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Topic and Thesis Proposal

This week, you will select your topic of research for the Course Project. You will need to define the chosen topic, provide a brief description of the emergent technology, and write a thesis statement. Each proposal should include the following items.

  1. The name and a brief description of the emergent technology selected
  2. A thesis statement (Please note that a thesis sentence presents the central idea of the paper. It must always be a complete, grammatical sentence, it must be specific and brief, and it must express the point of view you are taking on the subject. This thesis statement will be included in the introduction of your final report.)

Objectives

 

This capstone course concludes with a research-based Course Project that starts during the first week of the session and continues throughout the duration of the course. It culminates with the submission of a formal, written report in Week 7. In addition to the final outcomes, students will also conduct a peer evaluation of another student’s project in order to provide feedback that enhances the work in a collaborative environment.

 

For the project, each student will identify and explore an emerging technology. This will be a technology that may already exist but is drawing attention because of new applications, anticipated impacts, or potential controversies. Examples could include, but are in no way limited to, the following subjects.

 

·         Nanotechnology

 

·         Genetically modified organisms

 

·         Drones

 

·         Automatic cars

 

·         Remote or robotic surgery

 

·         Wireless electricity

 

The student will address the historical, social, cultural, moral, and ethical issues presented by their selected technology.

 

 

The primary focus of this assignment is for the student to research and assess the issues associated with a specific emerging technology. It requires that students submit an APA-formatted, 10-page paper during Week 7 of the session. Students will also conduct a peer evaluation of another student’s work and must prepare a 5- to 10-page presentation communicating their thoughts on the work. Details on this assignment are discussed below, and detailed grading rubrics can be found on this LAS432 Course Project Details document.

 

The paper must be well researched and utilize scholarly resources (refer to this Week 7 APA Paper Template and the APA Guide tutorial found in the Writing and Research Help tab for help in this area). The final product should include the following components.

 

·         A title page, including the student’s name and DSI number

 

·         An abstract

 

·         A table of contents

 

·         An introduction, including a clearly defined thesis statement (roughly one page) (10 points)

 

·         An historical timeline that diagrams at least three predecessors to the emergent technology that includes a written assessment on how these technologies influenced the development of the current technology (roughly two pages)

 

o    Please note that the timeline should be a horizontal visual component at the beginning of the section, and the written assessment should take up a majority of the two pages.

 

·         An analysis of the technology’s influence on society considering all of the following components (roughly four pages)

 

o    Social

 

o    Cultural

 

o    Political

 

o    Economic

 

o    Environmental

 

·         An evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with the technology in relation to its impact on humanity (roughly two pages)

 

·         Concluding remarks that include predictions for the future of humanity given the technology’s emergence (roughly one page)

 

·         In-text citations and a reference section in APA format

 

·         A one-page peer evaluation analysis detailing the following information.

 

o    A copy of the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment form, completed by a peer

 

o    The edits added or subtracted from the suggestions provided by the collaboration

 

o    A description of the reasoning behind the changes

 

·         Appropriate statistical graphs or visual aids to support the paper

 

The Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation will help to foster collaboration during the writing process as, at times, others can see what you cannot. Because an audience can react to aspects of your argument in ways you may not anticipate, having the feedback of a peer can be invaluable.

 

The Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation will allow a sense of collaboration in this Course Project. Although it isn’t essential to incorporate every comment or suggestion made by your peer, it is important that the student be open to the process and look for the opportunities that others will provide you as a means of improving your argument and ultimately, your final grade.

 

For the Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation, the student will read and respond to a fellow student’s paper by completing a written assessment and creating a PowerPoint presentation, with audio, that communicates a professional and considerate response. This is a five-step process.

 

1.    All students must upload a draft of the entire paper to the team area by Tuesday.

 

2.    Students must download the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form

 

3.    Students must read their peer’s work and complete the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form. 

 

4.    Students must then create a PowerPoint presentation, with audio, to communicate their findings regarding the report (refer to this Peer Evaluation Presentation Template for help in this area). The final product will assess the communication style of the presenter and should include the following components.

 

o     

 

§  A title page

 

§  An introduction slide, outlining the purpose and flow of the presentation

 

§  Format of the paper evaluation

 

§  Historical timeline and predecessor assessment evaluation

 

§  Analysis of impact evaluation

 

§  Ethical considerations evaluation

 

§  Concluding remarks

 

§  In-text citations and a references slide

 

§  Appropriate visual aids to support the presentation

 

5.    Lastly, these two components must be submitted to the Week 6 Peer Evaluation Assessment Presentation Dropbox and the Week 6 Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form Dropbox for grading purposes and to the student whom they reviewed for their improvement purposes by the end of the week.

 

 

Specific grading rubrics for each deliverable are located in the individual Weekly Assignment tabs. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the weekly deliverables for the Course Project, including their description and their overall point allotment.

 

Deliverable

Points

Description

Week 1:
Topic and Thesis Proposal

30

The student will define the chosen topic, provide a brief description of the emergent technology, and write a thesis statement (refer to the tutorial on Thesis Statements found in the Writing and Research Help tab for help on this assignment). The proposal must then be submitted to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 2:
Resource Review

50

The student will assemble at least five scholarly academic references that will be used to write the paper (refer to the tutorial on Scholarly References and Accessing Library Databases found in the Writing and Research Help tab for help on this assignment). Each student will list his or her references using APA format and provide a brief explanation of each resource indicating how that resource will be used. The focus should be on the student’s specific research assignment. For details on this assignment and to see a brief example of what is expected, please reference this Week 2 Resource Review Assignment Details document. Once complete, the review must be submitted to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 3:
Historic Timeline and Predecessor Assessment Draft

90

The student will submit a draft of the Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment. This portion of the Course Project will include a historical timeline that diagrams at least three predecessors to the emergent technology and a written assessment explaining how these technologies influenced the development of the current technology. The draft must be submitted to the Dropbox and in doing so, will be run through Turnitin.

Week 3:
Smarthinking Report

10

The student will submit a copy of the feedback provided by Smarthinking in relation to the Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment Draft to the Dropbox.

Week 4:
Analysis of Impact Draft

90

The student will submit the Analysis of Impact draft. This portion of the Course Project provides an analysis of the student’s chosen technology’s influence on society, considering all of the following components: social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental impacts.

The draft must be submitted to the Dropbox, and in doing so, will be run through Turnitin.

Week 4:
Smarthinking Report

10

The student will submit a copy of the feedback provided by Smarthinking in relation to the Analysis of Impact Draft to the Dropbox.

Week 5:
Ethical Considerations Draft

90

The student will submit the Ethical Considerations Draft. This portion of the Course Project will provide an evaluation of the ethical considerations associated with the chosen technology in relation to its impact on humanity.

The draft must be submitted to the Dropbox, and in doing so, will be run through Turnitin.

Week 5:
Smarthinking Report

10

The student will submit a copy of the feedback provided by Smarthinking in relation to the Ethical Considerations Draft to the Dropbox

Week 6:
Peer Evaluation Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation

90

The student will read and respond to a fellow student’s paper by completing the Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form (20 points) and create a PowerPoint presentation (70 points), with audio, to present the findings. A PowerPoint template has been provided here

These two components then must be submitted to the Week 6 Peer Evaluation Assessment Presentation Dropbox and the Week 6 Peer Evaluation Presentation Assessment Form Dropbox for grading purposes, and to the student whom they reviewed for improvement purposes, by the end of the week.

Week 7:
Final Research Paper

190

The student will submit the final draft of the research paper. The paper is expected to be professional and written following APA guidelines. An APA paper template is provided here for students unfamiliar with these requirements. The paper must incorporate all of the required components of the assignment.

The paper must be submitted to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

Week 7:
Smarthinking Report

10

The student will submit a copy of the feedback provided by Smarthinking in relation to the Final Research Paper to the Dropbox

Week 8:
Self-Assessment Form

50

The student will complete and submit the Self-Assessment Form to the Dropbox.

Total

720

 

 

 

Review the video tutorials found in the Writing and Research Help tab (Course Home).

 

Communicate with your professor regularly if you have any issues or questions.

 

Consider the following thoughts when working on the required sections of your Impact Analysis.

 

·         Social

 

o    How has this technology been received, accepted, or rejected? Why? Is it feared or favored? What is the attitude toward change? How are the developers trying to sell the technology to the general public? Look at attitudes, feelings (emotions), behaviors, personality, and the ways humans change as a result of this technology. What is being thought and why? Is the human mind impacted? How? Are interactions between people changing as a result? Who is included or excluded, and why? Use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Piaget, or some other theorist. What psychological needs are met by the technology (e.g., cell phones once granted status and now promote a sense of belonging or connectedness) or created by the technology? Consumerism?

 

o    Look at groups and organizations that have arisen and prospered because of this technology. Are these groups supportive or antagonist, and why? (An example is genetically modified foods [GMOs] and the backlash against the Monsanto corporation. Another is cochlear implants, which allow the deaf to hear yet reduce the deaf population that calls itself a community.) How does the technology change society, or how does society change in response to the technology? What factors in society led to the development in the first place? What do class, gender roles, race, norms, and so forth mean in this context? Who will benefit from the technology, and who might be harmed (this might also belong in ethics and morals section)? For example, prosthetics enable people to participate more fully and actively in society (some people are competing in triathlons and marathons), and wars have brought about the need for advances in prosthetic technology as casualties with missing limbs return home to the United States. Look at the workplace, new companies, and/or jobs created, jobs lost (or save this for the economics section). Look at roles—subgroups and people’s interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Consider crime, healthcare, and schools. Surveillance cameras, for example, have recently been installed in New York City, and the result has been a decrease in the amount of crime, purse-snatching, pick pocketing, and the like. Yet some fear the big brother effect of always being watched and tracked and concerns over who will guard the guards.

 

·         Cultural

 

o    This is a really important section. Consider the elements that comprise the culture and subcultures. Compare the United States’ use of the technology with that of other nations around the world. What is it about Americans that brings about innovation, or has America declined in terms of technical innovation, scientific research, and development? Look at advertising for the technology, the use of celebrities or stars or heroes, the applications (e.g., sports and nanotechnology), and the values represented by the culture. What has priority and why? An example: IBM was spelled out in xenon atoms. Why were these letters chosen instead of something else? What new words have been added to our vocabulary from this technology? Horseless carriage was used long before the term automobile. Wireless preceded Wi-Fi, and webcasting preceded podcasting. Broadcast was a term adapted from agriculture long before it was used for radio and television.

 

o    How do musicians and artists react to the technology, use the technology, or incorporate the technology in their artistic productions? For example, fiber optic lighting has been used on the stage and in parades (Disney) for costuming. The drama term in the limelight, for example, was derived from a lens and lighting system used in lighthouses. Look at literature—perhaps science fiction or fantasy stories—that predate the technology (Jules Verne, for example, wrote about submarines before they were actually invented and used—though Leonardo da Vinci had sketched the idea centuries before Verne). Are there any songs, short stories, poems, plays, TV shows, or films that directly make reference to the technology? Are there any related literary works that apply? Is the artifact in a museum or will it be? Why? How does the technology relate to concepts of beauty and novelty and human creativity? How can people express their humanity through this technology? For example, scientists experimenting with nano made a “nano guitar” that actually played a tune, though it was subthreshold for human hearing.

 

·         Political

 

o    Look at government policy, government intervention, government involvement (support or lack of support, funding), both nationally and internationally. Consider Congress, the president, the Supreme Court (decisions), the rate of change, liberalism, conservatism, legislation, litigation, and so on. What political factors are at work in the progression or regression of the technology (e.g., lobbyists, special interest groups, partisan views, vocal advocates, or spokespersons)? For example: The Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to prevent discrimination and encourage accessibility to public facilities; it impacted architects, companies, organizations, and persons with disabilities through the installation of ramps (wider doors, lower knobs and handles, larger restroom stalls, etc.), the use of assistive devices in schools and in the workplace, hiring practices and lawsuits against employers, and so on.

 

·         Economic

 

o    Consider production, consumption, costs, variables of supply and demand, corporations, private enterprise, and the impact on the nation’s economy (employment, displacement, and outsourcing). Are certain industries impacted more than others? Look up financial projections—expectations for growth, startup companies, the stock exchange, and the like—anything related to business and the U.S. and global economies. Who are the chief players in the business environment, and what are their roles? How much has been invested in research and development? How will the price fluctuate? What economic trends are to be observed? Who will make money from the technology? Who is funding the research and development? Who controls the purse strings, and why? Look at foundations and charitable organizations, the outcomes, and the nature of consumers. Be sure to use charts and tables and quantitative data in this section. Tables, figures, data, and statistics must be current, valid, and used appropriately.

 

·         Environmental

 

o    Consider such things as dangers to humans, the depletion of resources, air and water pollution, discovery before inventions, impact on wildlife and humans (health and safety), long-term and short-term effects, waste disposal, and aesthetic considerations (how the technology changes the landscape). Look also at the positive effects (savings of raw materials or fossil fuels, low environmental impact, and enhancement of the environment). For example, some thought the Alaskan Pipeline would impact the caribou population and its ability to migrate; scientists discovered that the population actually increased and was healthier because they had shade from the above-the-ground pipe, fewer biting flies, and less physically stressed females. Other negative examples: the spotted owl and deforestation in Washington state, the snail darter and the dam, endangered species and loss of habitats, extinction, over mining, overproduction, pollution of ground water, landfills, toxic wastes, stripping the soil of nutrients, over fishing, over hunting, and over harvesting.

 

Practice makes perfect. Please be sure to practice your oral presentation to ensure that you are comfortable with the material and can stick to the time constraints.

 

Students will be recording their Week 6 presentation using the audio function within PowerPoint. In order to do this, you will need a computer microphone. Please plan ahead and be ready for this step.

 

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