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Assignment Prompts

Assignment Prompts:


Citizen Journalism Project 

Citizen journalism has been radically changing the way we produce and consume news and reports of events around the world. As Sahar Khamis notes, “citizen journalism [provides] forums for ordinary citizens to document protests; to spread the word about ongoing activities; to provide evidence of governmental brutality; and to disseminate their own words and images to each other, and, most importantly, to the outside world through both regional and transnational media.”

For this project, you will form groups of five to report about a current event or controversy that people may have a wide range of views about. You will be given several topics to choose from as the project approaches. Modeling your reporting style on other important citizen journalists discussed in class, each member of the group will interview students, faculty, or visitors to campus about your chosen topic and report your findings on Twitter. Your group must create a unique hashtag for your reporting so that the group’s reporting can be easily searched and followed on Twitter. Each member also needs to include at least one visual in your tweets. One member of the group is responsible for creating a Storify account. Once this account is created, the entire group must collaboratively create a Storify document of your citizen journalism. The Storify should be compiled in such a way that readers can easily follow along and understand the various points of view on the topic. For your Storify, you must write contextualizing paragraphs that help readers make sense of your tweets. Your group will present your Storify document in discussion sections during the week of November 4th. No late work will be accepted.


  • Skillfully reports on the topic
  • Gathers a range of perspectives on the topic
  • Each tweet effectively communicates an aspect of the reporting
  • Each member clearly draws inspiration from other citizen journalists discussed in class
  • Each member includes at least one visual (photos, data visualizations, videos, etc.) in their tweets
  • Storify presents a coherent and well-thought through story that informs readers about the topic and the range of perspectives on the issue
  • Storify has well-written contextualizing paragraphs
  • Clearly demonstrates collaborative effort in all aspects (gathering information, reporting, and presenting final project)
  • Strong presentation in discussion section, clearly outlining process, goals, and what you learned from the project
  • All items turned in fully and correctly (e.g. project includes a unique hashtag, etc)


Life Cycle of a Digital Medium Project

This assignment asks you to trace the life cycle of a digital medium, beginning with the various elements that go into the technology, the manufacturing process, distribution and consumption, and finally, how that medium is recycled or disposed of. This is a research project, so finding out the necessary information for each of these stages will take some time. 

Once you get all of the necessary facts, your final project can take many forms. You may turn in a write-up explaining the various stages of your chosen devices or your project might take a visual form like a video, an interactive visualization, or an animated Google Earth flythrough. There is no minimum length for this assignment; we will instead grade you on the quality and thoroughness with which you’ve explained the life cycle of your medium. 

You must cite all of your sources and each phase of the life cycle must be backed up with a reliable source. Please cite all sources using APA, MLA, or Chicago style. 

Your project must be emailed to dcc-honors@umd.edu before class on November 18th. No late work will be accepted.

 Below is the rubric we will use to grade this assignment:


  • Shows which elements/minerals go into your chosen device
  • Discusses the social conditions under which those minerals/elements were mined
  • Shows how and where the device is manufactured
  • Discusses the social conditions of labor
  • Shows how your chosen device got to the store, how/why it is purchased
  • Shows how your chosen device is recycled or disposed
  • Uses at least 3 reliable sources
  • Project is well crafted or well edited
  • Offers an interesting and insightful perspective on the life cycle of your technology
  • All elements have been turned in fully and correctly


Self-Evaluation: Digital, Cultures, and Creativity

Your final assignment will be to write a self evaluation reflecting on the digital, the cultural, and the creative. The terms that serve as our name can be broadly defined and practiced. Every student will likely imagine the “digital”, the “cultural” and the “creative” in very different ways. This final assignment is about getting you to connect your areas of interest with the foundational concepts of the program.

Questions to consider:

  • How has this course influenced the ways in which you think about these terms (“digital”, “culture”, “creativity”)?
  • How have the speakers, hands-on explorations, discussions, readings, and labs challenged you and made you think about these terms differently?
  • How you can use the knowledge you’ve gained about digital cultures and creativity and incorporate these ideas into your major and possible career paths?

The final paper must be 3-5 pages in length, double spaced, written in size 12 Times New Roman font. Your self evaluation is due on Friday, December 13 by 11:59pm via email to dcc-honors@umd.edu. No late work will be accepted.


  • Has a strong introductory paragraph.
  • Makes a clear case for your perspective of the “digital, the “cultural” and the “creative”
  • Demonstrates how your ideas have changed throughout the duration of the semester
  • Offers clear examples from class, readings, and labs in context of and in conversation with themes in digital cultures and creativity
  • Offers thoughtful connections between course material and your major, your areas of interest, and/or your possible career path.
  • All ideas are cohesive and fully developed.
  • Well-written essay: few spelling or grammatical errors, no awkward sentences.
  • Has a strong concluding paragraph.
  • Citations are done correctly.
  • Meets all minimum requirements (title, page length, font size, etc)


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