#caps23 course calendar

about the course calendar

Texts are to be read/watched/listened to for day they are listed. Homework in addition to texts will be presented in yellow. The schedule is subject to change; it is your responsibility to check it regularly.

We meet as a full class unless otherwise stated.

Jump to a week: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Week One: Introductions

W 1/18: Introductions, Syllabus; brief intros; course blog, Cap Stones; First Day Questions
Hand out Semester-Long Capstone Project Assignment
Hand out Pitches Assignment

Assignment for Monday, 1/23
Please read through the course web site carefully and post two questions you have about it to this anonymous form:


Please complete the form by Thursday at 11:00pm so I have time to go through them before class on Monday.

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Week Two: Projects and Pitches

M 1/23: Discuss Pitches (round 1)
Pitches Due on Course Blog by Start of Class
Wed 1/25: Discuss Pitches (round 2)
Handout Formal Proposal Assignment

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Week Three: Formal Proposals & Meet with Prior Students

M 1/30: Meet with prior Capstone students via Zoom — the whole class will be on Zoom
W 2/1: Class Canceled for Proposal Conferences
Formal Proposal Due on Class Blog by NOON

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Week Four: Research and Ethics

M 2/6: doing background research; consent forms and surveys; Sample Consent Form
Hand Out Background Research Assignment
W 2/8: Class Canceled to work on Background Research

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Week Five: Materiality and Technology

Assignment for Monday, 2/13
Jenny L. Davis, author of How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things, writes:

Technologies are intrinsically social. They reflect human values and affect human behavior. The social dynamics of technology materialize through design features that shape how a technology functions and to what effect. The shaping effects of technology are represented in scholarly fields by the concept of “affordances.”

Affordances are the ways design features enable and constrain user engagement and social action. This has been a central construct for designers and technology theorists since foundational statements on the topic from JJ Gibson and Don Norman in the 1970s and 80s. With the rise of digitization and widespread automation, “affordance” has entered common parlance and resurged within academic discourse and debate.

This week we’re going to talk about the social nature and affordances of the materials and technologies with which you’re interacting for your projects. To help us get started with that, I’d like you to watch a 5 minute video in which Davis introduces these ideas in more depth. (Interestingly enough, the web site constrains—that is, does not afford—the ability to embed the video and forces the user to turn on the volume.)

I’d also like you to bring with you a list of all technologies and materials (including software) you will or think you will be using to complete your project. When considering technologies, think broadly (a pen is a technology, paper is a technology and a material, etc.).

Choose what you perceive to be the most important 2 technologies and 2 materials from your large list and note how each:

  • is social, including how it reflects your values, behaviors, and goals
  • affords engagement, including what about it is affording that engagement

If you are able to, bring those 2 technologies and 2 materials with you to class, as well.

This can be more confusing than it seems, so take your time with it.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 2/13: technological affordances; Samsung Galaxy s23; iPhone 14 Pro; Daft Punk “Technology” iPod Ad; Black Eyes Peace “Hey Momma” iPod ad; Mac and PC Out of the Box ad
Hand out Consideration Post Assignment
Hand out First Consideration Post: Materiality and Technology
Hand out Gear and Material Funding Request Form
Background Research due by 11:00pm

W 2/15: Class Canceled — Day of Dialogue
Friday 2/17: Project Consideration Post #1 Due by 11:00pm

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Week Six: Inclusion and Diversity

Homework for Monday, 2/20
We are back in the classroom on Monday and we’re going to be talking about inclusion and diversity. I’d like you to read the below articles for Monday:

After reading the Principles and Mantan and Gao’s article, I’d like you to come to class with the following:

  1. Determine where your project might overlap some of the Design Principles. None of the projects will overlap all of them, mostly because the goals of our projects are different from the goals of the Network. However, see where there is some overlap.
  2. Mantan and Gao introduce 5 core questions. I’d like you to answer the first 4 in terms of your own project, as well as to speculate on some pitpalls you might want to avoid.

Bring your answers to class and be ready to share. These discussions will find a way into your project design and your final presentation.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 2/20: Design Justice Network Design PrinciplesDesigning for Diversity; Discuss projects and inclusion; terminologySJU (slide)
Hand out Second Consideration Post: Inclusion and Diversity
W 2/22: TBD
Friday 2/24:
Project Consideration Post #2 Due by 11:00pm

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Week Seven: Inclusive Design

Assignment for Monday, 2/27
This week we are going to focus on the ethical and practical cases for creating content that is inclusive for all users.

Please read the Microsoft Inclusive Design Toolkit (.pdf) and “Inclusive Design for Social Media: Tips for Creating Accessible Channels” by Katie Sehl.

I’d like you to choose one of the design principles discussed in the Toolkit — Recognize Exclusion, Learn from Diversity, or Solve for One, Extend to Many — and look for examples of them in your daily life and activities. Choose two of those examples, take a photo or screenshot of each. Bring those photos to class and be prepared to share them on the class monitors and discuss how the examples make real that particular principle(s).

And, come to class with a list of concerns your project might raise in terms of inclusive design, which design principle(s) those concerns fall under, and what you might need to ensure it is your design is inclusive.

M 2/27: Inclusive Design and Accessibility; Inclusive: The Film
Hand out Third Consideration Post: Inclusive Design and Accessibility
Hand Out Progress Report Assignment
W 3/1: Class Canceled — work on projects
Friday 3/3: Project Consideration Post #3 Due by 11:00pm

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Week Eight: TBD

M 3/6: TBD
W 3/8: TBD
Friday 3/9: Midterm Progress Report Due by 11:00pm

Spring Break 3/13 – 3/17

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Week Nine: Midterm Conferences (Goal: 50% Completed)

M 3/20: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 3/22: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Friday 3/24: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Ten: Working on Projects

M 3/27: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 3/29: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Friday 3/31: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Eleven: Working on Projects (Goal: 60% Completed)

M 4/3: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 4/5: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Thursday 4/6: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Twelve: Working on Projects

M 4/10: No Class — Easter Break
W 4/12: Meeting with select students as requested or required
Friday 4/14: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Thirteen: Working on Projects (Goal: 80% Completed)

M 4/17: Discuss Presentation Best Practices; Final Presentation Grading Rubric (.pdf)
Hand out Presentation Assignment 

Assignment for Wednesday, 4/19
There are four parts to the homework for Wednesday:

  1. I’d like you to go through the prior students’ slides (see your email for these) and see how the student is using the images in the presentation to tell the story of the project visually.
  2. I’d like you to go through the prior students’ narratives (see your email for these) and locate each of the items Final Presentation rubric.
  3. I’d link to note the link between the discussion and the image, as well as how the student has constructed the narrative to tell the story of their project.
  4. I’d like you to come to class with 10 potential images you will use in your Final Presentation. You are not expected to have all of your images just yet, as you are not yet done with the project. But you should have images that help tell the story of your project up to now.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

W 4/19: Start organizing presentation images
Friday 4/21: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Fourteen: Working on Projects (Goal: 90% Completed)

M 4/24: Class canceled for final individual meetings
W 4/26: In-Class Presentations
Presentations Drafts Due by Start of Class
Friday 4/27: Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Fifteen: Presentations (Goal: 95+% Completed)

M 5/1: Final Preparations and Questions
Final or Very Close to Final Presentations Due by Class Time
W 5/3:Final Preparations and Questions; This is Water acted excerpt (created by The Glossary) of David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College commencement address
Last Class Day of the Semester
Thursday, 5/4: Project Presentations in Teletorium in Mandeville between 4:00pm – 8:00pm

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Week Sixteen

5/9: All final deliverables completed, shared with Bill, and linked to in Final Progress Report by 11:00pm
5/10: Final Progress Report due by 11:00pm (for this, you will answer two short reflection questions)
5/10: All missing work must be completed and shared with Bill by 11:00pm.

Sunday 5/15: Grades Due 

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