Project Work

Our main work this semester will involve working on collaborative projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Projects should involve some form of writing or digital production, allowing you to draw on skills and strengths developed through other courses you have taken.
  • Projects should involve collaboration with others outside of class, whether an individual, multiple people, or an organization. You can also collaborate with others in class.
  • You should be able to articulate a clear goal or purpose for the project. This purpose can be social, academic, or professional.
  • You can work on a series of short projects or a larger project, but you should be able to complete the project within the scope of the semester.

You will be responsible for developing the project, figuring out what work needs to be done, setting reasonable deadlines, and keeping the project on track in collaboration with your project members. The following assignments will help us develop project ideas and launch our projects.

Project Ideas

For this assignment, you should develop five project ideas. You may not end up working on all these projects, but the ideas should give you a foundation to build on as we think about possibilities for the semester. Your project ideas should be submitted as an attachment or link via email no later than noon on Friday, September 1. Your work should address the following prompts for each idea:

  • Describe the project. What would it involve? What is the goal of the project?
  • What sort of collaboration would be involved? Who would you work with?
  • How long do you think the project would take? What sort of steps would be involved?
  • What technologies or resources would be necessary to complete the project?
  • What would come out of the project? What are the deliverables and final products?

Project Proposal

This assignment will follow the same approach as the Project Ideas assignment, but here you should focus on one project and develop your thoughts further. We produced the Project Ideas for brainstorming purposes; for the Project Proposal, you should articulate a vision of the project that gives us a clear sense for what you will be doing and what you will achieve. The proposal should be submitted as an attachment or link via email no later than noon on Friday, September 8. Your work should address the following prompts:

  • Describe the project. What does it involve? What is the goal of the project?
  • What sort of collaboration will be involved? Include a list of specific project members, including yourself, and describe everyone’s responsibilities.
  • Give a specific timeline of events and deadlines for the project.
  • Identify the technologies and resources necessary to complete the project and describe how they will be used.
  • Identify the project deliverables, what will come out of the project. What products will come out of your writing and digital production work?

Ongoing Project Work

You will be responsible for submitting work at the beginning of each week demonstrating progress on your project. Beyond work for the project itself, you can work in the following directions as well:

  • Project Research. You can enhance your project work by researching similar projects as reference points. In “Crossing Battle Lines,” we included research related to ARGs, rhetorical studies, gaming in education, and digital literacies, which offered a richer context for understanding and situating our project. You can do research relevant to your own project, both to generate project ideas and to enhance any reflective writing you do about your project.
  • Project Updates. Writing updates serves as a way of documenting your progress and keeping people in the loop. Such updates can address what you have done throughout the past week, how things are progressing overall, and what the next steps are.
  • Project Reflections. These will be more relevant once you complete a project, but you can take notes in this direction along the way. Such reflections can be relevant and helpful for professional audiences who are evaluating you as a potential employee or project member, for people taking up similar projects who want to learn from your experience, and for yourself. Such reflections should address the purpose of the project, any relevant contexts for the project (see Project Research above), project design, how the project unfolded and developed, what came out of the project, and conclusions or insights you reached from working on the project.

Project Update

This assignment (minimum 800 words, submitted via email as an attachment) asks you to check in on your project progress, assessing where you are at and what you have left to do for the semester. You should approach this paper as a formal progress report like you would make at work to update colleagues or supervisors. You are welcome to draw on other writing you have done this semester (the project proposal, weekly updates, etc.). Your thinking should address the following prompts:

  • What are the main goals of your project? What are you hoping to achieve? How has your understanding of the project and the project goals changed throughout the semester?
  • To what extent have you achieved your project goals? What progress have you made on your project up to this point of the semester? What work has been completed, and how successful has this work been?
  • What do you still need to achieve on the project between now and the end of the semester? What goals have not been addressed or achieved? What specific steps will you take to achieve these goals (include deadlines)?