Open government spring 2012 syllabus


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Syllabus for my graduate course Open Government at University of Illinois at Chicago, Spring 2012.

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Open government spring 2012 syllabus

  1. 1. PA 494 Special Topics in Public Administration: Open Government (syllabus revised 2/11/12)University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Spring 2012Instructor: Greg Wass (, 312-919-2919)Location: Lincoln Hall 312Course Description: The open government movement promotes greater transparency ofgovernment operations, data and decisionmaking via open data websites and competitions todevelop web and mobile applications using public data. The first wave of these data sites andapplications has focused on transportation and location-based data, but increasinglygovernments are posting performance data, economic indicators, public health information, andother data relevant to residents and businesses.How do governments decide to go "open," and what impact will this have on service delivery,public policy, and public trust in government? The course will include a brief history of opengovernment, case studies of open government in practice, and discussions with opengovernment advocates and practitioners. Using publicly-available datasets, each student willdevelop a research project or a web or mobile application concept and produce a posterdescribing the project and findings or the app concept.Grading: 25% participation, 35% project, 20% midterm, 20% final.Text: Lathrop & Ruma (eds.), Open Government (OReilly Media, 2010); additional readings. 1/9/12 What is open government? Introductions: backgrounds, interests, specializations Discussion of research areas, data-driven analysis, public datasets View and discuss selected federal, state and local open data sites Discuss remix culture, Creative Commons, Wikileaks, OWS, e-democracy Review course assignments 1/16/12 No class - MLK Day Impact of social media on government (online discussion) Read Foreign Affairs, Atlantic articles (posted online) Read Ch. 4: The Single Point of Failure (Noveck) Read Ch. 27: Bringing the Web 2.0 Revolution to Government (Bass, Moulton) 1/23/12 Citizen engagement Read Ch. 3: By the People (Malamud) Read Ch. 5: Engineering Good Government (Dierking) Read Ch. 6: Enabling Innovation for Civic Engagement (Robinson, Yu, Felten) Define projects, contacts 1/30/12 Journalism Read Ch. 30: Freedom of Information Acts: Promises and Realities Read Ch. 31: Gov->Media->People (Gillmor) Guest: Public information officer 2/6/12 Competitions Read Ch. 1: A Peace Corps for Programmers (Burton) See,,,
  2. 2.,, Guest: Code for America fellows2/13/12 Visualizations Read Ch. 23: Case Study: Many Eyes (Viegas, Wattenberg) See,, UIC Urban Data Visualization Laboratory Guest: Developers2/20/12 Project progress reports2/27/12 Midterm (online) 3/5/12 Campaign finance Read Ch. 17: Disrupting Washingtons Golden Rule (Miller) Read Ch. 19: Case Study: (Bender) Read Ch. 20: Case Study: (Newman) See chicagolobbyists.org3/12/12 Privacy Read Ch. 28: Toads on the Road to Open Government Data (Schrier) Read Ch. 29: Open Government: The Privacy Imperative (Jonas, Harper), Health Insurance Exchange, Health Information Exchange Guest: Privacy expert3/19/12 No class - Spring Break3/26/12 Project progress reports 4/2/12 Comparison of country approaches to open data Read Ch. 11: Citizens View of Open Government (Reich) Read Ch. 12: After the Collapse: Open Government and the Future of Civil Service (Eaves) See, 4/9/12 Standards and Quality Read Ch. 2: Government as a Platform (OReilly) Read Ch. 24: My Data Cant Tell You That (Allison) Read Ch. 33: Why Open Digital Standards Matter in Government (Fioretti)4/16/12 Posters: UIC4/23/12 Posters: Government center4/30/12 Final (online)