|TEC 154, 2007S » Project|
Summary: Working in small teams, you will write a seven- to ten-page paper about a technology not discussed significantly in class and present your findings to the class.
You have now studied a number of technologies and, as importantly, a variety of perspectives on the role and purposes of technology. It is time to apply your knowledge to a new technology. You will apply this knowledge in two ways: You will write a paper about the technology and you will present the technology to the class.
Your paper will have at least three parts:
By "foundational texts," I mean those texts read during "reading weeks" in which we did not have guest lecturers.
You should begin by forming a team of 3 students (not 2, not 4) to work together on the project.
The team should then work together to identify a topic of interest. Your initial topics may be fairly broad. You might study recent technologies (e.g., cell phones or PCR), 20th century technologies (e.g., container shipping or television), industrial-age technologies (e.g., the telegraph or the Jacquard loom), or even older technologies (e.g., the development of writing). You might instead begin from a context of use (e.g., the kitchen or the aerospace industry). If you found Petroski interesting, you might look at his other books for ideas (for example, he has written a whole book on the evolution of the pencil).
If you have taken Professor Case's class, Bridges, Towers, and Skyscrapers, you may not write about topics from that class. If you are in Professor Robertson's class, Biotechnology, you may not write about topics from that class. If you have a technology you use regularly in other courses, you may certainly write about that technology.
By Friday, March 16, you should inform me of the members of your team and the topic you have selected. If you have trouble finding a team, let me know by Wednesday, March 14, and I will do my best to assign you to a team.
Note that this is the day before spring break starts! I will provide feedback upon your return so you can get off and running.
Once you have selected a topic, you should gather sources that will help you study the topic. I recommend that you make an appointment with a reference librarian for help identifying sources.
I will provide feedback on your selected topic; you should also narrow your topic down to a single technology (or a small group of closely related technologies) as you begin your research.
At least three of your sources should describe the history or evolution of the technology: What problem did the technology solve? What approaches did people take? Think about Petroski's reflections on the paperclip as an example of the kind of information you might gather.
At least three of your sources should be more critical papers that reflect carefully on the benefits or drawbacks of the technology.
If you already have a sense of which two (or more) foundational texts speak to your topic, include these in your annotated bibliography as well.
Read each of these sources carefully and compile an annotated bibliography using the following guidelines.
Your annotated bibliography is due Monday, April 16.
As you read and reflect upon your sources, think carefully about claims you can make about the technology. Your claims will likely synthesize positive and negative aspects of the technology. You may want to reflect on Erik Simpson's Developing a Thesis, available on the web at http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Connections/Writing/Thesis/index.html.
Turn in a draft thesis by Monday, April 16. You need only turn in the thesis, but you may find it more helpful to situate the thesis in an introductory paragraph or section.
As you have probably heard many times at Grinnell, experience shows that papers are significantly better when they are written in multiple phases, with at least one draft before the final version. To remind you of the importance of drafting, I require a "smooth draft" for this paper.
By "smooth draft," I mean a draft that has most of the problems worked out. Smooth drafts are spelled correctly and use standard grammar. Smooth drafts include most or all of the expected content of the paper, although perhaps not stated as well as you might like. Smooth drafts can also include a few lacunae (e.g., "need to fill in more detail here") or other annotations (e.g., "need to refine this argument"). Except for a few gaps and annotations, a smooth draft should be something you would hope to get at least a C on.
I will distribute copies of your drafts to other members of the class for review.
Turn in four (4) copies of your smooth draft by Monday, April 23.
Each team will be responsible for preparing brief comments on one other team's draft paper. Those comments are due Monday, April 30. Please send your comments in the BODY of an email to me and to the three members of the other team. (I will provide you with their email addresses.)
As you read, you should consider questions such as the following:
You are not required to proofread the paper. However, if you are a compulsive proofreader like me, you are welcome to give your marked-up copy of the paper back to the authors.
Your team will present its findings in class during the final week of the semester. I will assign the day and order of presentations. You should plan to present for 15-20 minutes on your thesis and allow five minutes for questions and answers.
Presentations will be given during the final week of class.
Here are the guidelines for your presentation:
The length of the presentation is 15-20 minutes. You will need to stay focused on your thesis.
A short question/answer session will follow the presentation.
Visual aids in the form of OpenOffice Impress (or Powerpoint) slides are appropriate. Remember, these are visual aids which should complement what you plan to say.
You should plan to use the classroom computer/projector for your presentation. You may email slides to me before class or, if you have a MathLAN account, store them on the MathLAN.
Each member of your team should speak. (Depending on how you split up the presentation, one member may have a longer speaking time than the others, which is okay with me.)
The intended audience for the presentation consists of the members of this class. You should assume the audience is familiar with the material covered in the course, but not your specific topic.
The following rubric will be used to evaluate your presentation:
Organization/Structure -- Is the presentation well organized? Is the structure easy to follow? Are the transitions between topics and between speakers smooth? Is the overall structure of the presentation clear to audience members?
Delivery -- Do all team members speak? Is the presentation well prepared? Do the members speak confidently? Do presenters make eye contact with the audience members? Are questions asked by the audience answered well?
Visual Aids -- Are the slides complementary to the oral presentation? Do the slides enhance the presentation or distract audience members? Is the text/font easy to read?
I strongly recommend that a single person presents a contiguous chunk of the presentation. In other words, Person A should not talk for 5 minutes, then go to Person B, then go back to person A.
The first speaker usually introduces the entire set of presenters at the beginning of the presentation.
Practice. It will be clear to the audience if your group has rehearsed the presentation. Practice the presentation within your team, practice it with your friends, practice it to a wall. You should also practice to make sure your presentation is 15-20 minutes in length. Practice your presentation with your slides.
In general, people tend to speak more quickly in front of an audience, so keep that in mind when you determine the overall timing of your presentation.
Eeach team will have a number of resources with which to prepare the final paper: The smooth draft, comments on the smooth draft from another team and from Professor Davis, notes for the presentation, and comments on the presentation. Using these resources, the team will produce a final paper.
Your final papers are due Friday, May 11, the last day of class.
|Friday, March 16||Team and topic selection|
|Monday, April 16||Annotated bibliography
|Monday, April 23||Draft|
|Monday, April 30||Peer review|
|Monday, May 7 and
Wednesday, May 9
|Friday, May 11||Final paper|
This page is adapted from
Engle, M., Blumenthal, A.,
and Cosgrave, T. (undated). How to Prepare an Annotated
Bibliography. Olin and Uris Libraries, Cornell University.
Retrieved January 9, 2007 from http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/research/skill28.htm.
Owens, W. (undated). Writing an Annotated Bibliography.
Crookston Library, University of Minnesota, Crookston. Retrieved
January 9, 2007 from
Rebelsky, S.A. (2004). TEC 154 2004S: Stewardship: Annotated Bibliographies. Retrieved January 9, 2007 from http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~rebelsky/Courses/TEC154/2004S/Stewardship/annotated.html.
Simpson, E. (undated). Developing a Thesis. Retrieved January 9, 2007 from http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Connections/Writing/Thesis/index.html.
Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement (1998). Dartmouth College. Retrieved January 9, 2007 from http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sources/.
Janet Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)Created January 9, 2007