#caps24 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.

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

Week One: Introductions

W 1/17: Introductions, Syllabus; course blog, Cap Stones
Hand out Semester-Long Individual Project Assignment

Assignment for Friday, 1/19
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 1:00pm so I have time to go through them before class on Friday.

If you have yet to complete the confidential Start of Semester survey I emailed earlier this week week, please do.

Please read the Semester-Long Individual Project Assignment very carefully and come to class with questions you have about it.

In class we (may have) started brainstorming around what we completed in the COM and COM-adjacent courses we have taken (like, Digital Photography or Advertising). Please complete the following for Friday:

  1. What projects have you made or completed in your COM classes (required and special topics)?
  2. What projects have you made or completed in your COM-adjacent courses?
  3. For each on this list, list the hardware and software you used. Be specific.
  4. Circle the ones that stand out to you that you’re most proud of, enjoyed completing the most, and feel the most confident about in terms of the hardware and software.
  5. Jot down a few notes about what about each of those stand out to you, why you are proud, etc. This could be the project itself and/or the subject matter covered and/or anything else you think about it.

We’re going to talk about these in class on Friday as a jumping-off point to the semester project.

F 1/19: Brief intros, get to know each other; syllabus questions; past projects we like; A List Apart and The Marginalian
Hand out Pitches Assignment
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Week Two: Projects and Pitches

Assignment for Monday, 1/22
Please complete the Pitches Assignment by the start of class. We’ll start presenting pitches in class.

Make sure you follow all the guidelines of the Capstone Project assignment as well as the Required Elements for Blog Posts. They account for 30% of your blog post grade.

If you any questions, let me know.

M 1/22: Discuss Pitches (round 1)
Pitches Due on Course Blog by Start of Class
Wed 1/24: Discuss Pitches (round 2)

Assignment for Friday, 1/26
On Monday 1/29, we will have prior Capstone students visiting to talk about their experiences in Capstone.

By the start of class on 1/26, please add up to three questions you’d like the students to address to the below form:


Your questions can be anything about the class, the process of completing the project, the presentations . . . anything you’d like.

I’ll collate and prepare them for Monday, but I’ll need time to do that, which is why I’d like them posted by Friday.

F 1/26: Discuss Pitches (round 3)
Handout Formal Proposal Assignment

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Week Three: Formal Proposals and Conferences

M 1/29: Meet with prior Capstone students via Zoom — the whole class will be on Zoom
Formal Proposal Due on Class Blog by 11:00pm
W 1/31:  Class Canceled for Proposal Conferences
F 2/2:  Class Canceled for Proposal Conferences
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Week Four: Background Research and Ethics, Time Management

M 2/5: On background research and ethics; Consent Forms and Surveys; Sample Consent Form
Hand Out Background Research Assignment
W 2/7: Time management and project calendar
Hand out Consideration Post Assignment
F 2/9: Class Canceled to Work on Background Research
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Week Five: Materiality, Technology, and Inclusive Design

Assignment for Monday, 2/12
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 2/12: In-class work on background research
Hand out Consideration Posts Assignment
Hand out First Consideration Post: Materiality and Technology
Hand out Gear and Material Funding Request Form
Background Research due by 11:00pm

Assignment for Wednesday, 2/14
If you did not complete the work for Monday, please complete it and be reading to discuss.

Also, please through the Consideration Posts assignment and come to class with any questions you have.

W 2/14: 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; 1984 Introducing Macintosh ad
F 2/16: Class Canceled to work on Projects
Project Consideration Post #1 Due by 11:00pm
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Week Six: Inclusion and Diversity

M 2/19: Class Canceled to work on Projects

Homework for Wednesday, 2/21
We are back in the classroom on Wednesday and we’re going to be talking about inclusive design. I’d like you to read the below articles for Wednesday:

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

  1. Figure out where in your project could integrate inclusive design (even if we don’t have the technology to do so, such as creating a Braille version)
  2. 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.
  3. 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 pitfalls 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.

W 2/21: Inclusion and Diversity; Design Justice Institute Design PrinciplesDesigning for Diversity; terminology;
Hand out Second Consideration Post: Inclusion and Diversity
Hand Out Progress Report Assignment
F 2/23: Class Canceled to work on Projects
Project Consideration Post #2 Due by 11:00pm

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Week Seven: Inclusive Design

Assignment for Monday, 2/26
This week we are going to build on the work for last week by focusing on the ethical and practical cases for creating content that is inclusive for all users.

Please read (or re-read if you didn’t for last week) 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 2/26: Inclusive Design;
Hand out Third Consideration Post: Inclusive Design
W 2/28: Project check-ins
Project Consideration Post #3 Due by 11:00pm
F 3/1: Class canceled. Have a great Spring Break!
Midterm Progress Report Due

Spring Break 3/4 – 3/8

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Week Eight: Midterm Check-ins (Goal: 50% Completed)

M 3/11: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 3/13: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
F 3/15: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm

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Week Nine: Work on Projects

M 3/18: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 3/20: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
F 3/22: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
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Week Ten: Working on Projects (Goal: 60% Completed)

M 3/25: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 3/27: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
F 3/29: Easter Break — No Class
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Week Eleven: Working on Projects

M 4/1: Easter Break — No Class
W 4/3: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
F 4/5: As Needed Online Check-in Meetings
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
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Week Twelve: Work on Projects (Goal: 80% Completed)

M 4/8: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
W 4/10: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings (may be changed due to COM Career Day)
F 4/12: 10 Minute Online Check-in Meetings
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
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Week Thirteen: Presentations

M 4/15: Discuss Presentation Best Practices; Final Presentation Grading Rubric (.pdf)
Hand out Final Presentation Assignment
Hand out Final Presentation Grading Criteria (.pdf)
W 4/17: Individual Meetings with select students

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

  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 like you 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.

F 4/19: start organizing presentation images
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
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Week Fourteen: In-Class Presentations (Goal: 90% Completed)

M 4/25: In-class Presentations
Presentations Drafts Due by Start of Class
W 4/27: In-class Presentations
F 4/29: In-class Presentations
Weekly Progress Report Update Due by 11:00pm
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Week Fifteen: Presentations (Goal: 95+% Completed)

M 4/29: Final Preparations and Questions
W 5/1: Final Preparations and Questions
Final or Very Close to Final Presentations Due by Class Time
Thursday, 5/2: Project Presentations in Teletorium in Mandeville between 4:00pm – 7:30pm
F 5/4: TBD
Last Class Day of the Semester
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Week Sixteen

TBD: All final deliverables completed and shared with Bill by 11:00pm
TBD: Final Cap Stones blog post
TBD: Final Progress Report due by 11:00pm (for this, you will answer two short reflection questions)

Thursday, 5/13: Grades Due 

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