One of the best ways to appreciate the differing approaches to the history of information, communication, and computing technologies is to take an overview of courses in these fields. Your job is to search online to gather selected syllabi for courses that touch on the subject. What similarities and differences do you observe in the ways that different faculty offer instruction in the field? Do the differences say more about individual scholars' interests and biases, or do they say something larger about disciplinary concerns? Which themes cross disciplines, and which seem to receive too little attention? Come with printed copies of the syllabi you've found and plan to discuss your observations with the group. If you are feeling ambitious, take a look at where else beyond ICT history some of these readings appear. Note: A secondary aim of this assignment is to give you some ideas for the final weeks of the course.
In-class Book Review
Based on the book of your choosing that you read this week, we will have in-class book reviews and a discussion of how a close reading of another scholar's work - including an evaluation of how that scholar interprets the primary and second materials they used - might help you to generate new research ideas.
Final Research Paper
Students must complete a research paper over the course of the semester. The final paper is expected to be 20–30 pages. Students working in groups may submit a single paper. The paper must use academic journal articles as its model, providing both a brief overview of the state of knowledge about its topic, and explaining how the research the students have gathered advances or alters that field. Students are encouraged to explore topics outside the U.S. provided they have necessary language skills and that materials are available. Students should remember to write with a specific journal audience in mind, and not just write to the instructor. Alternative models of papers (e.g., film scripts or multimedia projects) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The final version of the paper will be due at the end of the semester, but various parts of the paper are due throughout the semester:
Week 3 - Topic Workshop
In class, everyone will take the opportunity to present their preliminary thoughts about paper topics. We will discuss each as a group. This is a useful model for you to use informally with your fellow students. Even if you can't offer many specific suggestions, it is helpful to listen to other people offer theirs. This will also help you to figure out whether or not your idea may be a focus for small group research.
Week 5 - Bibliography Workshop
Bring in copies (enough for the students plus the instructor) of your preliminary bibliography for your final project for an in-class bibliography workshop. Be prepared to critique other students' bibliographies.
Week 8 - Outline
Bring in a completed paper outline to class. If you are struggling with an argument, try preparing an outline (or multiple outlines) with several possibilities for directions your paper might take.
Weeks 11 & 12 - Paper Draft(s) Due
Bring in copies (enough for the students plus the instructor) of your preliminary paper draft for an in-class draft workshop. Be prepared to critique other students' papers. Before Week 12, you should make the suggested edits to your paper and be prepared to present an updated draft.