POLI308D 2018 & 2019: A radical course design to build the UVoteBC.ca and the Elect2019.ca websites

In 2018 and again in 2019, 45 students collaborated to build the UVoteBC.ca website (2018) and the Elect2019.ca sites (2019). The first site provided information and guidance for citizens as they made their decision in the BC Electoral Reform Referendum of 2018. Elect2019.ca was a set of 6 student-built websites to inform voters and analyze the 2019 Canadian Federal Election.

in Fall 2018

(scroll down for Fall 2019)

We created UVoteBC.

Students defined a Class Constitution, setting values for work ahead.

Each student kept an Activity Log to document and reflect on what they were doing, including reading, writing, communicating, meeting, strategizing, editing, doing outreach, and so on.

Groups formed around functional areas of the site:

  • Media monitoring and fact checking
  • Making descriptions of and research on the systems accessible
  • A "How to Vote Quiz"
  • A Podcast with the voices of other students
  • Design of the site
  • Tracking party and MLAs' positions
  • Case Studies on other countries' electoral systems
  • and Memes!
  • Media outreach and publicity

In every case, the groups fell short of their goals. Some by more than others. Most of this was down to communication and time-commitment. It is very, very challenging to get groups of 3-9 students to produce material together, given that their schedules are so variable.

In the end, a lot of instructor and TA intervention to keep the groups on track was necessary.  


In Fall 2019

Students created six separate websites under the banner of Elect2019.ca.


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Learning Significance

  1. This kind of activity needs a lot more structure to keep the groups on track delivering each component of their project in sequences. Accountability needs to be fostered by regular reporting in the group and outside it. The instructor and TA must monitor communications and respond quickly.

    Mechanisms must be built for students to collaborate and deliver timely contributions despite the many other things going on!