You may choose to write your response in essay/paper format. You may also answer in the form of a blog post or a vlog (in which case, post the URL for the specific entry as your assignment; remember that good assignments in any form will take advantage of what the form allows: for example, blog assignments will be analytical like good essays but will likely be more casual in tone and will take advantage of the blog form, for example, by using hypertext and embedded images).
The best assignment (blog/vlog or essay) will answer one question and stay on topic; the best exams will have a focused answer/response. The best assignment will consider material from numerous sections/weeks of the course and will use ideas and vocabulary from several course readings. The best assignment will demonstrate a complicated and multifaceted understanding of new media literacy. The best assignments will have few errors and will stay within the word count.
Submissions will be graded on the following breakdown:
2 marks for meeting the requirements of the assignment. (Did you do everything the assignment requested?)
5 marks for engagement with course materials. (Do you engage several course texts? Are they engaged thoroughly and at the level of idea, not just quoted for definitions? Are they cited correctly?)
8 marks for quality of critical analysis and argumentation. (Do you show a complex understanding of new media literacy? Do you make compelling and interesting arguments?)
5 marks for execution. (Is the assignment well organized, well written, and well edited?)
Choose ONE of the following questions:
Question One, The (Cancel) Cultural Studies Question:
In 1000-1200 words answer the following question: To what extent is new media literacy necessary to stay safe in contemporary society?
You can consider safety in any way that intersects new media literacy: you could consider the rise of “Cancel Culture”; you could consider privacy and surveillance, in intersection with playbour or (police?) violence, for example; you could consider physical and/or mental health, in an era of quarantine; you could consider digital divides in intersection with these or other ideas. (I recommend focusing the question somewhat, around your interests, into one or two of these.)
Question Two, The (New?) Media Question:
In 1000-1200 words, answer the following questions: Is digital technology new? Why or why not? Or . . . To what extent is the digital new?
Anxieties about technology are as old as technology. Literacies that engage technology are as old as technology. Technological divides (between generations, for example) are as old as technology. So . . . are the anxieties, literacies, and divides around digital technology just another equal step in the history of technology and technical literacy? Or is there something about digital technology and its requisite literacies that is fundamentally different than what came before? Are digital technologies and literacies mostly similar to technologies and literacies that precede them or do they represent a rupture in that evolution?
Question Three, the EDUCATION question:
Create a lesson plan and assignment that would teach and evaluate at least 2 of Jenkins’s literacies (and then analyze what you have done).
The assignment you create can be for any age group/audience (from pre-school to university).
Your description of the assignment must include:
– The 2 (of Jenkins’s) literacies that your activity/assignment teaches and evaluates.
– The target student/age group.
-4 Learning Objectives (These could take this form: “Upon completion of the assignment, the student will be able to . . . “).
– A description of any activities (as part of the lesson plan) that the students would complete before attempting the assignment.
– Assignment guidelines for all tasks and deliverables (including length requirements, timeframe, grading breakdown, etc.) to be completed.
– The percentage of the overall grade this assignment would ideally represent (so it could be a quick in-class exercise worth [almost] nothing or a major project).
– A description of a passing (C-level) assignment (not an example assignment but a checklist of what a completed passing assignment would do/show and how).
-A description of an excellent (A-level) assignment (not an example assignment but a checklist of what a completed excellent assignment would do/show and how).
There is no target word count for the above components since it could vary so greatly.
You must also include a 500-750 word analysis of your own lesson plan and assignment that explains why it would be effective to teach the two literacies you’ve selected.
No late assignments will be accepted.
How to do well on this assignment:
Clearly indicate which question you are answering.
Answer the question; stay on topic. Choose only one question and focus your answer. For the first 2 options, there are several other guiding questions; just choose the couple that are most interesting to you and answer them well, in detail, with clear and detailed examples . . . rather than trying to answer more questions but in less detail.
Consider literacy. Remember that this is a course on literacy and not just a course on new media . . . so don’t make an argument that’s about media but not about literacy. Consider the questions as they connect to literacy.
Connect to course texts and examples. Choose 2-3 texts and engage them in detail, rather than trying to connect to many texts . . . it’s better to show me that you really read and understood a handful of texts/ideas rather than showing me that you read one paragraph out of a dozen texts. Make sure that you are providing evidence that you understand Jenkins’s terms as Jenkins uses them . . . so use them in ways (or explain them in ways) that show you understand how Jenkins uses them, specifically what Jenkins means when he uses them.
Edit your work. I recommend attacking this in at least 2 sit-down sessions, one for writing and one for editing/re-writing (maybe another one for planning . . . and maybe an additional one for editing again).
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m anticipating a quality of work consistent with sitting in a room for 4-6 hours and working on just this assignment . . . not something that you worked on for 72 hours.
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