#smpcs18 semester topic, proposal, and blogging assignment

Assignment Overview

This semester, each student will choose a particular social justice-related issue that they will explore throughout the semester in each of the three major assignments, as well as on a group blog. The social-justice-related issue can be anything that you are passionate about, have strong feelings about, have a connection to in some way that makes you feel as if you could be part of a community, and is currently and has history of being discussed in popular culture.

During the course of the semester, students will complete the following (each portion of the assignment will be explained in greater detail below):

The assignment is informed by the following course objectives:

Objective 1. Communication Technologies
Students will develop and enhance their use of various analog and digital communication technologies for the purpose of creating media objects with specific rhetorical goals and for specific audiences.

Objective 2. Critical Awareness of the Social Role of Media
Students will understand the history and context of the role that media has played in society. Students will be able to articulate and critique the role media has historically played, and currently plays in society.

Objective 3: Effective Communication
Students will understand the principles, practices, and ethics of effective media communication, in particular in terms of how it applies to social media, participatory culture, and subverting institutions.

Objective 4: Reflection
Students will develop their understanding of the important role of reflection during the reading, creation, and communication process.

Objective 5: Risk-taking
Students will know what it feels like to step out of their comfort zones and take risks with their approaches to and understanding of digital media and participatory culture.

Semester Topic Proposal

This proposal will be just like most any other research proposal that you’ve written. I’d like you to propose the social-justice-related topic you’d like to study this semester. The topic should be one you are passionate about, have strong feelings about, have a lot to say about, and would be interested in learning more about. Address at least the following questions:

  • What is the social-justice issue?
  • Why are you passionate about it, why are you interested in studying it more, and how are you connected to it in some way to make you feel like you are part of the community?
  • How has your topic been presented in the news and popular culture in the past and how is it being presented right now?
  • What, if any, hashtags are associated with the topic?

Your proposal should be between 350 – 500 words.

Due Monday, 1/22 by 5:00 pm in an email to Bill. Bring an digital version of your proposal to class on Tuesday, 1/23.

Blog and Blogging Assignment

This semester all of the work we create will be posted to a collaborative WordPress blog. Students will be broken into groups based on their proposed topic of study. Each student will have a static page dedicated to their own work and will also post to the blog space. We will set up the blogs in class on 1/25 and will build up the site over the course of the semester.

The Static Pages

Once your group has determined a blog name and URL and has invited all members to join the blog, the next thing is to create static pages for each group member. To create the static page, in the WordPress dashboard go to Pages –> Add new (NOTE: This is not a Post, but a Page). In the title area, put the topic you’ll be investigating this semester followed by the word “Investigation and Projects.” On your static page, you’ll be including the following:

  • your study proposal (due online 1/25)
  • a digitized version of your final zine and reflection statements
  • your final video mashup and reflection statements
  • your final network visualizations and analysis statements

Once your pages have been created, create the navigation menu. To add the page to your navigation menu, follow these instructions for creating a menu.

Blog Posts

Students will also be completing THREE blog posts over the course of the semester due toward the beginning of each of our three semester units.

Blog Post 1: Due 2/6 by 11:00pm

Consider this blog post a “History and Present of My Topic” blog post. For this post, I’d like you to investigate the history of your topic as a social justice issue in the United States, focusing on the time period 1960 to the present — that is, the period just before, during, and after the heyday of punk zines. The goal of this post is to help provide you with necessary context for understanding the importance of the topic you’ll be studying this semester.

Your post MUST be multimodal and include the following:

  • links when necessary
  • images and/or videos that help enhance your discussion

The post should be between 750 – 800 words long and be well-written, engaging, provocative, thoughtful, and worthy of an upper-level Communication Studies student.

Blog Post 2: Due 3/1 by 11:00pm

Consider this blog post a “My Topic in Popular Culture” blog post. For this post, I’d like you to write about how your topic has been represented in popular culture television, movies, video games, etc., since the 1970s. The goal of this post is to help get you started thinking about the images you might find yourself using in your mashup video.

Your post MUST be multimodal and include the following:

  • links when necessary
  • images and/or videos that help enhance your discussion, especially examples of the television shows, movies, and/or video games your discuss

The post should be between 750 – 800 words long and be well-written, engaging, provocative, thoughtful, and worthy of an upper-level Communication Studies student.

Blog Post 3: Due 4/10 by 11:00pm

Consider this post a “My Topic in Social Media” blog post.

Details to be added.

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