Another asked, “Are you hopeful the president’s words can make a difference?” Sixty-five percent of respondents answered “yes,” 30 percent said “no,” and 5 percent were “neutral.”
When Obama discussed his support for repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, 53 percent of Abilene Christian students supported his proposal, with 47 percent disagreeing. Fifty-eight percent of students gave the president a “B” at the end of the State of the Union, while 21 percent gave the speech a “C,” and 16 percent gave an “A.” Five percent gave Obama a “D.”
Most of the 30 students involved in the State of the Union exercise had never watched a presidential address, or had only watched a few minutes before changing the channel, Marquardt said.
Students paid close attention to the 71-minute address—one of the longest of the past 50 years—because they knew faculty members were tracking their every reaction, he said.
“If you tell students that you want to know how they feel about something, I think it changes the interest level for students,” Marquardt said. “That’s definitely something that we can use [ResponseWare] for: to engage students in things they wouldn’t typically be engaged in.”
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