Category Archives: Assignment Details

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Teaching Fail Breakouts

On Wednesday we will be talking about Failing Forward in your teaching. Please bring at least one example of a productive failure in your classroom.

To quote the guidelines on JITP, we seek a conversation about “Moments of insight from ideas that fell flat—assignments that didn’t work out, readings that none of your students understood. Tell us your story as a way of thinking through what went wrong. Help others learn to fail better.”

If it is helpful for you, you could consider this a workshop towards drafting and submitting a teaching fail to JITP

A Question about Elements in our Final Projects

I need some clarification on the following: If I develop a study to evaluate the app, that study (research design and methodology) would be the proof of concept, yes?   Also, is the proposal for this course a business proposal or a research proposal?  They have different templates.  Biz = sections like company services, products & services, market analysis, and strategy/ implementation, while a research proposal = a lit review, study rationale, research design and methodology and analysis.  It would seem that my project is a better fit for a research proposal, but then where does an environmental scan come in?  Is the lit review and environmental scan essentially the same thing?

Final Project: Proposal and Proof of Concept

Your final work for Core 2 is to produce a project proposal that includes a proof of concept. Yes, we will be reading it for a grade, but your true audience for this proposal are the gatekeepers who hold institutional purse strings, allocate resources and space, approve curriculum, or administer technology resources. Your job is to convince this hypothetical reader that your project is intellectually and/or pedagogically vital, builds on but doesn’t duplicate existing work, is done in the most effective and efficient way possible, uses the right tech, and most importantly: that you can pull it off in the time frame that you have available to you.

This project proposal does not have a fixed length requirement. You are welcome to follow the guidelines for the NEH Digital Humanities grants, or another discipline specific set of requirements. This proposal can as also double as a first draft of your ITP Independent Study proposal. Generally, it needs to include an abstract or summary with a clear problem statement, a project narrative that gives the practical, historical, theoretical, and technical contexts for the project proposed, a clear work plan or project timeline, and proof that you can complete the project. Proposals typically include a budget; you may choose to include this, but it is not required. You will likely find it useful to include your personnas and your use case scenarios. Some disciplines may have other, discipline specific requirements; please include those.

The proof that you can complete the project sometimes comes in the form of your biography, or a description of how the proposed project builds on your previous and related work, but in this instance, you need to complete a proof of concept for the project. This will be different for each of you, but it needs to demonstrate that you have learned enough about the task at hand that you will be able to complete it. Most of this learning is technical, but it might not be exclusively technical. Some examples of past proofs of concept:

  • When proposing a group wiki assignment, one person created a simulation of one assignment at the halfway state, with the text edited in character by the user accounts for each of the 4 personas described.
  • When proposing a mobile app, one person found an open source quiz app they could build on, changed the text of one of questions, and recompiled the app.
  • When proposing a student assignment to create multimedia historical maps of NYC neighborhoods, one student created a sample map with the Google Maps API that contained a map point for each type of media expected to be used (video, audio, photograph, text).

You will be turning in a text, and giving a presentation. The presentation will take place on one of the last three weeks of class May 6, 13, or 20. These will be 15 minute presentations, with 10-15 minutes of discussion/feedback afterwards, depending on how many schedule per day. We will invite all ITP faculty to join us, though we don’t expect all will be able to make it for all of the days. One advantage of presenting early: you can incorporate your feedback into the text you turn in. The text as a .doc/.odt will be due May 21st. Sign up for a time slot in the presentation doc in our course group.

Midterm Assignment: Short Proposals

As we have discussed, your midterm assignment is to create at least two different project proposals that each have at least two scope variations: one full and a reduced version.

Each of the (at least) two proposals should follow this structure:

  1. An introductory descriptive paragraph, which should include a problem statement, and say *what* your tool/thing will do. This is your abstract, or elevator pitch. This should not have the full theoretical framing of the project. That will come in the final.
  2. A set of personas
  3. A use case scenario (where would someone find your tool/thing and how would they use it). Keep it short.
  4. How you will make the full fledged version. This is your “ideal world” version that fulfills all of your visions and fantasies (what tools you will use, how you will get them, how confident you are that all the moving parts will work together, etc)
  5. Your assessment of how much time this will take, and how much of the skills you currently know and what you would have to learn.
  6. How you will make the stripped down version. The stripped down version is the minimally viable product. It is the most *bare bones* version to prove that what you are trying to get at is viable. (what tools you will use, how you will get them, how confident you are that all the moving parts will work together, etc)
  7. Your assessment of how much time this will take, and how much of the skills you currently know and what you would have to learn.

You are welcome (but not required) to repeat the last two steps with scope variations in-between the full fledged and bare bones version.

We would expect two proposals with two scope variations would be effectively in 4 to 7 page range (though you will be turning in online). We’re less concerned with page count, and more concerned with your process (as with all assignments in this class).

You will hopefully notice that you have done a lot of this work already. We’ve structured it this way. Your job here is to combine and revise the work you have already done, fill the holes, and assess each project’s feasibility

You can find examples of midterm proposals from last year here. I would highlight this one, and this one.

The proposals will be submitted as blog posts prior to class on March 18th.

Class that week will be dedicated to workshopping the proposals. The format we will follow will be that each participant will choose one of their two proposals to present orally. You will have 5 minutes to present, and we will have 4 minutes for feedback. Think of this as a pitch. You will want to lay out the project abstract, present very short versions of your personas, give one use case scenario, and then talk about how you would build it, and how long you think it would take.

Question on Project Abstracts/Short Proposals due March 18

I’d like to have some more information about what we need to do for this assignment. I know that we need to prepare “at least two different project proposals that each have at least two scope variations: one full and a reduced version.” What should the proposals include and what should we be prepared to present/discuss in class? Thanks.

Overview of Assignments

This semester we will be working on three major assignments, with continuous blog writing throughout.

Provocations and responses: We will continue the practice of having several students write provocations on the blog on the reading/subject of the week, and carrying on a conversation on the blog in advance of class. Those who write provocations, will lead off the discussion of that reading in class. Because we meet a day earlier than in the past, we need the provocations to be up by Saturday  by 5PM, so that discussion can start Sunday, with enough time to bear fruit. Several of the provocation assignments will scaffold towards the three larger assignments below.

Project Abstracts/Short Proposals: Your midterm assignment is to create at least two different project proposals that each have at least two scope variations: one full and a reduced version.

Collaboration and Wikipedia:  Collaboratively write a Wikipedia article on one of the readings from last semester.

Final Project Proposal and Proof of Concept: Your final project is to turn in a proposal for a larger project, that includes a proof of concept. Your goal is to convince us that your proposal is relevant and productive AND that you can actually pull it off. The details will be discussed on when we discuss the short proposals, and will be due at the end of the semester. We will have three days of presentations, and the written proposal will be due during finals period.