How has this technology been received, accepted, rejected? Why? Is it feared or favored? What is the attitude toward change? How are the developers trying to “sell” the technology to the general public?

LAS Course Project

Objective

This capstone course concludes with a research based Course Project that starts during the first week of the session and continues throughout the duration of the class. It culminates with the submission of a formal written report in Week 7.  In addition to the final outcomes, students will also conduct a peer evaluation of another student’s project, to provide feedback that enhances the work in a collaborative environment.

For the project, each student will identify and explore an emerging technology. This will be a technology that may already exist but is drawing attention because of new applications, anticipated impacts, or potential controversies.

The student will address the historical, social, cultural, moral, and ethical issues presented by their selected technology.

Guidelines

It is important to note that the first deliverable of this assignment is due on the Sunday of Week 1, so students must get organized and right into the project.

The Task

The primary focus of this assignment is for the student to research and assess the issues associated with a specific emerging technology.  It requires that student submit an APA formatted, 10-12 page paper, during Week 7 of the session.  Students will also conduct a peer evaluation of another student’s work, during Week 6, and must prepare a 5-10 minute presentation communicating their thoughts on the work.

The Paper must be well researched and utilize scholarly resources (refer to the Week 7 APA Paper Template under the Course Project page and the Writing and Research Help page located under Course Home). The final product should include the following components:

  • A title page – Including the student’s name
  • An abstract
  • A table of contents
  • An introduction, including a clearly defined thesis statement (Roughly 1 page)
  • A historical timeline that diagrams at least 3 predecessors to the emergent technology that includes a written assessment on how these technologies influenced the development of the current technology (Roughly 2 pages) – Please note that the timeline should be a horizontal visual component at the beginning of the section and the written assessment should take up a majority of the 2 pages.
  • An analysis of the technology’s influence on society considering all of the following components. (Roughly 4 pages)
    • Social,
    • Cultural,
    • Political,
    • Economic,
    • And the Environmental Impact
  • An evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with the technology in relation to its impact on humanity. (Roughly 2 pages)
  • Concluding remarks that include predictions for the future of humanity given the technology’s emergence. (Roughly 1 page)
  • In-text citations and a reference section in APA format
  • A one-page peer evaluation analysis detailing
    • A copy of the Peer Evaluation Grading Sheet
    • The edits added or subtracted from the suggestions provided by the collaboration
    • A description of the reasoning behind the changes
  • Appropriate statistical graphs/visual aids to support the paper

 

The Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation will help to foster collaboration during the writing process, as at times, others can see what you cannot. Since an audience can react to aspects of your argument in ways you may not anticipate, having the feedback of a peer can be invaluable.

The Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation will allow a sense of collaboration in this course project. Although, it isn’t essential to incorporate every comment/suggestion made by your peer, it is important that the student be open to the process and look for the opportunities that others will provide you as a means of improving your argument, and ultimately your final grade.

For the Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation, the student will read and respond to a fellow student’s paper by creating a PowerPoint presentation, with audio, that communicates a professional and considerate response.  This is a five step process.

  1. All students must upload a draft of their entire paper to the team area by Tuesday.
  2. Students must download the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form located under the Course Project page, Grading Rubrics, Week 6.
  3. Students must read their peer’s work and complete the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form.
  4. Students must then create a PowerPoint presentation with audio, to communicate their findings regarding the report (refer to the template located under the Course Project page, Grading Rubrics, Week 6 for help in this area). The final product will assess the communication style of the presenter and should include the following components:
    • A title page
  • An introduction slide, outlining the purpose and flow of the presentation
  • Format of paper evaluation
  • Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment Evaluation
  • Analysis of Impact Evaluation
  • Ethical Considerations Evaluation
    • Concluding Remarks
    • In-text citations and a references slide
    • Appropriate visual aids to support the presentation
  1. Lastly, the PowerPoint presentation and the Peer Evaluation Assessment Form must be submitted to the Dropbox for the grading purposes, and to the student in which they reviewed for their improvement purposes, by the end of the week


 

The Deliverables

Week 1:  Topic and Thesis Proposal (30 possible points)

  • Each proposal should include the following:
    • The name, and a brief description, of the emergent technology selected.
    • A thesis statement. Please note that a thesis sentence presents the central idea of the paper. It must always be a complete, grammatical sentence, specific and brief, and express the point of view you are taking towards the subject. This thesis statement will be included in the introduction of your final report.
Content Points
Includes the topic of research 5
Provides an appropriate description of the emergent technology 10
Includes a clearly stated thesis statement 10
Editing; spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence meaning is clear 5
Total 30

Week 2:  Resource review (50 possible points)

  • The student will assemble at least five scholarly academic references that will be used to write the paper (refer to Week 1’s tutorial on Scholarly References). Each student will list his or her references using APA format, and provide a brief explanation of each resource indicating how that resource will be used. The focus should be upon the student’s specific research assignment. An approximate length of this bibliography is between two to three pages.
  • A description, and brief example of this assignment, can be found in the Week 2 Resource Review Assignment Details document located under Course Project, Grading Rubrics.
Content Points
Minimum of 5 scholarly resources 5
Correct use of APA formatting 15
Clearly indicates how the resources support research in this section 25 (5 points per section)
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence meaning is clear 5
Total 50

 

Week 3:  Historical timeline and predecessor assessment draft.  Roughly 2 pages long (90 possible points)

  • Section should include
    • A visual historical timeline that diagrams at least 3 predecessors to the emergent technology
    • An assessment on how these three technologies influenced the development of the current technology
    • In-text APA formatted citations with a reference page
    • Please note that this assignment, although it includes a horizontal visual timeline, also requires a well-written assessment that details at least three technologies that came before the chosen technology and thus influenced its development.

 

Content Points
Provides a horizontal visual historic timeline detailing at least 3 predecessors to the emergent technology 15 (3 points per predecessor)
Includes a detailed analysis of the role that the predecessors played in the emergence of the current technology 45 (15 points X 3 predecessors assessed)
Use of introduction and conclusion paragraphs 10 (5 points for each)
In-text references are used and a reference page (in APA format) is included 10 (5 points for each)
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence meaning is clear 10
Total 90

 

The assessment should be well-written and incorporate proper grammar and no spelling errors.  It should incorporate an introduction, body, and a conclusion paragraph.

In addition to the Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment you must also submit your Smarthinking Report for this section. (10 points)

  • Smarthinking is a free online tutor service available to you.
  • You may access the service by clicking on the Tutor tab and going to the Smarthinking site.
  • Once on Smarthinking you should follow the following instructions to submit your essay for review.
    • Click on Writing Center, and submit your paper to the “Essay Center.”
    • Fill out the essay submission form. All red fields are required.
    • To upload your essay, click on the Browse button and locate your essay on the hard drive or floppy drive. We recommend that you save your writings in standard word processing formats such as Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) before submitting them. Macintosh users should add an extension (.doc or .rtf) to the file name before uploading.
    • Click Submit.
    • Then review your submission and click “Confirm Submission” You will receive a pop-up confirmation message. You must return to the SMARTHINKING website to pick up your returned essays.
  • To retrieve your Smarthinking report please follow these directions
    • Log into your SMARTHINKING account.
    • At the top, right side of the page you will find “Personal Archive”, please click on that.
    • On left side you have filters, check the “writing” box under Type, “returned” under status. On right side of this you will have your essay.
    • Click on the title of your essay, scroll down the page and click on “Download Essay” for Tutor Response.
    • Choose a location to save the file (usually on the desktop).
    • You can keep the default name for the file.
    • You should have Microsoft Word Document or Rich Text Format in the “Save As” Type box.
    • Click Save.
    • Refer to the document from the location where you save it.
  • Please note that it takes 24 hours for Smarthinking to return your report to you, meaning that you must plan for this in your time frames of submitting the assignment on time.
    • This means to incorporate their comments before you submit the draft in the Dropbox by the Sunday deadline, you should have your report to Smarthinking no later than Friday.
  • Be sure to upload your saved Smarthinking report to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 4:  Analysis of Impact draft.  Roughly 4-5 pages long. (90 possible points)

  • An analysis detailing the impact of the selected technology in relation to the following five required topics of interest
    • Social
      • How has this technology been received, accepted, rejected? Why? Is it feared or favored? What is the attitude toward change? How are the developers trying to “sell” the technology to the general public? Look at attitudes, feelings (emotions), behaviors, personality, and the ways humans change as a result of this technology. What is being thought and why? Is the human mind impacted? How? Are interactions between people changing as a result? Who is included or excluded and why? Use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Piaget or some other theorist. What psychological needs are met by the technology (e.g., cell phones once granted status and now promote a sense of belonging or connectedness) or created by the technology? Consumerism?
      • Look at groups and organizations that have arisen and prospered because of this technology. Are these groups supportive or antagonist, and why? (An example is genetically modified foods [GMOs] and the backlash against the Monsanto Corporation. Another is cochlear implants which allow the deaf to hear, yet reduce the deaf population that calls itself a community.) How does the technology change society, or how does society change in response to the technology? What factors in society led to the development in the first place? What do class, gender roles, race, norms, etc. mean in this context? Who will benefit from the technology, and who might be harmed (this might also belong in ethics/morals section)? For example, prosthetics enable people to participate more fully and actively in society (some persons are competing in triatholons and marathons), and the “war” has brought about the need for advances in prosthetic technology as casualties with missing limbs return home to the United States. Look at the workplace, new companies and/or jobs created, jobs lost (or save this for economics?). Look at roles—subgroups, people’s interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Consider crime, healthcare, schools. Surveillance cameras, for example, have recently been installed in New York City, and the result has been a decrease in the amount of crime, purse-snatching, pickpocketing, etc. Yet some fear the “big brother” effect of always being watched and tracked and concerns over “Who will guard the guards?”
    • Cultural
      • This is a really important section. Consider the elements that comprise the culture and subcultures. Compare the United States use of the technology with that of other nations around the world. What is about Americans that brings about innovation, or has America declined in terms of technical innovation, scientific research and development? Look at advertising for the technology, the use of celebrities or stars or heroes, the applications (e.g. sports and nanotechnology) and the values represented by the culture. What has priority and why? An example: IBM was spelled out in xenon atoms. Why were these letters chosen instead of something else?
        What new words have been added to our vocabulary from this technology? “Horseless carriage” was used long before the term “automobile.” “Wireless” preceded Wi-Fi, and webcasting preceded podcasting. “Broadcast” was a term adapted from agriculture long before it was used for radio and television.
      • How do musicians and artists react to the technology or use the technology or incorporate the technology in their artistic productions? For example, fiber optic lighting has been used on the stage and in parades (Disney) for costuming. The drama term “In the limelight,” for example, was derived from a lens/lighting system used in lighthouses. Look at literature—perhaps science fiction or fantasy stories—that predate the technology (Jules Verne, for example, wrote about submarines before they were actually invented and used—though Leonardo da Vinci had sketched the idea centuries before Verne). Are there any songs, short stories, poems, plays, TV shows, or films that directly make reference to the technology? Are there any “related” literary works that apply? Is the artifact in a museum or will it be? Why? How does the technology relate to concepts of beauty and novelty and human creativity? How can people express their humanity through this technology? An example: scientists experimenting with nano made a “nano guitar” that actually played a tune, though it was subthreshold human hearing.
    • Political
      • Look at government policy, government intervention, government involvement (support or lack of support, funding), both nationally and internationally. Consider Congress, the President, the Supreme Court (decisions), the rate of change, liberalism, conservatism, legislation, litigation, etc. What political factors are at work in the progression or regression of the technology (e.g. lobbyists, special interest groups, partisan views, vocal advocates or spokespersons)? For example: The Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to prevent discrimination and encourage accessibility to public facilities; it impacted architects, companies, organizations and persons with disabilities through the installation of ramps (wider doors, lower knobs/handles, larger restroom stalls), the use of assistive devices in schools and in the workplace, hiring practices and lawsuits against employers, etc.
    • Economic
      • Consider production, consumption, costs, variables of supply-demand, corporations, private enterprise, impact on the nation’s economy (employment, displacement, outsourcing). Are certain industries impacted more than others? Look up financial projections—expectations for growth, startup companies, the stock exchange, etc.—anything related to business and the U.S. and global economy. Who are the chief players in the business environment, and what is their role? How much has been invested in research and development? How will the price fluctuate? What economic trends are to be observed? Who will make money from the technology? Who is funding the research and development? Who controls the purse strings, and why? Look at foundations and charitable organizations, the outcomes and the nature of consumers. Be sure to use charts and tables and quantitative data in this section. Tables, figures, and data and statistics must be current, valid and used appropriately.
    • And the Environmental Impact
      • Consider such things as dangers to humans, the depletion of resources, air and water pollution, discovery before inventions, impact on wildlife and humans (health and safety), long-term and short-term effects, waste disposal, aesthetic considerations (how the technology changes the landscape). Look also at the positive effects (savings of raw materials or fossil fuels, low environmental impact, enhancement to the environment). For example, some thought the Alaskan Pipeline would impact the caribou population and its ability to migrate; the scientists discovered that the population actually increased and was healthier because they had “shade” from the above-the-ground pipe, fewer biting flies, and less physically stressed females.
        Other negative examples: the spotted owl and deforestation in Washington State; the snail darter and the dam, endangered species and loss of habitats, extinction, over-mining, overproduction, pollution of ground water, landfills, toxic wastes, stripping the soil of nutrients, over fishing, over hunting, over harvesting.

This section should include:

  • All of the required sections listed above
  • At least two statistical graphs/visual aids that supports more than one section of the analysis
  • In-text APA formatted citations with a reference page

The assessment should be well-written and incorporate proper grammar and no spelling errors.  It should incorporate an introduction, body, and a conclusion paragraph.

Content Points  
All required topics are included in the analysis 50 (10 points for each)  
Two statistical graphs/visual aids are used 10 (5 points for each)
Use of introduction and conclusion paragraphs 10 (5 points for each)  
In-text references are used and a reference page (in APA format) is included 10 (5 points for each)  
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence meaning is clear 10  
Total 90  

 

In addition to the Impact Analysis draft you must also submit your Smarthinking Report for this section. (10 points)

  • Be sure to upload your saved Smarthinking report to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 5:  Ethical Considerations draft.  Roughly 2 pages long. (90 possible points)

Components needed for this section:

  • A detailed evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with the technology in relation to its impact on humanity
  • An illustration of at least two specific ethical theories that differentiates their varying approaches in consideration of the questions raised by the selected technology
  • At least one statistical graph/visual aid that supports or provides value to the section
  • In-text APA formatted citations with a reference page

The assessment should be well-written and incorporate proper grammar and no spelling errors.  It should incorporate an introduction, body, and a conclusion paragraph.

Content Points
Analysis considers the impact of the technology on humanity 25
Analysis clearly utilizes two distinct ethical approaches, such as deontology or teleology in evaluating the ethical nature of the technology 30 (15 points each)
One statistical graph/visual aid is used 5
Use of introduction and conclusion paragraphs 10 (5 points for each)
In-text references are used and a reference page (in APA format) is included 10 (5 points for each)
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence meaning is clear 10
Total 90

 

In addition to the Ethical Considerations draft you must also submit your Smarthinking Report for this section. (10 points)

  • Be sure to upload your saved Smarthinking report to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 6:  Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation (90 possible points)

For the Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation, the student will read and respond to a fellow student’s paper by creating a PowerPoint presentation, with audio, that communicates a professional and considerate response.

This is a five step process.

  1. All students must upload a draft of their entire paper to the team area by Tuesday.
  2. Students must download the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form found under the Course Project page under Grading Rubrics, Week 6.
  3. Students must read their peer’s work and complete the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form (20 points).
  4. Students must then create a PowerPoint presentation (70 points), with audio, to communicate their findings regarding the report (refer to the template under the Course Project page, Grading Rubrics, Week 6 for help in this area). The final product will assess the communication style of the presenter and should include the following components:
    • A title page
  • An introduction slide, outlining the purpose and flow of the presentation
  • Format of paper evaluation
  • Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment Evaluation
  • Analysis of Impact Evaluation
  • Ethical Considerations Evaluation
    • Concluding Remarks
    • In-text citations and a references slide
    • Appropriate visual aids to support the presentation
  1. Lastly, the PowerPoint presentation (70 points) and Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment form (20 points) must be submitted to the Dropbox for the grading purposes, and to the student in which they  reviewed for their improvement purposes, by the end of the week
Components Points
A title page is included 5
An introduction, outlining the purpose and flow of the presentation, is provided 5
Format of paper evaluation 5
Historical timeline and predecessor assessment evaluation 10
Analysis of impact evaluation 10
Ethical considerations evaluation 5
Concluding remarks are included 5
In-text references are used and a reference page is included 5
PowerPoint background and visual aids are professional and effectively incorporated 5
Tone of presenter is professional and transitions are smooth from topic to topic 5
The Completed Peer Evaluation Assessment Form was submitted to Dropbox 20
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, audible recording, sentence meaning is clear 10
Total 90

 

Week 7:  Final Research Report (190 possible points)

  • The Final Paper is expected to be professional, and written following APA guidelines. An APA paper template has been provided under the Course Project page, Grading Rubrics, Week 7 for students unfamiliar with these requirements.
  • It must incorporate all of the required components of the assignment.
Content Points
A title page is provided 5
An abstract is provided 5
A table of contents is provided 5
An introduction, including a clearly defined thesis statement, is provided 5
A historical timeline is provided that diagrams at least 3 predecessors to the emergent technology and includes an assessment on how these technologies influenced the development of the current technology 25 (5 points for the timeline and 20 points for the analysis section)
An analysis of impact is provided detailing the technology’s influence on society considering the five required components 50 (10 points for each required section)
An evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with the technology in relation to its impact on humanity is provided 20
Concluding remarks include predictions for the future of humanity given the technology’s emergence 20
In-text references are used and a reference page is included 5
A one-page peer evaluation analysis is provided detailing

  • The suggestions of the collaboration
  • The editions added or subtracted
  • The reasoning behind the changes
15 (5 points for each section)
Visual aids, graphics and statistical charts are effectively incorporated 5
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence meaning is clear, suggested revisions not addressed 30
Total 190

 

In addition to the Final Research Paper you must also submit your Smarthinking Report for this section. (10 points)

  • Be sure to upload your saved Smarthinking report to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 8:  Self-Assessment Form (50 possible points)

  • A self-assessment allows the writer to reflect upon their work and to evaluate how they felt they did on their own assignment. It is meant to be an honest reflection of their success and failures.
Content Points
Self-rating section was completed 10
Q&A section was completed and answers were in complete sentences and composed of a minimum of 4-5 sentences in length. 35 (5 points each)
Editing; spelling, punctuation, grammar errors, sentence meaning is clear 5
Total 50

 

 

 

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