Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Essay 2 - instruction

Back when the course started, in the beginning of September, I wrote:

"You have to write an individual essay twice during the course; one in the beginning and one more right when the course ends. Writing these essays are compulsory."

The time to write the concluding second essay has now come. This essay replaces other forms of course evaluations. Do note that it is compulsory to write this essay and you will not get your course credits registered if you haven't written both essays (for those who for some reasons did not write the first essay, see further instructions below).



Please download and use the template that is available in Bilda ("Documents/FoM essay 2") when you write your text. Use your family name when you name your file ("Pargman essay 2") and upload it to the "drop box" that has been created exclusively for this purpose in Bilda ("Contents/Essay 2"). Do note that you can only upload the file formats .doc, .docx (MS Word) or .pdf to the drop box.

The deadline for handing in the essay is Monday December 29 (17.00), i.e. twelve days after the final presentation. Do note that English or Swedish is ok. If you miss the deadline, there is a new deadline on Saturday Jan 19 at 17.00 (officially last day of the autumn semester). The task below is neither very comprehensive nor time-consuming, but please do set some time off to sit down and reflect upon the course when you write the essay!

The essay consists of three parts:

1A. "Instead of a course evaluation".
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) best things about the course?
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) worst things about the course?
- What are your (perhaps two or three) suggestions for how to change/improve the course?
- What is the most important advice you can give to the students who will take the course next year?

You are of course allowed to posit more than three suggestions (etc.), but plese don't answer each question with just a few words or a sentence each. State your opinions and then exemplify, explain and back them up. We will not specify a set length, but do not just enumerate stuff without also including (at least a brief) explanation of each.

1B. "The project"

Taking into account that this is a project course, we are interested in creating structures for the project phase (Oct-Dec) that help project groups work with limited resources (primarily time) and still deliver high-quality results. Here are some questions to help you think about these issues (use the list below for inspiration, not as a checklist):
- How would you evaluate your project group's work effort? Are you happy with it?
- Was the work effort in the group more or less well distributed among group members or did some group members work a lot more or a lot less than others?
- Did you reach the quality you aimed/wished for in the allotted time and with the resources available? Why/why not?
- Did group members have similar priorities, or did you have different opinions about some (important) things? How did you resolve them?
- How much (or little) have you enjoyed working with your project group?
- Knowing what you know now, what could/should you or the teachers have done differently during the project phase of the course?

NOTE: we ask this question because 1) we only have limited insights into the work processes of individual project groups during the last few months and 2) we want to learn more so as to be able to improve instructions and advice for project groups next year. Your comments might thus refer to "mistakes" or unfortunate decisions you made in your group as well as aspects of the course that could be improved in order to clarify and support the work of the project groups better.

1C. "Closing the circle"
Go back and re-read the essay you handed in at the beginning of the term (if you absolutely can't locate it, send a mail to Daniel Pargman who will find it and return it to you).

In that first essay (the instructions are here) you wrote about A) your "expectations and apprehensions" regarding the course and B) about your "relationship to the digital commons and the sharing economy". What has changed and what hasn't since you wrote that first essay? Did the course live up to your expectations or did you apprehensions come true? Has your relationship to the digital commons and the sharing economy changed since then or are they still the same?

Please write no less than 400 words (1 page) and no more than 1000 words (2.5 pages) on topic 1B and 1C together.

For those (few) who did not hand in essay 1 or for some other reason have to do an extra assignment:
I will anonymize and distribute eight different essays to you (making sure that none of them comes from any members of your own project group). Instead/on top of 1C above, you will summarize these essays and furthermore see if you can find patterns that several students agree on (or important stuff people disagree on). I will send further instructions together with the essays. You you will not be able to complete this task before Dec 29 since your classmates have to submit their second essays before I can give you this extra assignment. You will thus have to aim for the January 19 deadline instead of the December 29 deadline.

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