This class satisfies the University’s requirements for the writing flag. The goal of this requirement is to assure that students learn not just the content of the areas they choose to study but also the communication skills that are required to share what they know with others. In the Internet age, these skills include more than just writing. They include using graphics, video and sound in ways that that are suitable for publication on the Web.
A major part (53% of the grade) in this class will be the completion of a term project. During the first few weeks of class, we will survey the topics that we will be discussing during the semester. We’ll briefly mention ethical theories, privacy, intellectual property, free speech on the internet, risk, security and hacking, the digital divide, and the future impact of technology on the job market, among other things. Any of these areas can serve as the basis for your project.
Your project will be submitted in two parts:
· A paper of at least 4,000 words.
· A short video (2 to 5 minutes long).
You may work alone or in teams of up to three people. The word and minute counts shown above are per person, so a team of n people should produce a project n times the size of an individual one. If you do work in a group, each person must contribute substantially to both the paper and the video. We will ask each group member to submit a statement that describes his/her contribution to the joint effort.
More about the Videos:
For many of you, this will be your first experience at producing a video. You may find it stressful but our experience has been that, by the end of the semester, students are really glad that they had the experience.
As you’re working on your video, you may need a camera that’s better than any that you have. In that case, you can check out camera kits at the Fine Arts Library.
Your video can be a documentary or a drama. Many good documentaries rely heavily on interviews. You may be able to find experts who are willing to talk to you. Don’t be bashful. It never hurts to ask. You may also find it interesting to conduct “man in the street” interviews to convey a sense of public attitude toward your topic. Remember that, if you conduct interviews, you should be sure to get permission from your interviewees before you distribute your video or post it on the web. You should also send a copy of your completed video to anyone you interviewed.
Your video may include images and clips, if properly cited, taken from other people’s work. But at least 70% of your video must be original.
There are several project milestones, spread out over the semester. See http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/ear/cs349/Syllabus.html for specific dates.
Initial discussion about topics
Outline (of both paper and video) (See Note 1 for details.)
First draft of paper (at least 1,000 words) (See Note 2 for details.)
Written video progress report (less than one page) (See Note 3 for details.)
Final video turned in
Final paper turned in
The paper first drafts that you turn in will be reviewed by our TAs. We will also swap the papers and ask each of you to read someone else’s paper and provide feedback on it.
We will spend the last three weeks of class watching everyone’s videos. You’ll be expected offer a short introduction to your video and then to host a short discussion after we watch it.
Note 1: You should turn in four things: (1) A statement of the thesis of your paper. This can be short. One sentence may suffice. It should take no more than a paragraph. (2) An outline of your paper. It should be at least a page. More is okay. In fact, if you have written any of your paper, you may include the written sections, leaving the unwritten sections in outline form. We want to see that you’ve begun to think about exactly what your topic is and how you will present it. (3) A list of sources. It needn’t be complete, but we want to see that you’ve begun to do research. (4) An outline of your video. It may be as little as half a page. We want to see that you have the beginning of a plan. Clearly indicate whether you’ll be doing a documentary, a mockumentary, or a drama. If you are planning to do interviews, indicate who your interviewee(s) will be.
Note 2: You should turn in a draft that contains some complete paragraphs. In particular, you should have written your topic paragraph and your concluding paragraph. We want to see at least 1000 words. The parts of your paper that are not written yet should appear in outline form so that we can see the flow of the entire paper. You should bring two copies of your draft. You’ll give us one. The other you’ll swap with someone else so that you can get additional feedback.
Note 3: You should do two things: (1) Revise the outline that you submitted earlier if you have made changes to it. (2) Annotate the outline to show your progress. Indicate the parts that you have filmed, the parts that you have edited, and the parts that you still need to work on. If there are issues, like trying to track down interviewees, indicate what they are.
We have posted the evaluation sheets that we will use in grading both papers and videos.