Play the Election Support
Play the Election is a collaborative, online game that helps students learn about the election process through a series of in-depth games and competition.
Teachers are administrators for the students in their class andhave access to Lesson Plans and related teacher materials.
Each student receives his/her own login as part of a class where they can predict the election winners for each state on an interactive election map, and then compare their predictions to their class and the country to see where they rank.
The program also includes eleven digital mini-games that delve deeper into influential and battleground states, like California and Texas, and Ohio and Florida. Play the Election includes thirteen lesson plans that support core concepts to grades 7-12, crafted by teachers specializing in government and civics.
Play the Election is completely free (and will remain that way) for all teachers and students!
Rand McNally Education is providing this as a free service because we believe in the importance of educating students on the electoral process.
Teacher User Guide
This guide explains the features of the Teacher Admin Tool.
- Once you login to the Teacher Admin Page, you will be asked to enter the initial settings for your class. (You may change any of this information later in the Teacher Admin Tool by clicking “Teacher Admin” -> “Portal Settings”
- Location Information – Enter the location of your school and name your class. This will help your students find your class when they register for their individual student accounts. If your county is not listed, please Contact Us.
- Display Branding – Enter the name of your class or your school to have it show on the site whenever your or your students log in to Play the Election.
- Comments – Some of our lesson plans encourage students to submit their predictions and opinions on the site through the ability to post comments. Students in your class can then see and respond to each other’s comments. If you’d like to enable this feature for your class, you can click “Enable Comments” here.
- My User Information – As a teacher, your login will enable you to log into in the Teacher Admin Page and the Play the Election Site. “My User Information” sets your name in the system and the Display name that will be shown for your user account on the Play the Election site.
- Once you have entered all your school settings, it’s time to setup your student accounts! You can have your students register individually on the Student Registration Page or you can set them up on your own through the Teacher Admin Panel. Students must be 13 years of age or older to log into Play the Election.
- Once your students have registered, you’re ready to get started to teach with Play the Election!
To access the Lesson Plans, Common Core and Standards Documents and other resources for Teachers, login to the Teacher Admin Tool and click “Teacher Resources”.
If you’d like to give additional teachers or teacher aids access to your class account to review lesson plans, manage students or moderate comments, you can do this by logging into the Teacher Admin Tool and clicking “Teacher Admin” - “Teacher Management” - “Create New Teacher User”
If you enabled Comments in your class account, you might want to keep an eye on what your students are posting. You can do this in the Teacher Admin Tool by clicking "Teacher Admin" - "Comment Management"
Student User Guide
This guide explains the features of the Play the Election Site.
- The first step to registering as a Student is to make sure your Teacher has setup an account on the Teacher Registration Page.
- Once your teacher has created your class, you can signup for your own account on the Student Registration Page.
- Enter all the personal information on the form, find your class under “School Information” and click “Submit”.
Once you submit, your account will be sent to your teacher for approval. Once the teacher approves the account, you will be able to use Play the Election!
The Electoral Map provides a variety of election related information.
- Current Polls – See current polling data for all 50 states. Click the individual state for a breakdown. Data is updated on a daily basis.
- Past Election Results – View electoral college and popular vote data for each presidential election between 1960 and today.
- Census Data – Click on an individual state to see interesting statistics for that state from the latest census.
- Election News – Current news articles related to the Election are updated on a daily basis.
Play the Election enables students to make their electoral predictions for each state and to compare their selections vs. their class and students across the country.
To enter your selections for each state:
- Login to Play the Election
- Go to the Electoral Map and click “You Decide”
- You will see a popup on how to initially populate your selections. You can use these options to see different selection groups and how they affect the Electoral Map.
- Load My Map – Displays your saved map selections (requires login).
- Current Polls – Loads the map based on current polling data. This will show how the election results would go if the candidate with top polling numbers in each state were to win the electoral votes for that state.
- Clean Slate – No selections will be automatically filled in. This is a good option to use if you’d like to start over and enter brand new selections.
- All Users – This loads the map based on the most popular selections for each state from all students registered for Play the Election.
- My Class – This loads the map based on the most popular selections for each state from all the students in your class (requires login).
- To change your selection and learn more about a particular state, click that state on the map and make your selection in the right panel.
Many sections of Play the Election include links for “My Class” and “All Users”.
- My Class – See your data as compared to all other Students in your class.
- All Users – See your data as compared to all Students across the country who are registered for Play the Election.
- On the Electoral Map, click “Play Games”
- OR… click “Game Central” in the navigation and select a game from the list
Please note: You can demo the open games without a login, but you must be logged in to to save your game results.
There are three states any game can exist in at one time.
- The “Open” state is any game that is still available to play.
- The “Locked” state occurs between the “Open” and “Closed” state. “Locked” means the game is closed for voting because the game is being updated or changed.
- The “Closed” state happens once the real-world event that the game is based on has taken place (ie. The Presidential Election). Once a game is “Closed”, the results are tallied and Students receive scores based on their predictions.
Very simply, playing games, voting, and commenting all give you points towards your “Level” regardless of whether you are right, wrong, independent, or popular. A high “Level” shows that you are a very active participant. This participation also gets factored into your “Rank” within the community.
The rank is the overall rating of your performance and is affected by your prediction accuracy, and participation in the games. It is calculated by this formula:
Rank = (100 x "Correct Predictions") + (10 x "Number of Opinions") + (10 x "Number of Predictions") + (1 x "Number of Comments")
Your prediction vote is scored against reality. When one or more of the actions presented in the game happens in the real world, the game will be closed. Your prediction will be scored as either Correct or Incorrect.
In some cases, events in the real world will unfold in ways the creator of the game couldn’t anticipate. In this case your score will not be affected for that particular role or game.
The Leaderboard lists the best predictors in your class or across all of Play the Election. It is calculated around the principle of Standard Deviation. The fundamental idea is to treat predictions as a dice roll. Anyone that moves beyond pure chance (for example, beyond having 1 out of 4, or 25% correct, if there are 4 potential actions) gets a higher value. The more “dice rolls” you have (ie. predictions you made) the more difficult it becomes to have correct predictions. Having 1 out of 1 is much easier than having 10 out of 10, and is rewarded accordingly.
The Game Stats Page is a place where you can view the ongoing votes for each game. You can see the current opinion and prediction votes for each role, in real time.
- Log-in to Play the Election
- Click “My Profile” in the main navigation
- Click “Edit Profile” on your profile page to set your user’s image and edit additional profiles information.
For additional questions, technical issues, general feedback, or would like to discuss licensing or partnership opportunities, please Contact Customer Support.