Term Project

Your work in this course will be evaluated primarily on the basis of a term project that includes a proposal, a preliminary paper, a final paper, an annotated bibliography and an end-of-quarter presentation.

For this research, each student will choose an industry, issue, or technology related to digital communication. These are very broad topics; it will be up to each student (with help from the instructor and peers) to develop a specific, appropriate, and innovative focus to the term project. Those students interested in reading one of the two science fiction books on the optional reading list may approach the term topic by deconstructing communication technologies presented in those future worlds, linking them to current and predecessor technologies.

The final project will be published as a standalone website using WordPress as a content management system (details). The final presentation will be published on Slideshare.net. See 2009 Projects and 2010 Projects; and examples from prior classes (requires UWNetID login) Both the presentation and web-delivered version of your paper should be “announced” via blog post (a best practice, thinking about your RSS feed as a content distribution system).

Schedule

Due Date Assignment Points
Monday
4 April at noon
Preliminary project idea (no more than two!)
Blog post; feedback given
This assignment is preparatory for in-class discussion
25
Monday
Tuesday
12 April at noon
Final project idea; blog post; feedback given
This post should include
* A thesis statement/research question (what is a thesis statement?)
* A Statement of Intent – how you envision breaking your subject into past – present – future. A reminder: 2011 is “the future” not “the present” for most of you — ditto 2009 for many.
* At least one source – APA style with annotation
25
Friday
29 April Tuesday
3 May at noon
Preliminary annotated bibliography; blog post; feedback given
Minimum of 15 sources, seven must be scholarly sources. APA style. Annotations should explain – in your words – how you see a resource as contributing to your knowledge/research
EC – 25
Monday
Tuesday
May 10 at noon
Theoretical framework; blog post; feedback given
Which course theories best explain what has happened/might happen; what are the three most important developments in your timeline (past/present); how has your timeline (past/present/future) changed
25 – 50
Friday
20 May at noon
Draft presentation, 25 (optional)
Catalyst CollectIt document, feedback given
Final Presentation, 25 (50 if no draft provided), is due the night of your presentation and should be announced as a blog post on your course blog; must incorporate feedback
50
Monday
Tuesday
Thursday
26 May at noon
Preliminary paper (past/present/future)
Catalyst CollectIt document, feedback given
Optional 50
Tuesday
7 June at 6.00 pm
Final (revision must incorporate feedback) paper due as well as final annotated bibliography
Paper, 100 (150 if you choose not to submit a preliminary paper)
Annotated Bibliography, 75 100
175 – 200 or 250
Wednesday
8 June at 6.00 pm
Projects published as stand-alone WordPress websites or as a separate section on your personal WordPress site; project announced as a blog post on course blog. 25

Project Mechanics : WordPress Sites

  • Recommended: stand-alone site
    • Pick a theme that is easy to read, not flashy; this means dark text on light background and no justified paragraphs
    • Gives you practice in using WordPress as a website management tool, not as a blog
  • Acceptable: separate section (pages) on your blog
    • If your blog theme is already ‘readable’ and you want to keep all of your content in one place
    • Gives you practice in setting up content sections, using WordPress as a website management tool
  • Parts of the site/section
    • Home page provides an overview of your project, links to or embeds your Slideshare presentation, and links to the parts
    • Suggested “parts/pages”: paper (may be more than one page), references/end notes (no footnotes), annotated bibliography, contact/about
    • Consider including link to a PDF/printable version (you can use Zamzar to convert a Word doc to PDF if you do not have Adobe or a Mac); if you do this, be sure you have contact information somewhere on the paper

Assessment

Preliminary Assignments

  • 25 points: Clear idea; complete; submitted in timely manner; no significant grammatical or punctuation errors; demonstrates creativity
  • 15 points: Vague idea; incomplete; submitted in timely manner; no significant grammatical or punctuation errors
  • 5 points: Vague idea; incomplete; submitted in timely manner; significant grammatical or punctuation errors
  • 0 points: Submitted late

Paper – Assessment Points (scaled to total)

The paper must include at least 10 citations from scholarly books or journals. In addition, students should use citations or examples from popular media, news media, or corporate media, as well as personal interviews with media professionals or users.

The paper should be approximately 3000-4000 words (15-18 pages, double-spaced, 1″ margins, 12 point type) plus references; papers will be evaluated on quality of analysis, original thought, focus, and clarity of presentation. All work must be original, except for material from clearly attributed sources. Endnotes/references (not footnotes) are required. Please use APA style.

POINTS

Essays – Evaluation

50

Exceptional work. Student employs a creative and comprehensive exploration of the topic and its societal impacts; offers cogent arguments and well thought out explanations supported by evidence; synthesizes material; explains “why” as well as “how” and “what.” Very clear. Any citations have no significant errors.

Organization: Organization enhances the paper; the introduction invites the reader to begin. The paper is well-focused and has an interesting thesis; there is a smooth transition among all elements (sentences, paragraphs, ideas). The conclusion goes beyond restating the obvious. The writing style is engaging, and the paper has no significant grammatical or spelling errors.

Incorporates feedback.

45

Good work. Student exploration of the topic and societal impacts is average; arguments and explanations are average with some evidence; moderate synthesis of material; explains “how” or “what” but “why” is not convincing. Any citations have minor errors.

Organization: This paper has a useful introduction and a focused thesis. Its unified and coherent paragraphs support the thesis; transitions are smooth. The conclusion is competent. The writing style is clear and the paper has no significant grammatical or spelling errors.

Does not incorporate feedback.

40

Below average work. Student exploration of the topic and societal impacts is below average; arguments and explanations are unconvincing and unsupported by evidence; little synthesis of material; explains “how” or “what” but not “why.” Any citations have major errors, and are mostly popular in nature.

Organization: Overall organization in inconsistent. This paper has a general introduction and vague thesis; has incoherent paragraphs that bear little relevance to the thesis. It is missing transitions; choppy. The conclusion is inadequate. The writing style is unclear, and the paper has significant grammatical or spelling errors.

Does not incorporate feedback.

30

Poor work. Student exploration of the topic and societal impacts is below average; arguments and explanations are unconvincing; no synthesis of material, merely summaries. No overall coherence. Citations have major errors and are either mostly popular in nature or non-existent.

Organization: The paper lacks coherence. It has no introduction or thesis, no transitions, no clear introduction-middle-conclusion. The writing style is unreadable, and the paper has significant grammatical or spelling errors.

Does not incorporate feedback.

0

Assignment not turned in.

Presentation Details

Option 1 (traditional presentation)

  • Maximum of seven (7) slides; title and credit/contact slides are required
  • Maximum time – 10 minutes including questions so prepare for 7-minute talk
  • Use principles from Presentation Zen. Points deducted for a “traditional” PPT presentation

Option 2 (Ignite-style presentation)

  • Slides auto-advance every 15 seconds; an auto-advance does not mean that the next slide has to actually change!
  • Title and credit/contact slides are required
  • Use principles from Presentation Zen. Points deducted for a “traditional” PPT presentation

All presentations are to be shared on Slideshare.net, and there should be a blog post announcing the upload.

Annotated Biblography

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of the books, articles and documents you have used in your research this quarter. Each citation is accompanied by a brief (150-250 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources.

Why produce an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography:

  • Provides a literature review on a particular subject
  • Illustrates the quality of the research
  • Provides examples of the types of sources available for this subject
  • Lays a foundation for additional research
  • Demonstrates ability to synthesize information succinctly

How to produce an annotated bibliography?
In creating an annotated bibliography, you will apply the following skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed research.

First, cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Then prepare the annotation. Annotations should be concise and summarize the central theme and scope of the source. Annotations may also (a) evaluate the authority of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast the work with others you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your research topic.

Assessment:

  • 50 points: Meets minimum requirements; only minor citation errors; annotations are clear and linked to research topic and in author’s voice (not abstracts copied&pasted); submitted in timely manner; no significant grammatical or punctuation errors
  • 30 points: Meets minimum requirements; citation errors; annotations are clear but linkage is poor (not abstracts copied&pasted); submitted in timely manner; no significant grammatical or punctuation errors
  • 10 points: Meets minimum requirements; citation errors; annotations are not clear and no linkage to research topic (not abstracts copied&pasted); submitted in timely manner; grammatical or punctuation errors
  • 0 points: Submitted late; does not meet minimum requirements; citation errors; annotations are not clear and no linkage to research topic (not abstracts copied&pasted); grammatical or punctuation errors

Sources and Examples

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