Second Flameside Chat recaps general election results

Posted by Centre News in News, Politics 29 Oct 2014

Midterm Elections Flameside Chat PortraitA second Flameside Chat, hosted by the staff of the Centre College alumni affairs office, is planned the day after the general election, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Set to debrief viewers on the outcomes of the election, particularly Kentucky’s hotly contested Senate race, are Dan Stroup, Pierce and Amelia Harrington Lively Professor of Politics and Law, Ben Knoll, assistant professor of politics, and Lia Rohr, visiting assistant professor of politics. (Above, from left: Dan Stroup, Lia Rohr, and Ben Knoll)

Flameside Chat is an exciting new interactive, online learning experience that gives viewers the opportunity to have a classroom experience by traveling no farther than their computer. Like the virtual equivalent of a real classroom, viewers can submit comments and questions in real time via the Hangouts app or Twitter, and they will appear in the comment window or may be shared by a moderator. The first episode of Flameside Chat was presented in September by John M. and Louise Van Winkle Professor of Sociology Beau Weston on the topic of how you can be a happy person and contribute to a happy society. That episode is available on YouTube.

The new Flameside Chat is sure to be a lively one.

“The Senate election in Kentucky promises to be close as does the national contest for control of the Senate,” Stroup says. “The contest for control of the Kentucky House of Representatives should also be close, and much could turn on the outcome. These races should give us much to talk about, but it won’t be clear what we’ll be saying until the returns are in.

“We will be trying to figure out how government might change (if at all) after the elections,” Stroup continues. “Exit polls should be available by then, so we’ll also be trying to figure out what the results tell us about a changing American electorate.”

Knoll has similar expectations.

“Most of my ‘talking points’ will depend to a large extent on what happens on Election Day,” Knoll says. “However, I might briefly talk about general patterns of midterm elections and to what extent this year’s results matched what would be expected based on historical patterns. And, like Dan, I expect that the topic of what we can expect for the next two years will be a significant part of the discussion.”

The bonus for the professors will be engaging viewers in a new venue.

“It’s always fun to reconnect with former students and engage in an academic conversation,” Stroup says. “Homecoming is one of my favorite days of the year! There are few things for me that are more fun than the personal interaction between students and teachers in an actual classroom, but the virtual classroom could certainly have its uses and I’m looking forward to the experience.”

Kristi Burch, Centre’s academic technology specialist, has worked closely with the staff of alumni affairs to make Flameside Chats very much like an actual classroom by using advances in technology. Viewers will be given the opportunity to submit questions in advance and also live during the broadcast.

“The Hangouts app has a recording and live streaming option, which automatically pushes the broadcast to YouTube for live streaming and commenting,” Burch says. “Up to 100 viewers can watch via a link on Google+ or YouTube and submit comments for faculty to answer during their talks. It is very much interactive. They can also tweet @CentreAlumni with the hashtag #flameside, and we will try to incorporate those comments and questions through the moderator.”

An email will be distributed to alumni as scheduled Flameside Chats events approach, and information and links will be posted on the Centre College Alumni Facebook page and via @CentreAlumni on Twitter. For those unable to participate in the live chats, recorded versions of the broadcasts will be available on YouTube and also posted on Centre’s website.

by Cindy Long

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail