You should select a topic relating to the impact of the Internet on society. You will research the subject, including what journalists and researchers have written, and you will prepare a presentation of 10 to 15 minutes summarizing your research (with up to an additional 5 minutes for questions).
The subject for your presentation is fairly free; it might relate to political issues surrounding the Internet, sociological effects of communicating on the Internet, or an economic impact of the Internet. There are many possibilities for a topic. Below are just a few broad categories of possibilities, as ideas of possible starting points; the list is far from complete, and most are far too broad for a short presentation.
|Privacy of data||Piracy||Influences of networked gaming|
|Taxation of Internet sales||Anonymous forum behavior||Plagiarism and the Internet|
|Access in developing world||Effect on political campaigns||Influence on off-shore outsourcing|
In my experience, the choice of subject is essential to having a good presentation. There are two major characteristics you should be looking for (beyond meeting the thematic requirement).
Pick a topic that is amenable to some form of academic presentation. You're going to have to do some research on this subject, which would optimally incorporate both general-audience news articles and also some academic articles written for a more specialized audience. Pick something where you'll be able to find some material.
Pick a very specific topic. As a first-cut rule, if you can speak for the full period without saying much more than what a person well-versed in computer technology and the current news would already know, then your subject is too general.
The timeline for this project is as follows.
Tuesday, September 18: You should visit my office to discuss your topic with me by this time; you ought to prepare two ideas, in case somebody has already chosen one. (We won't have multiple presentations on the same topic.) Note that I may well not approve your topic for this first round, and I may require that you visit again to nail down your topic.
Thursday, September 27: You should submit a paper to me including your presentation's title, an abstract of about 100 words, and an annotated bibliography. There is not a body to this paper — just the title and abstract, followed by the annotated bibliography.
An annotated bibliography lists each reference according to some established bibliographic format (such as the format specified by MLA or APA). Following each reference is the annotation, which is simply two to four sentences briefly summarizing the overall purpose of the source, what makes the source worthy of your trust, and what the source provides to your research.
The bibliography should include at least 3 sources — and preferably more. It should not include summary sources, such as encyclopedia articles. Optimally, it would include at least one academic article written for a specialized audience.
Tuesday, October 2: This will be the first day of presentations; others will occur on Thursday, October 4, and Tuesday, October 9. The following is the schedule of students.
|Morning session||Not-quite-as-morning session|
|Tuesday, October 2:||9:00-9:45
|Thursday, October 4:||9:00-10:00
|Tuesday, October 9:||9:00-10:15
You are free to use any medium or organizational format for your presentation: Some possibilities include speech alone, chalkboard, posters, and slides. Use of computer-generated slides, such as with PowerPoint, is neither encouraged nor discouraged; my experience is that PowerPoint is as often harmful to an excellent presentation as it is helpful. If you require any computer files, including PowerPoint presentations, you should bring it stored on a USB disk, so we don't have to worry about network connectivity and switching between logins between presentations.
Although you are welcome to present and justify your own views on the subject, the overall presentation should attempt to present a balanced, informed picture of the subject. This is a research presentation, not a persuasive talk. As a research presentation, you should be sure to cite sources for information you present.
The overall presentation is worth 150 points. The point breakdown is as follows.
|20 pts||Topic selection: By September 18, you have prepared two viable project ideas, and you have shown evidence of doing preliminary work on them.|
|40 pts||Bibliography: By September 27, you submit a well-edited document including the title, abstract, and annotated bibliography. Your bibliography includes at least three sources, and the annotations are helpful in discerning the quality and usefulness of each reference.|
|20 pts||Research: Your bibliography and presentation demonstrate a thorough study of the subject matter. You include information from your sources, with citation, during the presentation. Your answers to questions demonstrate a depth of knowledge beyond what you can fit into the presentation.|
|30 pts||Presentation style: You show good evidence of having prepared your presentation. Your demeanor demonstrates a genuine effort to communicate with the audience (rather than reciting from memory). Visual aids, if any, are readable from the back of the room and contribute to getting the point across.|
|30 pts||Presentation substance: Your presentation demonstrates a well-defined structure. You incorporate a broad variety of information into the presentation. The presentation is clearly deeper than a person might glean from reading the news.|
|10 pts||Questions: You participate in other students' presentations by asking questions.|
The material presented in other students' presentations is part of this course. The material covered by student presentations is thus testable, and questions about the presentations will appear on Quiz 2.