As I noted in my first post about Perusall and in previous comments about teaching comparative politics, students have not demonstrated a sufficient level of engagement with or understanding of journal articles I’ve assigned. While collaboratively annotating journal articles ought to help solve this problem, I’m hoping to make the learning benefits of the process more transparent to students by connecting each Perusall assignment to one of my traditional reading responses.
Here is the prompt for all of the Persuall assignments:
Annotate the article to answer these questions:
- Article’s subject—what is the question, puzzle, or problem examined?
- What and where is the thesis?
- What are the independent variables (causes) and how are they examined?
- How are the independent variables related to the dependent variable (effect)?
- What is the conclusion of the author(s)?
Here is an example of a reading response — the journal article in the Perusall assignment is at the top:
- Tarek Masoud, “Why Tunisia?” Journal of Democracy 29, 4 (October 2018): 166-175.
- Between Us, “Libya: Violence to Votes,” Al Jazeera, 5 January 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/program/between-us/2022/1/5/libya-violence-to-votes.
- Joshua Hammermarch, “How Egypt’s Activists Became ‘Generation Jail’,” The New York Times, 14 March 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/magazine/how-egypts-activists-became-generation-jail.html.
- BBC Newsnight, “Crushing Dissent in Egypt,” 22 February 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_GZ8EtOyh4.
- Adeel Malik, “The Economics of the Arab Spring,” Al Jazeera, 13 Oct 2011 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/10/20111010142425419849.html.
Why did the Arab Spring “succeed” in Tunisia but “fail” in Egypt and Libya?
The Perusall annotations and the reading response are due an hour before the start of the class in which the material will be discussed.
In today’s class, the first of the semester, students will be doing an ungraded practice run at using Perusall. The first graded Perusall assignment, along with its associated reading response, is due Wednesday morning. We’ll see how this goes.