Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Items for weds

Today's Discussion notes on the project, graciously made available by nina and michael
Lecture points:
>Walkthrough on the final portfolio deliverables (see revised doc on bboard).

>Poster details
>Everyone will get a form on poster day to answer 3-4 questions about each poster (fill out at least 5). Quality matters, these will be assessed as part of class participation. The poster owner will get all the question responses to assist them in their project, then turn the pile in with their portfolio.
>The 2 required questions are along the lines of, Address the primary strengths that you see in the project work so far, then the weakness as well (detailed version will be on the form).
>Poster owner can post 1-2 questions for their visitors to answer, think along the lines of "Answers to what aspects of my project from 20 people would help me in what I need to do next."
>By detailed response I mean at least a meaningful paragraph to each question, and you can get more information to do this by viewing the poster and interacting w/ the owner.

Class Discussion points:
>trouble spots and pitfalls thus far in progress toward the project
>perspectives on the indiv adjustments on grp projects

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hi all, just relaying some question responses to the rest of the class.

I'll waive the standard late deduction on the annotated bib. if it comes in before midnight, that also applies if you choose to send in a revised version. The annotated bibliographies can really help you out w/ organizing ideas for the poster and final project - feel free to do more than 4 on your own, and they can go in the final portfolio. This is strongly recommended, and about the only means close to extra credit (on a diminishing scale, counts a lot more for those w/ lower overall grade).

On the expert interviews - reference librarians counts as experts if they specialize in your topic area. Faculty or practitioners in those areas are the best bet (email & lookup office hrs). People are genuinely willing to help if you respect their time by being prepared (bring organized materials and relevant questions). The entire purpose is to interact with someone that's deep in the topic, and gain new insights to advance your work(and make a blog post or 2 on it).

*additional* If you're contemplating topic/direction switch at this point, you can still do so, it's not too late yet. Your work on the previous topic can still be a part of the final portfolio. If you're getting frustrated and conflicted, that's actually a sign of progress - you've gone far enough to feel the muddy and gray areas inherent in independently and critically analyzing the material. This is the point where you want to go back and look at your old prospectus drafts on why it was interesting to you in the first place, and it may warrant a revision to the original questions.

This in response to a question on what if your topic's quirky, or if there are no local experts.
'One alternative is to look up some of your sources, read it over, look up the authors' emails, and ask politely and framing some brief and directly relevant questions.

"Hi dr. x, I read your paper on topic y and it's tremendously insightful to class project on z. If you have a few minutes, I'd really appreciate your perspectives on d g l ..." '
That opening line is also good for contacting local experts, it works most of the time in getting their attention, though do actually read it and ask questions that have a point and can be answered directly.

”What can I do to improve my grade at this point in the course?”

>Do the work and consistently document it on the blogs.
>Make best use of the reflection paper to highlight the strengths and explain any gaps

>Additional items I will accept in the portfolio, these are optional and can improve your evaluations on a diminishing scale basis. Aside from padding the portfolio, knowledge gained from these tasks will more than likely improve the quality of your final project.
-Additional annotated bibliographies,
-additional question pulling exercise notes (blog it),
-write-up analysis of the poster responses you received.

Just about the only way to do poorly in my course is by explicitly choosing to not care. In one of the previous courses I taught, more than half of the students earned A’s. Probably seeing about 5 A’s, a good number of B’s, and 3-4 on very thin ice at this point in the course – they can all be improved with a strong closing in the next 3 weeks.

I am here to facilitate your learning toward the course objectives, don’t be intimidated to ask for help.