COVID-19, Crises, and Public Support for the Rule of Law Teaching Modules

Published: Aug 20, 2020
Contributor: Amanda Driscoll
License: CC BY 4.0 license – Allows all uses and revisions, including commercial use with attribution.

The COVID-19, Crisis and Support for the Rule of Law Teaching Modules provide an engaging way for undergraduate students to investigate questions relating to the public compliance with and response to state actions meant to quell the viral spread. These modules will provide students an opportunity to critically engage questions surrounding public policy and state responses to the global pandemic, while honing their skills using the tools of social science. The modules are based on research funded by the National Science Foundation, which contain original surveys of U.S. and German residents collected since the onset of the global crisis. The first two modules examine the shift in time spent outside the home before and after crisis onset, and in response to governmentally imposed stay-at-home orders. The third module shifts focus to the public’s (in)tolerance for non-compliance with mask-wearing ordinances in the United States. Through these modules, instructors and students can engage with an issue that is happening in real time, and explore how implicit biases may shape willingness to punish non-compliance with local mandates. These modules are targeted towards advanced undergraduates in applied statistics or upper-division courses; students are asked to engage the use of descriptive statistics, data visualization, hypothesis testing, bivariate and multivariate regression. Further, modules two and three also include experimental components of the research design, which may lend themselves to discussions regarding observational vs. experimental research, causal identification, and potential threats to inference. Each module include the dataset, assignments, codebooks and documentation as well as the R and Stata code used to answer the questions. For an answer key, instructors may contact the authors directly, using their university affiliated email address. These data and teaching modules are based on data from Driscoll, Krehbiel and Nelson, 2020 “RAPID: COVID-19, Crises and Support for the Rule of Law,” National Science Foundation, SES-2027653, SES-2027664, SES-2027671. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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