Assignments

Type
Title
Marks
Due Date @ 23:59

Blog Entry 1

Blogs (short for weblogs) have become an important means of expression in the information society. Personal blog posts are discrete, often informal, diary-style commentaries written by an individual.

Prepare and submit a blog post that deals with a topic within a course-related knowledge unit that is currently, or was recently, in the news.

The list of knowledge units also includes learning outcomes associated with the topics. If it is helpful, you may consider those learning outcomes as suggestions about how to approach your topic.

Find a personal connection to the topic. You may, for example, evaluate the (consideration of) ethical and social tradeoffs in a technical decision or analyse the role of computer professionals in a global computing issue.

Identify 2-4 reputable online sources to reference in support of your topic. References are to be included as hyperlinks within the post, close to the text that makes the reference.

From Nielsen and Morkes, here are some ways to write for the web:

Conventional Guidelines for Good Writing are Good

Conventional guidelines include carefully organizing the information, using words and categories that make sense to the audience, using topic sentences, limiting each paragraph to one main idea, and providing the right amount of information.

Text Should be Scannable

Scanning can save users time. Most people are likely to approach unfamiliar Web text by trying to scan it before reading it. Elements that enhance scanning include headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, and topic sentences.

Text Should be Concise

Consistent with users’ desire to get information quickly is their preference for short text.

Users Like Summaries and the Inverted Pyramid Style

Web writing that presents news, summaries, and conclusions up front is useful and saves time. A news story written in the inverted pyramid style (in which news and conclusions are presented first, followed by details and background information), are well-received.

Hypertext is Well-Liked

“The incredible thing that’s available on the Web is the ability to go deeper for more information.” However, hypertext may be distracting if a site contains “too many” links.

Nielsen also provides a list of mistakes to avoid, which include the following 3 that are most relevant to us:

  • Nondescript Posting Titles: Users must be able to grasp the gist of an article by reading its headline. Avoid cute or humorous headlines that make no sense out of context.
  • Links Don’t Say Where They Go: Many weblog authors seem to think it’s cool to write link anchors like: “ some people think” or “there’s more here and here .” Remember one of the basics of the Web: Life is too short to click on an unknown. Tell people where they’re going and what they’ll find at the other end of the link. Generally, you should provide predictive information in either the anchor text itself or the immediately surrounding words.
  • Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss: Whenever you post anything to the Internet — whether on a weblog, in a discussion group, or even in an email — think about how it will look to a hiring manager in ten years. Once stuff’s out, it’s archived, cached, and indexed in many services that you might never be aware of.

Sample

A sample blog entry, that I wrote a few years ago, can be found at: https://www.itworldcanada.com/blog/wanted-defenders-of-the-public-interest/86095

Submission

Submit your blog entry as HTML, either uploaded as a file or pasted as online text. You may edit your blog entry in your “Individual Student Blog” and copy the HTML from there.

You may optionally choose to post your entry to the “Class Blog”, as evidence of participation.

The target length is 900 words.

Grading

Grade penalties will be applied in the following situations for assignment submissions:
  • on time but the written instructions for the submission were not followed: deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late (but within 48 hours of the due date and time): deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late by more than 48 hours: deduct 50% of the earned grade
  • academic dishonesty: deduct 100% of the earned grade

This assignment is worth 12 marks, according to the following rubric:

Rubric

DePaul Univerity’s Center for Teaching and Learning has a useful resource describing the process of creating rubrics. Your comments about the following rubric are welcome via email

Criterion and Weight Exemplary Sufficient Developing Needs Improvement
Intellectual Engagement with Key Theme-Related Concepts (4) Demonstrates engagement with the important issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes some reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes little reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes no reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities
Personal Response to Key Theme-Related Concepts (4) Extensive evidence of a personal response to the issues raised in the readings/activities, and demonstrates your growth Some evidence of a personal response to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities Little evidence of a personal response to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities No personal response is made to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities
Engaged Writing for the Web (4) Shows a good command of Standard English. No problems for your audience. Blog entry includes several links and uses recommended style Demonstrates evidence of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Audience will have little trouble reading your blog. More than 1 link is included and recommended style is mostly used Shows some evidence of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Audience will have some trouble reading your blog. Recommended style used occasionally (and only 1 link is included) Incorrect grammar and spelling are apparent throughout, making it difficult for others to follow. No links are included and recommended style not followed
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Rubric Criteria
Penalties
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Blog Entry 2

Blogs (short for weblogs) have become an important means of expression in the information society. Personal blog posts are discrete, often informal, diary-style commentaries written by an individual.

Prepare and submit a blog post that deals with upholding or defending the public interest or public good and examines how to define it in a practical way. The ACM Code of Ethics says that “the Code includes principles formulated as statements of responsibility, based on the understanding that the public good is always the primary consideration.” Defense Distributed has claimed to serve the public interest. Find an example of a claim that the public good is primary consideration and critically examine that claim.

Identify 2-4 reputable online sources to reference in support of your examination. References are to be included as hyperlinks within the post, close to the text that makes the reference.

From Nielsen and Morkes, here are some ways to write for the web:

Conventional Guidelines for Good Writing are Good

Conventional guidelines include carefully organizing the information, using words and categories that make sense to the audience, using topic sentences, limiting each paragraph to one main idea, and providing the right amount of information.

Text Should be Scannable

Scanning can save users time. Most people are likely to approach unfamiliar Web text by trying to scan it before reading it. Elements that enhance scanning include headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, and topic sentences.

Text Should be Concise

Consistent with users’ desire to get information quickly is their preference for short text.

Users Like Summaries and the Inverted Pyramid Style

Web writing that presents news, summaries, and conclusions up front is useful and saves time. A news story written in the inverted pyramid style (in which news and conclusions are presented first, followed by details and background information), are well-received.

Hypertext is Well-Liked

“The incredible thing that’s available on the Web is the ability to go deeper for more information.” However, hypertext may be distracting if a site contains “too many” links.

Nielsen also provides a list of mistakes to avoid, which include the following 3 that are most relevant to us:

  • Nondescript Posting Titles: Users must be able to grasp the gist of an article by reading its headline. Avoid cute or humorous headlines that make no sense out of context.
  • Links Don’t Say Where They Go: Many weblog authors seem to think it’s cool to write link anchors like: “ some people think” or “there’s more here and here .” Remember one of the basics of the Web: Life is too short to click on an unknown. Tell people where they’re going and what they’ll find at the other end of the link. Generally, you should provide predictive information in either the anchor text itself or the immediately surrounding words.
  • Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss: Whenever you post anything to the Internet — whether on a weblog, in a discussion group, or even in an email — think about how it will look to a hiring manager in ten years. Once stuff’s out, it’s archived, cached, and indexed in many services that you might never be aware of.

Sample

A sample blog entry, that I wrote a few years ago, can be found at: https://www.itworldcanada.com/blog/wanted-defenders-of-the-public-interest/86095

Submission

Submit your blog entry as HTML, either uploaded as a file or pasted as online text. You may edit your blog entry in your “Individual Student Blog” and copy the HTML from there.

You may optionally choose to post your entry to the “Class Blog”, as evidence of participation.

The target length is 900 words.

Grading

Grade penalties will be applied in the following situations for assignment submissions:
  • on time but the written instructions for the submission were not followed: deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late (but within 48 hours of the due date and time): deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late by more than 48 hours: deduct 50% of the earned grade
  • academic dishonesty: deduct 100% of the earned grade

This assignment is worth 12 marks, according to the following rubric:

Rubric

DePaul Univerity’s Center for Teaching and Learning has a useful resource describing the process of creating rubrics. Your comments about the following rubric are welcome via email

Criterion and Weight Exemplary Sufficient Developing Needs Improvement
Intellectual Engagement with Key Theme-Related Concepts (4) Demonstrates engagement with the important issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes some reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes little reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities Makes no reference to issues raised through readings and/or class activities
Personal Response to Key Theme-Related Concepts (4) Extensive evidence of a personal response to the issues raised in the readings/activities, and demonstrates your growth Some evidence of a personal response to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities Little evidence of a personal response to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities No personal response is made to the issues/concepts raised in the readings/activities
Engaged Writing for the Web (4) Shows a good command of Standard English. No problems for your audience. Blog entry includes several links and uses recommended style Demonstrates evidence of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Audience will have little trouble reading your blog. More than 1 link is included and recommended style is mostly used Shows some evidence of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Audience will have some trouble reading your blog. Recommended style used occasionally (and only 1 link is included) Incorrect grammar and spelling are apparent throughout, making it difficult for others to follow. No links are included and recommended style not followed
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Empathize

This is an INDIVIDUAL assignment.

Follow the instructions for “Proctortrack Onboarding and Practice Exam” (at this link). As you complete this activity, reflect on your experience.

Specifically, you are asked to:

  1. Describe the steps that you undertake to perform the “Proctortrack Onboarding and Practice Exam” activity.

  2. Create an empathy map while you complete the “Proctortrack Onboarding and Practice Exam” activity.

  3. Describe whatever opportunities for redesign (improvement) that you find by relating it (or them) in terms of your personal experience of completing the “Proctortrack Onboarding and Practice Exam” activity.

Submission

  • submit a single pdf document on UR Courses
  • target: up to 1 page for a description of the steps you took to complete the activity, 1 page for the empathy map and 1-2 pages for the opportunities for redesign.

Grading

Grade penalties will be applied in the following situations for assignment submissions:
  • on time but the written instructions for the submission were not followed: deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late (but within 48 hours of the due date and time): deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late by more than 48 hours: deduct 50% of the earned grade
  • academic dishonesty: deduct 100% of the earned grade

This assignment is worth 11 marks, according to the following rubric:

Rubric

DePaul Univerity’s Center for Teaching and Learning has a useful resource describing the process of creating rubrics. Your comments about the following rubric are welcome via email

Criterion and Weight Exemplary Sufficient Developing Needs Improvement
Activity Described (3) Includes everything as requested Includes mostly all as requested Not described as requested Not described
Empathy Map (4.0) All quadrants done well Entries in all quadrants Few entries, lacking detail Substantially incomplete
Opportunities for Redesign (4.0) Thoroughly explored Complete Lacks detail Opportunities not identified
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Project Proposal

The project can be done individually or in a small group (of up to 5). If you choose to work in a group, list all the group members on the proposal near the top (so that you can be put into a project group together) – only 1 copy of the proposal needs to be submitted. If your project changes after the proposal is submitted, please keep me informed (the goal of the proposal is for you to plan so that changes won’t be necessary).

You may choose what you will do for the project. It must deal with class themes in some way, and I am open to your ideas about how you will do it.

Contents and Format of the Proposal

To match the rubric below, use the following headings.

Topic

Describe your topic and how it relates to class. The list of topics and learning outcomes for this semester may be of help. Choose a topic that is new to you (that you haven’t done in your blog entry). If the general topic is similar, please indicate how you will treat it differently, such as from a different perspective.

Deliverable and Rationale

Choose the form in which you will deliver your project. Your options include, but are not limited to:

  • Research Paper (1000 - 1500 words)
  • Book Review
  • Wikipedia article (create new or add to existing)
  • Create and promote some online content (video [which could be a recording of a presentation with narration], podcast, blog)
  • Picture Yourself as a Computing Professional - identify and discuss role models for your life as a computing professional
  • Discuss your contributions to an open source project (on github, for example)
  • Write some code to test an idea

Also, explain why you are choosing that particular deliverable.

Tentative Plan

Provide a plan, with some milestones, for realizing your chosen deliverable. This plan may look like an outline of what you expect to include. If you are doing this with a group, make clear how each group member will participate in the final deliverable.

Submission

  • submit a well-formatted pdf document on UR Courses
  • target length: 1-2 pages

Grading

Grade penalties will be applied in the following situations for assignment submissions:
  • on time but the written instructions for the submission were not followed: deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late (but within 48 hours of the due date and time): deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late by more than 48 hours: deduct 50% of the earned grade
  • academic dishonesty: deduct 100% of the earned grade

This assignment is worth 5 marks, according to the following rubric:

Rubric

DePaul Univerity’s Center for Teaching and Learning has a useful resource describing the process of creating rubrics. Your comments about the following rubric are welcome via email

Criterion and Weight Exemplary Sufficient Developing Needs Improvement
Topic (1) Topic actively engages an important issue related to class Topic engages an important issue related to class Topic somewhat engages an important issue related to class Topic does not engage an important issue related to class
Deliverable and Rationale (2) Intended deliverable is appropriate and imaginative. Rationale for approach is clear and well-formed Intended deliverable is appropriate. Rationale for approach is reasonable Intended deliverable is somewhat appropriate. Rationale for approach is mostly unclear and not well-formed Intended deliverable is not appropriate. Rationale for approach is not clear
Tentative Plan (2) Ambitious and thorough Reasonably thorough Somewhat thorough Not thorough
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Project Deliverable

This is either an INDIVIDUAL or a GROUP assignment. It can be done individually or with others.

Your project can involve (for example): a book review, a wikipedia entry, researching smaller assessment/why questions, discussion of contributing to an open source project (on github, for example), writing some code to test an idea, and so forth.

As a reminder, your project must deal with class themes in some way. It is important to realize the project that you proposed (changes from the proposal, if necessary, are permitted) and connect it our discussions this semester. Your ideas about those connections are important.

Submission

Upload your finished product (as a pdf or as a link) to UR Courses.

Grading

Grade penalties will be applied in the following situations for assignment submissions:
  • on time but the written instructions for the submission were not followed: deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late (but within 48 hours of the due date and time): deduct 10% of the earned grade
  • late by more than 48 hours: deduct 50% of the earned grade
  • academic dishonesty: deduct 100% of the earned grade

This assignment is worth 20 marks, according to the following rubric:

Rubric

DePaul Univerity’s Center for Teaching and Learning has a useful resource describing the process of creating rubrics. Your comments about the following rubric are welcome via email

Criterion and Weight Exemplary Sufficient Developing Needs Improvement
Topic (4) Actively engages an important issue related to class Engages an important issue related to class Somewhat engages an important issue related to class Does not engage an important issue related to class
Deliverable (4) Deliverable is used appropriately and imaginatively Deliverable is used appropriately Deliverable is used somewhat appropriately Deliverable is not used appropriately
Realization (4) Realization of approach is clear and well-formed Realization of approach is reasonable Realization of approach is mostly unclear and not well-formed Realization of approach is not clear
Connections to Class Discussions (4) Thoroughly connected Reasonably thoroughly connected Somewhat connected Not connected
Completed Plan (4) Ambitious and thorough Reasonably thorough Somewhat thorough Not thorough
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