Final Project

Our Final Projects will comprise our main work for the last several weeks of the semester. Part of the challenge will be managing your time and making regular progress, but we will check in on a weekly basis to help you move forward. If you do not have experience managing your time on a larger and longer project, that’s okay – we can use this as a learning opportunity. If you need to scale back or add onto your project along the way, we can adjust. You can potentially do multiple short projects if that sounds better to you. Your project can be individual or collaborative if you want to work with other people in the class, and you could potentially do some of both, some individual work and some collaborative work.

Final Project Components
The Final Project will comprise 40% of our final average. This grade will be determined by a few components:

  • Managing your project on Trello – 5%
  • Project Conference Draft (due the week of April 22) – 10%
  • Final Project Submission (due May 8) – 20%
  • Project Reflection (due May 8) – 5%

Final Project Proposal
We are having conferences to discuss our Final Project work in the middle of the semester, and you should post your proposal to your website before our conference. The proposal should be at least 500 words, and it should address the following prompts:

  • Describe the project. What do you want to make or do? Tell us about the medium (e.g., video, podcast, website, paper) and the content (what your project will be about). Be as specific and thorough as possible.
  • Describe the purpose of your project. Why do you want to do this? Why is it important or meaningful to you? Why might it be important or meaningful to a larger audience? What effect do you have want to have in the world?
  • Identify the resources you will need to complete the project. What sort of help will you need? What sort of tools, technologies, or materials will you need? Will you need other people to contribute to the production of your project?
  • Outline the timeline for your project. We have about seven weeks to complete our work; what deadlines do you expect to reach each week?

Final Project Options
Our work on the project can go in a range of directions. The following options aim to give you a sense for what you might do, but you can potentially do something not listed below as long as it fits under the broader heading of “writing in digital environments.”

  • Video. Building on our A/V work from earlier in the semester, you can make a video. We have resources at the library you can draw on, including a green screen recording room and cameras you can check out. Your video work can take the form of an essay, documentary, news segment, short film, parody, mashup, or anything else along these lines.
  • Podcast. Similarly building on our A/V work, producing a podcast would allow you to make an argument, tell a story, analyze something, produce a documentary, etc., using audio. The library also has recording resources including a recording room with microphones.
  • Website. This approach allows you to design a website separate from your main class site. You could produce a site for a group or organization to which you belong; you could orient the site around a particular interest; you could design a site for another person who wants their own site.
  • Social Media. You can develop a social media campaign or persona using one or more social media platforms. This approach would work well if there’s a particular issue or interest you want to explore further. This could involve creating a YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Instagram account, etc.
  • Game or System Design. Building on our work with system design and procedural rhetoric, you can produce a game (videogame, board game, card game, etc.) or design a more complex system. Your work can be descriptive (describing the game or system in writing) or involve actual production of the thing itself. We can discuss platforms you might use for producing a game or system.
  • Blogging. This approach would involve writing a series of blog posts on a particular topic of relevance to you. Your focus could be personal, academic, social, political, or anything else along these lines.
  • Electronic Literature. We have not discussed electronic literature much in class, but it embodies an approach to creative writing that draws upon the functionality of digital environments and technologies. Look here for examples. We can discuss platforms you might use for producing electronic literature.
  • Paper. You can write a paper that takes up a topic related to writing in digital environments. Your writing will likely involve some combination of research, analysis, argument, creativity, and personal expression.

Final Project Reflection
When you submit your Final Project work, also add a reflection post (500-800 words) on your class site (or include the reflection on your Final Project post if you have one). Your reflection should address the following prompts:

  • What do you like most about your project? Where was your work most and least successful? What made this work particularly effective or ineffective? What were the main comments you received on your work, whether from peers, your instructor, or other outside help? What steps did you take to address these comments? How effective were the revisions?
  • How would you describe the efforts you made on the project? Consider both the amount of effort you put into your work and how productive and effective this effort was. How much time did you spend on different aspects of the writing and production process? Which efforts felt most productive and effective? Least so?
  • How would you describe the context of your writing and production process? What was your writing environment like? What technologies did you use?
  • How would you compare your work on this project to other work you’ve done for this class or others? How did your efforts or writing process change for this project? What did you learn from your work on this project?