In class today and Tuesday, we'll workshop research topics and sitebuilding. Please discuss the assigned reading with each other on the course blog outside of class. Both classes will be workshops focussed on developing good research topics and becoming comfortable with sitebuilding tools. Please bring laptops for both sessions.
To develop a research topic, please begin by generating a "networked self" map on paper. It should map the various affiliations, voluntary and involuntary, that make up your individuality. It should illustrate the relative importance of those affiliations. It should highlight three or four areas of conflict or debate associated with those affiliations. These conflicts must ALL be conflicts that you care deeply about. They must ALL be debates which are open--reasonable people in the community must genuinely not know/not agree on the answer. We are not interested in adding to settled areas of knowledge.
To generate a research topic, consider the highlighted debates and consider carefully which you are most passionate about. Also ask yourself: Regarding which of these are you best positioned to gather data (by surveying, interviews, sifting information in archives or social media, etc)? Regarding which of these do you envision yourself creating a media outlet that would be effective and be something of which you and others in your various circles take pride?
THEN: During or shortly after class 2/26, post a proposed research question. The research question is a modest area of the debate which could be furthered by new, additional, targeted original research--by you. You may have a sense where the data will take you, but the question should be authentically open. Describe what data you intend to gather. During or after class: Do a swift review of the existing literature on the question, and describe how your data adds to the conversation. If your proposed research does not add new data, however modest, revise your proposal.
Before 3/3, and when you are absolutely sure that your proposed research will add new, useful data to an existing, open question that you care deeply about: Create an infographic describing the question. Be sure to illustrate the various stakeholders in the question, the various expert and stakeholder views on the question, key data points, and the stakes involved in getting the question answered properly. Publish the infographic to the class blog (and your website if ready).
Website creation (Please attempt before 3/3, but due 3/5). We will be using Weebly for sitebuilding. It is up to you whether you pay to register a domain name or use a free Weebly "subdomain" (which puts Weebly badges on your pages and adds weebly.com to all of your pages). You can convert from free to paid at any time.
In essence, at this time you will be building two websites: a home or hub site, and one project site. The home or hub site will usually have at least three pages: home, coursework, and about me. The project site will have a different look. At this time the project site will have just one page, home, on which you'll paste the text of your research question and proposal. The home page should also have a link to the infographic you created.
You will eventually create more pages for this site and other project sites. Typically different project sites will have different looks or visual themes, reflecting the different content and aims.
On the hub site: The home and about me pages will have content of your choosing. The coursework page should be formatted like my model page, with links to all of the work you've done in this class. For work that you did on paper, such as the networked self map, you can upload a photograph or scan. On your coursework page and the home page for any project site for this class, you should have three informational links: to the Domain of One's own slideshare, to this syllabus and my real home page (marcbousquet.net, not the weebly version).
Be sure that both sites have an original look--that means swapping out stock design elements from the templates for original elements. Also please experiment with a font image maker to create headlines, pull quotes, and other text elements. Here's one: http://www.interactimage.com/
Once you have completed the course, the site you built is yours to continue to develop into a personal cyberinfastructure that may include, but is not limited to, course projects, a professional portfolio, resume/CV documents, social media feeds, and blogs. I've been teaching with digital publication since 1998.
In my archives you can see excellent student work by some students. However, since--unlike this class--that work was housed on university servers, it has been mostly wiped out after a few years. Because we are not using university servers, your work, on the other hand, will remain live as long as you wish.