1. What does it mean that this is an online class?

The class will be held on Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm in CEMEX Auditorium (with the exception of the first session, held on Thursday, Oct. 6 in Memorial Auditorium).

We are offering the class online to Stanford students and in person to Stanford Continuing Studies Students.  If you are a Stanford student and you enroll, you will gain special access to a livestream of each class session, which you can watch anywhere you wish. You will also have access to a website with detailed information about each session, pre-readings about the topic, and additional content created by the teaching team. There will be an online discussion forum where prior to each class session students can suggest questions for guest speakers. We will also host online discussions after each class session.

We are especially excited to create cross-generational political conversations, something that happens rarely on campus. Stanford is a place of significant diversity in the student body, but it is not very diverse with respect to age.

To earn credit for the class, you will need to watch the livestream/video of the class and to participate in the online discussions. With the enrollment of Continuing Studies students, many of whom are retired local citizens, we hope to create online discussions across generational lines.


2.  I’m a Continuing Studies Program student.  Where do I go to register and how much does the course cost?

You will be able to register on the Continuing Studies Program website for the class here beginning August 22.  The tuition for Continuing Studies Students is $260, plus a $35 registration fee.


3. Is there a discount for Stanford alumni or senior citizens?

Yes! The Continuing Studies Program offers a 15% discount for members of the Stanford Alumni Association and a 20% discount for students over 65.  You will be able to apply the discount when you submit the registration form on the CSP website.


4. I’m going to be away when registration opens for the Continuing Studies Program.  How should I register for the class?

We recommend that you fill out a paper version of the registration form and mail it in early.  You can download and fill out the registration form here, then fax in the completed form to 650.725.4248 or mail it to the following address:

Stanford Continuing Studies

Attn: Registrations

Littlefield Center, Garden Level

365 Lasuen Street

Stanford, CA 94305


5. If I am a current Stanford student (undergrad or grad) and I enroll, does it mean I can never be physically present for the class?

We will reserve roughly 100 seats in CEMEX Auditorium each class session for the Stanford students who are enrolled in the class. These seats will be handed out via a lottery system.

NOTE: The first class session on Thursday, October 6 will be held in Memorial Auditorium, with a large seating capacity. Everyone will be able to attend this session in person (the topic is campaign strategy, and our guests include David Plouffe (Campaign Manager for Barack Obama, 2008; Senior Advisor to the President, 2011-13; Senior VP Policy, Uber) and Mike McCurry (former Press Secretary for Bill Clinton, co-chairman of Presidential Debate Commission).


6. I have a scheduling conflict.  Can I watch the lectures at my own time or do I have to watch them live online?

You have to watch them live.  We won’t have a playback version of the guest lectures available until at least five days after they take place, and sometimes up to a week (the exception being the night of October 11, Yom Kippur, when we will expedite the release of the video for those who have to miss class).

Given that the requirements for the class for enrolled undergrads and grads is online participation in discussions (which will have pretty strict start/finish times around the lecture dates), it is pretty crucial that you’re able to watch the livestream.  However, if you feel comfortable waiting for that amount of time and making sure you submit questions/discussion posts within the deadlines, feel free to stay enrolled!  We wouldn’t recommend it, but some people might opt to stay in.


7. I’m enrolled for credit as an undergraduate or graduate at Stanford. How do I earn credit?  How do you grade participation?

If you’re a current Stanford undergraduate or graduate enrolled in the course for credit, you will be graded on a credit/no credit basis based on your participation on Canvas.  With the exception of the first class, you’ll only be able to watch the lectures LIVE (that means, 7-8:30pm on Tuesday nights), via a link that will be available on Canvas—that means you have to log into Canvas, where you’ll find a link to YouTube Live.

Your grade will be determined by whether or not you’ve made the minimum amount of contributions to our Canvas discussions.  If you look at our Canvas course online, you’ll notice that each week, you’ll have a number of options for making a contribution:

  • Posting a question that you’d like us to ask to the guest speakers.You must submit these beforethe day of the lecture.  There are strict open/closing times for each of these discussions, so if you want your question to count, you have to submit your suggestion by the Monday before lecture at 5pm (this week, you’ll have until Wednesday at 5pm).  There’s an incentive to be an early mover here: other participants can use the “like” function in Canvas to up-vote the questions that they “second.” The teaching team will sort through the “most-liked” questions before the lecture and present a few to our panelists.
  • Posting a comment or question after lecture. There are two separate discussion forums for this option: one based on suggested readings we have posted for each week, and one more open-forum based on the discussions that took place during the week’s lecture.  We expect that you maintain a courteous discussion with your fellow classmates!

In short, you’ll have at least 12 opportunities total (2 for each of the 6 class sessions that we have) to make a contribution on Canvas. You’ll notice on Canvas, each discussion is “graded” for 1 point each.  To earn credit, you must meet the minimum number of 8 points over the course of the class. Keep in mind that the discussion forums have strict open/close dates and times, so it is important that you participate within those time frames!


8.  Are there required readings or homework?

We’ve posted some suggested readings organized by week on Canvas. These are not required, but we strongly encourage you to read them. They’ll also provide you with fodder for asking questions for the speakers, and also serve as a springboard for discussions for students who want to earn credit.


9. Is the class targeted specifically to undergrads, graduate students, or professional school students?

No, the class is open to all students and is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about the most pressing issues in the election.


10. Who should I contact if I have other questions?

If you have any additional questions or want to get in touch with one of the teaching team members, please email our graduate course assistant, Glory Liu, at election2016stanford [at] gmail [dot] com