In this project, you will choose a form of technology that has impacted communication, learning, and literacy practices. The form of technology could be hardware (e.g., cellphones, tablets, computers, video projectors) or software (e.g., word processors, Internet browsers) as well as online resources (e.g., websites, online apps and social networking sites). There are two major goals for this project. One major goal is to find the best and most relevant research about the technology you feel driven to explore. Through your research process, you will conduct a thorough study of the “conversation” related to your selected technology to learn more about it. Another goal for this project is to equip you with the skills necessary for successful research, a useful tool in college and life.
First, you will do some preliminary research to help you choose a technology worth investigating for this project. This research could be informal and done using Google, Google Scholar, or ASU’s library website (https://lib.asu.edu (Links to an external site.)). Once you have explored some technologies and decided on one to research, you will write a short proposal on this technology explaining why you are interested in researching it. Your proposal should include a few research questions to guide your process. Your research questions should be on the role this form of technology has played in communication, learning, and literacy practices.
Then, you will write a short informative research report that explains what you learned about your selected technology. This report will be mostly informative. For this project, you will use your research to explain the “conversation” around your technology for someone who is not familiar with the nuances of the information around this topic. You will conclude your report with a full bibliography of your sources. For this project, you should refer to 3-5 credible sources. Please note that you will not be making much of your own argument in this report, but rather presenting the big picture of what the research says, organized around the issues (not the sources).
For this project, your primary audience will be literacy scholars who also research current literacy practices and are interested in learning about the impact technology has had on society’s reading and writing practices. It will be especially appealing to readers who are curious to know the positive and negative impact technology has had on learning, communication, and literacy.
An informative report begins with an overview and definition of the artifact being investigated. Background information such as when the artifact was developed, what purposes it serves in learning and literacy, and how it was received by target audiences (i.e. how college students responded to MacBook Pro or Air laptops). It is important to provide this information to your audience so they understand some basic background on the artifact you have researched.
Once you have provided an overview of the artifact, the body paragraphs will consist of the major findings you learned from conducting research. Your body paragraphs will include partial summaries of your sources while highlighting the major ideas related to the impact the technology has has on learning, communication, and literacy practices. Additionally, you will synthesize your sources ( see Synthesizing Your Research Findings (Links to an external site.) for more on how to do this) by identifying points in which there is agreement or disagreement, and explaining how they answer your specific research questions.
The conclusion includes a recap of what was discussed in the body paragraphs. This is the section where the writer may insert their own opinions, though they should be based on the findings from their sources.
What are the goals of this project?
- Find and select useful source material
- Evaluate the purpose and credibility of a source
- Read source material critically
How will you be graded for this project:
I will use the following questions to evaluate your projects:
- How thoroughly are the research findings synthesized to provide a clear and useful explanation of the current “conversation” around this technology?
- Is your report organized logically around the major ideas within your topic (and does not represent just a list of source summaries)?
- Does your report demonstrate an appropriate blend of summary, paraphrase, and quotation to support the explanation of the issue?
- Does your report include sources that are credible, useful, and diverse? Does the scope of the sources help the readers get a full sense of the conversation around this topic?
- Do you include full and accurate citations within the text and in the bibliography?
- Does your report represent a polished document, with few to no errors and professional document design?