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Week 15 and Finals Week: What have we learned by studying various digital selves?

I can hardly believe that I’m writing the last website update for the semester. Fifteen weeks seemed like such a long time back in January, but here we are, nearing the end, and I’m simultaneously amazed by how much ground we’ve covered and sad that we don’t have more time to continue our conversations. I’ll save my sentimental goodbyes for our gathering during finals week, but for now, let me just say thank you. Thank you for pushing yourselves out of your technological comfort zones, for tackling unconventional assignments with gusto and grace, and for being patient with me as I taught my first graduate course. I have learned so much this semester, and I hope you’ve found something useful along the way, too.

With just one week remaining, all of your energy for this class should be directed toward your research design project. To reiterate what I said in class last night, if you’ve been keeping up with all of the checkpoint assignments, you have already written substantial portions of your final paper. At this point, it’s time to pull everything together, determine what your data means (or hypothesize what it will mean once you conduct your study), and refine your research methods. If another conversation with me would help you complete any of these tasks, please feel free to stop by during my office hours (T 1-4 and W 9-12) or email me to set up an appointment at another time.

Next week in class, Sanglin and Renee will demonstrated LinkedIn, then the remainder of our evening will be dedicated to short presentations about each of your research projects. Please plan to spend 8–10 minutes telling us about your research site, your methods, and your preliminary results, as well as any challenges you’ve encountered during the course of this project. You can present with a slide deck, walk us through your research site, or read portions of your paper — it’s up to you. Whatever approach you take, please treat this like a real presentation, not just an off-the-cuff description of your project.

Our university-assigned final is Monday, May 13, from 7:00–9:00 p.m. You should submit your research design project before the final, and any other loose ends (e.g., blog posts) should also be wrapped up by this deadline. In place of a final exam, I’d like to invite everyone to have dinner at my house on Monday evening. This event isn’t mandatory, but I hope you’ll decide to come. It will give us a chance to celebrate the completion of your projects, and it just might be the most substantial meal you’ll eat during finals week. We’ll discuss the details of our dinner during class next week.

Due date reminders:

  • May 3 (tomorrow!): Final draft of your Professional Electronic Portfolio due. To submit your portfolio, upload your final self-assessment (no longer than two pages, following the guidelines in the assignment description, and containing the URL for your finished site) to your Google Drive folder.
  • May 13, 7:00 p.m.: Final draft of your Research Design and/or Pilot Study due. To submit your paper, make sure it is saved in Google Docs format and located in your Google Drive folder. Any appendices, data sets, etc., should be clearly labeled as part of your final project. (If you have a lot of files, it might be helpful to collect all of your research design materials in a subfolder.)
  • May 13: Deadline for blog posts and tweets to “count” for this class.

As always, let me know if you have any questions about these plans or if you’d like to chat about your final paper. I’ll be looking forward to hearing your presentations in class next week!