PUB101 Assignments

PUB101 aims to develop your own capabilities and resources for presenting yourself online. Our learning goals for this course are expressed more in terms of disposition and confidence than skills and abilities. This course provides an opportunity for you to engage with facets of contemporary media in a constructive way: we learn though doing, building, and sharing within a community of practice.

By the end of the course you will have developed a portfolio of sorts, according to your own design and vision. But more than just a portfolio of past work, it also can serve as the platform for your future building, and learning, and working. Formal assessment for this course—and your official mark—is primarily based on written work, partly individual and partly in collaboration with partners and/or larger groups.

The quality of your writing will be part of the official assessment. This means you need to take extra care with grammar, usage, spelling, syntax, and structure. What you write is being published. Anyone can see it. You want the most polished version of your work on your blog. This means proofreading your work before it goes out. Informal assessment for this course—and you will be the judge of that—is all about your contribution to the community gathered here.

Here’s the marking breakdown:

  • Two short (~1000-wd) essays: 40%
  • Online development & Process blog posts (weekly): 40%
  • Peer-review activities: 10%
  • Participation: 10%

Assignment Details and Due Dates

Process Blog Posts (weekly) (40%)

Your Process Posts are where you will document your work on your online publication, and demonstrate your reflection on everything you do: tracking, writing, media, link sharing, editorial, design, and the cultivation of social media as an organized whole. You will be assessed on your ability to describe, account for, justify, complicate, assess, and otherwise intelligently write about your own online publication. We will also be looking for evidence that you have been keeping up with the weekly readings and attending lecture, demonstrated through your ability to integrate those readings and discussions into your own writing. These posts will be assessed weekly, with feedback provided on a semi-regular basis. You can choose how to integrate these posts into your site, as long as they are clearly discoverable by your instructor.

Peer Review: developing an online self (due Week 4 – Sept. 26) (3%)

With an assigned peer from your own tutorial, write (appreciatively, constructively) a review of what they have developed on their site thus far, with a focus on the development of a clearly articulated online self. The review should assess any content and design decisions made thus far, and should engage clearly with course readings on developing an online self. Your review should be 400+ words and posted to your Process Blog, with clear links to your peer’s site.

Peer Review: design (due Week 6 – Oct. 10) (3%)

With an assigned peer from the course’s other tutorial, write (appreciatively, constructively) a review of their website’s design. Link well, use resources from your readings please. The review should assess theme and customizations, typography, layout, social media integration, site structure, usability, and any other design decisions you notice. Your review should be 400+ words and posted to your Process Blog, with clear links to your peer’s site.

Essay 1 (due Week 7 – Oct. 17) (20%)

Essay number one should deal with some aspect of social media platforms as sources of news. Following the 2016 US election, in which incorrect or misleading news stories arguably impacted public knowledge, the idea of “false news” stories and the role social media news plays in shaping public opinion came to the forefront. Your essay should consider the topic from the perspective of a person involved in the creation, dissemination, and curation of digital content. You may use specific examples, or discuss the issue on a broader level. Research data on how people get there news. The PEW Institute is a good place to start.

Your essay should be at least 750 words (1250 maximum). It should be posted on your site (either as a page or a Process Blog post). It needs to have at least four references, and they need to be properly cited. Use links where appropriate, too.

Peer Review: audience and channels (due Week 10 – Nov. 7) (4%)

With an assigned peer from the other section of PUB101, write (appreciatively, constructively) a review of their website’s marketability to their intended audience group. Link well, use resources from your readings please. The review should thoroughly assess both content and design from the perspective of a reader/user. Your review should be 400+ words and posted to your Process Blog, with clear links to your peer’s site.

Essay 2 (due Week 13 – Nov. 28) (20%)

Essay number two should focus on your own experience as an online publisher. Write about your experience this fall (and beyond, if you like) with creating your online presence and expanding it.

How have you created your publication? What is it about, who is it for? Who is your public (imagined and real)? How are you addressing that audience through editorial, design, content? What value do you think you are providing (this does not need to be monetary value), and to whom? What have you learned about your audience from Google Analytics (or WordPress stats)? Are you gathering comments on your site; if so, how has this influenced you?

Looking back, reflect on how your thinking has changed about publication since the beginning of term. Looking forward, what are your goals for your online self past the end of this course? Will you continue to blog? To work on elaborating your online presence?

The essay should be a minimum of 750 words, and it should reference at least three sources. Sources can be academic pieces (e.g., course readings), online posts or journalism, or other online examples that inform your thinking. Please post your essay online, on your own website (or else make special arrangements with your instructor)

Tutorial Participation (10%)

The tutorial sessions are collaborative workshops; your mark is based on your active participation in conversation, reflection, giving feedback to colleagues, and contributing new ideas and resources.