Assignment for Tuesday & Thursday, November 18 & 20

With only two full weeks of class left (weeks of November 17 & December 1), we are now zooming on the last essential tasks left for this course.

1. Group experiment project: For next Tuesday, you should try to get as much of the experimental design completed as possible so that we can run your experiment as a pilot. Post the link and invitation to the pilot study on the Forum page of the Virtual Lab as soon as it is ready and at the latest by class time on Tuesday. All students will be required to complete the pilot study for the other team and post questions/comments/concerns as a reply to the Forum post. We will use class time to complete this task and do some troubleshooting, so bring earphones!

I will be posted the template for the structured abstract report as well as sample reports from past offerings of this course on the Virtual Lab next week.

2. Individual project: On Thursday, we will use class time for a panel discussion of your individual projects. Each student should be ready to make a 5-10 minutes presentation and answer questions/comments from their peers. In preparation for this presentation, you will need to do/prepare the following:

a. Review the feedback on your lit review; I will post individual feedback on all projects by the end of the day, Friday, November 14. Post questions/comments using the reply function, as necessary.

b. Re-formulate your research question taking into consideration your background research. Is there a specific aspect of the topic that seems more fruitful to pursue? Are there previous findings that suggest a particular path of exploration for your topic? Which sources might be most helpful in guiding your work toward developing your own perspective on this question?

c. Do some follow-up database research using more specific keywords suggested by the source(s) most closely related to your re-formulated question. Alternatively, you might search for sources in an area that you didn’t get a chance to explore in your lit review, if it suggests itself as especially promising at this point.

d. Post your re-formulated question and the citations & abstracts of the new sources you have identified on your individual project page.

e. Prepare an action plan for completing your individual project. In particular, think about the format of your final presentation. The format will vary based on your individual interests, the nature of your question, and the state of research. While each of you will be presenting your project to a “mock” panel of judges as if you were applying for a grant to pursue research, it is not expected that the research would necessarily include an experiment. You might find that what is needed is field observation, collecting primary sources, preparing a large-scale survey, or some other research activity. I invite you to be imaginative and let your research question guide you to the most appropriate format.

Your panel presentation on Thursday will be a summary of thoughts and findings generated by these steps. You may use the projector or prepare a handout if it will facilitate your presentation, but this is not required. However, you should prepare notes of what you want to say to make the presentation as clear and efficient as possible.

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