 1 2016