Assignments and Exams

Attendance (10%)

Attendance in this class is crucial, and it is worth 10% of your grade, which makes each day's attendance is worth .36 points. That seems small, but those points add up. If you arrive more than 5 minutes late for class, you will receive half-credit for that day's attendance. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will be marked absent.

Reading Quizzes and In-class activities (10%)

On certain days, we will have unannounced reading quizzes. We will also have some in-class activities. These quizzes and activities will happen 10 times during the semester, and each of them is worth a point (making all quizzes and activities worth 10% of your grade in total). You can use your notes (but not your book) during quizzes and activities.

Lab Reports (15%)

During the semester, you will complete three lab reports. Each report is worth five points, making lab reports worth 15% of your final grade.

During these lab sessions, you will investigate some digital object or tool. Primarily, these sessions will be self directed. I will be able to answer questions, but your main task during labs is to explore and tinker. This will mean successes and failures - some confusion is inevitable. That's part of the assignment!

Each person will submit their own lab report, and these will be submitted on Canvas.

Reports will have three sections:

Part A: Initial questions (no word limit)
List the initial questions you have about the tool or object we are analyzing. You will write these down during the first 10 or 15 minutes of our lab session. The questions should be as specific as possible. In this section, we want to set up an agenda for your group's lab session. What are you most interested in? What do you want to learn?

Part B: Lab Narrative (250 words maximum)
Provide a description of your interaction with the object. What did you try? What worked? What didn't work? Why? What strategies did you use to investigate this tool or object? How did your group collaborate?

Part C: Conclusions (250 words maximum)
Describe a potential project that would either use or examine this object/tool. You might describe a project that would use this tool/object in some way to answer a research question. Alternately, you might describe a project that would attempt to analyze or examine this tool or object--this would involve conducting some kind of critical analysis of the tool or object. Your proposed project could take a number of forms. Here's a list of possibilities, but this list is not exhaustive: a historical analysis, a "remix" of this tool or object that changes its functionality, an analysis of its design, a proposed redesign of this technology, a research paper about the creator(s) of this tool or object, etc. No matter what, you should take this section to describe the potential project you have in mind. Remember that you don't have to actually complete the project. You only need to describe it, but you should be as specific as possible. In these 250 words, you should begin to describe what the proposed project is, how you would approach such a project, and what you think it might accomplish.


Each lab report is worth four points. Here are the grade criteria I will use when evaluating lab reports. If your report falls in between these descriptions, your grade will reflect that. For instance, if you fall between the description of a "4" and a "2-3" you could receive a grade of 3.5

4
The lab report offers a detailed and extensive list of initial questions that go beyond surface level concerns, demonstrating that the student is thinking carefully about how to best explore and understand the tool or object. The lab narrative provides a detailed account of the group's activities, describing the collaborative and exploratory strategies used by the group. The conclusions section demonstrates careful thinking about a potential project and shows an understanding of what the tool or object can do and what it can't do. This lab report is carefully written, free of grammatical errors, and observes the word limits described above.

2-3
The lab report offers a partial list of questions that is moderately detailed. There is some evidence that the student has considered the best ways to explore this tool or object. The lab narrative offers a general, rather than specific, description of the group's activities. The conclusions section begins to describe a potential project, though that project is not fully articulated and may not demonstrate an understanding of the how the object works, what it can do, and what it can't do. The report may have benefited from more revision to attend to the clarity of writing, has grammatical errors, and/or may not observe the word limits.

0-1
The lab report offers few questions and the questions it does offer are too general. There is little or no evidence that the student has carefully considered what they want to learn about the tool or object. The lab narrative is incomplete or too general and does not fully account for the group's activities. The conclusions section does not offer enough detail and does not demonstrate an understanding of the tool/object's affordances and constraints. The report may have significant issues with clarity and grammatical errors, which prevent the reader from understanding the content of the report. The lab report does not observe word limits.

R-CADE Report (5%)

In April, you will attend the Rutgers-Camden Archive of Digital Ephemera (R-CADE) Symposium, and you will be asked to write a report based on one panel or presentation at that symposium. This report is worth 5% of your final grade. The report is due April 24 by 5:00pm

Your report will have two sections.

Part A: Summary of the Panel (250 words)
In this section, you will summarize what happened at the panel. You should be as detailed as possible, given the word limit. You should explain who presented, what they presented, and any other pertinent details about the panel. Your summary should make it clear that you were present and engaged throughout the entire panel, and you should take detailed notes.

Part B: Define and Explain at Term or Concept (500 words)
In this section, you will choose a term or concept discussed during the event and then define and explain that concept. This term or concept may be new to you, though this is not a requirement. Defining this concept may require you to do some external research, though you will need to keep the word limit in mind - 500 words is not very much space. This section should be carefully written and revised, so that you can take complete advantage of your limited space. Any sources should be cited, using MLA format (the bibliography does not count toward the word limit).


The R-CADE report is worth five (5) points. Here are the grade criteria I will use when evaluating these reports.

4-5 points
The report offers a detailed description of the panel that the student attended, demonstrating that the student was paying close attention during the presentations. The summary explains the topic of the panel, who presented, and provides details about the people who presented. Part B of the report offers a detailed description of a term or concept addressed during the panel and then explains the significance of that concept. There is evidence that the student conducted research on the topic after attending the panel. In addition, it meaningfully connects the content of the panel presentations to discussions we have had in class. The report is carefully written, free of grammatical errors, and observes the word limits described above.

2-3 points
The lab report offers a partial or incomplete description of the panel attended. There is some evidence that the student was engaged during the presentation, but the summary lacks some details. Part B of the report addresses a concept, but it does not necessarily reflect that the student has researched it, and the connections drawn between that concept and class are somewhat unclear. The report may have benefited from more revision to attend to the clarity of writing, has grammatical errors, and/or may not observe the word limits.

1 point
The report's summary of the panel is overly general and does not provide evidence that the student was attentive or engaged during presentations. There is little or no evidence that the student has researched a topic or concept addressed in the panel. Part B shows no evidence of research or of an attempt to connect the panel's content to things we have discussed in class. The report has significant issues with clarity and grammatical errors, which prevent the reader from understanding the content of the report. The lab report does not observe word limits.

Midterm Exam (30%)

The midterm exam will take place March 8 and will cover all material that we've read and discussed (readings, lectures, labs, and discussions) to that point in the course. During the exam, you are allowed to use your notebook.

Final Exam (30%)

The midterm exam will take place during our assigned final exam slot (May 10, 8:00am) and will cover all material that we've read and discussed (readings, lectures, labs, and discussions) from March 9 through the end of the course. During the exam, you are allowed to use your notebook.