Assignments for English 25 (Spring 2022)

Assignments for English 25 (S 2022)

Literature and the Information, Media, & Communication Revolutions

Course PoliciesEnrollment Attendance Grading
Required Ungraded AssignmentsOnline Readings System Spreadsheet Text Analysis
Required Graded AssignmentsEssay 1 Essay 2 Essay3

Enrollment, Attendance, and Grading Policies

Spotlight icon To pass English 25, students must complete all course and section assignments. (See also Prof. Liu’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines.”)

Enrollment

Beginning on the first day of instruction, additional student-initiated enrollment in the course through GOLD is blocked so that the TAs can manage adding students to the course. However, students already on the waitlist in GOLD will continue to be auto-enrolled as spaces open up during the first week. (After Friday April 1, auto-enroll from the wait list will be turned off.)

From the beginning of the second week on, all course enrollment is managed by the TAs, who will give add codes based on available spaces to the waitlist, crashers, and enrolled students switching sections. Important: To assist the TAs in assigning add codes, any student not yet enrolled or needing to switch sections must fill out this Google enrollment request form between Friday April 1 at 2 pm  and Sunday April 3 at 10 pm. This form is for students

  • enrolled in the course but needing to switch sections,
  • on the wait list,
  • not on the wait list and crashing.

Manicule Section attendance in first week to hold place in course: Students must attend the section they are enrolled in during the first week of the quarter to hold their place in the course. (Students unable to make the section they are enrolled in due to conflicts, and also students on the wait list or wishing to crash, must attend some section in the first week to be allowed into the course.)

Attendance at Lectures

Students who attend lectures regularly have historically done much better in grades in this course. Prof. Liu will not be recording lectures or making slides available online. (However, students with special medical or personal circumstances can within two weeks of a lecture request temporary viewing access of the recording Prof. Liu made last year for the equivalent lecture during remote-instruction of the course. Requests may be made to: .)

Attendance and Participation in Section Meetings

16.67% of the final grade for the course is determined by a student’s TA on the basis of a performance in section discussion and activities. No more than one section meeting during the quarter may be missed without zeroing out the section participation grade. (Exceptions due to unavoidable circumstances must normally be requested in advance from a student’s TA.)

Grading

To pass English 25, students must complete all course and section assignments. Essay assignments must be turned in on the course GauchoSpace site as Word or PDF files.

Manicule Ungraded Assignments: There are three smaller assignments that are required to pass the course but that are not graded.
Manicule Graded Assignments: For the graded essays and exams, the grading weights in the course are as follows:
Essay 1 16.67% of final grade
Midterm Exam 16.67% of final grade
Essay 2 16.67% of final grade
Essay 3 16.67% of final grade
Final Exam 16.67% of final grade
Participation in Section Activities 16.67% of final grade

Late Paper Policy: Late papers for which an extension was not approved in advance by the TA will decay by one partial letter grade for each day they are late. (So, for example, a B+ paper turned in one day late will become a B paper; a B paper will become a B-; or a B- paper will become a C+ paper.) Note: extensions must be requested from a student’s TA, not the professor.

Policy on Plagiarism and Other Academic Integrity Issues: Professor Liu reports all plagiarism and other issues of academic integrity without exception to the UCSB Office of Student Conduct. See Prof. Liu’s “Intellectual Property and Academic Integrity Guidelines for Students in Courses” for information, resources, and links on these issues.

Assignments & Exams

Descriptions and Instructions

Ungraded Assignment (for Week 2) (due in your section meeting)

(included in section grade)

 

arrowhead right Create your system for working with online readings.

Because so many of the readings in this course are online, students must develop a system for annotating and saving copies of online materials according to one of the methods described in Prof. Liu’s “Guide to Downloading and Managing Online Readings.” If you do not already have a systematic way to do this, start by saving and annotating two of the assigned readings for Week 1 of the course (originally PDFs) plus at least one of the readings for Week 2 that was originally a Web page. These are readings that you should download, store in an organized manner, and highlight or annotate. ManiculeFor your section meeting this week, bring on your laptop or other digital device copies of these readings. If you do not own a laptop, tablet, or other digital device, then bring a printed copy of one reading that you have highlighed or annotated.

Essay #1 (due Apr. 22, 11:59pm)

arrowhead right Essay 1: The Future of Computing.

Submission instruction: 4 pages of double-spaced text (approx. 1,200 words, not counting notes, bibliography, and any multimedia material). Submit the essay as a Word (or PDF) document on GauchoSpace here.

Essay content: Put yourself imaginatively in the year 2050 (a “near future” far enough ahead to get you beyond today’s trends, but not so far as to inspire pure utopian or dystopian science fiction). Write an essay that draws on what you have learned about the prehistorical or historical development of media, computing, and the Internet, and also on what you know about the contemporary state of these technologies, to give a prediction about computing and digital media / communication / information in 2050.

(You can choose instead a variant version of this topic if you prefer: write an essay that draws on what you have learned about the development of media, computing, and the Internet to give a prediction about the future of “old” media in 2050–e.g., the future of orality, the future of the book, etc.)

Manicule  Your essay can be written either in a descriptive/analytical mode (e.g., “In the year 2050, people will…”) or in a “fictional” or POV (1st or 3rd-person “point of view”) mode (e.g., “Jane woke up early and turned on her personal artificial-intelligence assistant …”). Your essay will be graded based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Whether you draw on ideas related to the past and present of media, computing, and digital communication/information that you have read about in the course to help shape your prophecy. (If you do not refer to reading materials from the course in your explicit argument, add notes and links for the purpose).
  • Quality of your insight or vision.
  • Cohesiveness and effectiveness of your argument (including organizational cohesiveness).
  • Writing quality.
  • And appropriate (but not excessive) links, images or other multimedia, and any other material useful in illustrating or exemplifying your thesis.

For citation style, use MLA style (or another style, so long as you are consistent).

See Prof. Liu’s” Guidelines for Writing a Good Essay”
See also the course’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines”

Midterm Exam (M., May 2)

arrowhead right Midterm Exam in GauchoSpace.

General Instructions & Description:

The midterm exam will be taken by students in online form through the course GauchoSpace site here. This is an “open-book” and “open-notes” exam (see “Policy for referring to readings and notes for the exam” below). Students will have 60 minutes between starting the exam and submitting it. The window of time during which students can start the timed 60-minute exam will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on May2nd. (Clarification on timing of exam: The exam may be opened anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Students who open the exam at 8 p.m. will still have 60 minutes to complete it before submitting it or having GauchoSpace automatically submit it for them at 9 p.m. If you open the exam after 8 p.m., however, you will not have the full 60 minutes before the exam automatically closes at 9 p.m.) (Note: Special time affordances will be established for DSP students.)

The midterm exam covers readings in the course to date. The exam is more or less “factual” or “objective.” It is designed to see if students recognize and comprehend key ideas, specifics, and other material in the readings. It will also include some questions specific to material or comments the professor presented in lecture (i.e., “you had to be there”). The exam is designed to reward students who regularly keep up with readings and lectures.

Specific Instructions:

  • There will be three sections of the exam:
    1. Multiple-choice questions — 28 questions (2.5 pts. each) (questions for each student will be randomly drawn from a question bank in GauchoSpace)
    2. Mini-essay questions — 2 questions (8 pts. each). Choose two out of four possible questions to answer (randomly drawn for each student from a question bank in GauchoSpace). (Do not answer more than two of the mini-essay options; you will not receive extra points for answering additional options.) Questions will ask you briefly to explain in your own words an important work, passage, or concept. (Aim for no more than 200-300 words for each answer. You can include some quoted words from the primary works as needed, so long as they are clearly indicated by quote marks. However, you cannot quote from another student’s summary of a work written for a section discussion forum.) Tip to the wise: the best answers will be ones that:
    • clearly summarize or paraphrase a reading, passage, or concept;
    • but in a way that shows you understand it and its importance (as opposed, for example, to just listing features);
    • and provides a specific detail or two in order to be more persuasive that you know what you are talking about.
    1. “Reward” questions for students who come to lectures (multiple-choice format, 2 pts. each) — Questions will be based on the professor’s lectures. (E.g., “In explaining [a particular idea] in lecture, the professor did A, B, C, or D.”)
      Note: the total possible maximum number of points that GauchoSpace will show in exam results will nominally be 116 because section 2 of the exam provides two extra options for questions counting 8 pts. each that students should not answer. GauchoSpace converts the 116 maximum possible points to a 100-point scale for the actual grade for the exam.
  • The GauchoSpace Exam interface:
    • When the exam window opens (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 2nd), you will be able to access the exam and start an “attempt.” Use the “Start attempt” button at the bottom of the exam’s first page: Gauchospace quizz "start attempt" button. You can make one attempt only, lasting up to 60 minutes. If you have not submitted your completed exam by the end of 60 minutes, GauchoSpace will automatically submit it for you.
      • Clarification: The exam may be opened anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Students who open the exam at 8 p.m. will still have 60 minutes to complete it before submitting it (or having GauchoSpace automatically submit it for them at 9 p.m.) If you open the exam after 8 p.m., however, you will not have the full 60 minutes before the exam automatically closes at 9 p.m.)
    • The exam interface organizes the exam’s sections in successive “pages”.
      • Important: The information you enter on any exam page is not saved in the system until you move to another page (e.g., by going to the next page or back to the previous page)
      • Important: If you are moving sequentially through the exam, use the “Previous Page” and “Next Page” buttons at the bottom of each page. (Don’t use your browser’s back and forward functions).Gauchospace navigation interface: Next and Previous page buttons
      • There is also a navigation table at the top of the right sidebar that allows you to jump freely back and forth to different sections and questions. (Screenshots below may be from earlier versions of this course.)
        Gauchospace quizz interface: Navigation table in sidebar
    • You can “flag” (and then unflag) questions for attention as you work — e.g,, to remember to go back to a question.
      Gauchospace quizz "flag" and "unflag" question feature
    • Section 2 of the exam (“Mini-essays”) asks you to choose to answer two out of a possible four questions. Each question is on a separate page (go forward and back to see them all).Midterm Section 2 (Mini-Essays)
      Important: remember that GauchoSpace does not save your work until you navigate to another page. For the mini-essays, you may wish to draft your work in a word processor first and then paste into the exam (to protect your work in case you have an internet outage or some other problem).
    • When you are finished with the exam, be sure to go through the full GauchoSpace quiz  buttons and dialogue sequence for submitting your exam: press the “Finish Attempt” button, then, press the “Submit all and finish” button, and finally complete the “Confirmation” dialogue that asks if you are sure you want to Submit all and finish:
      GauchoSpace button and dialogue sequence for finishing and submitting an exam
    • After you have submitted your exam, and while the exam is still open for other students, GauchoSpace will for two minutes only show you your incorrect answers on the multiple choice questions and what the correct answers are. (Later, after the exam has been closed for everyone, GauchoSpace will again allow you to see your correct and incorrect answers.)
  • Policy for referring to readings and notes for the exam: (This is an “open-book” and “open-notes” exam.)
    • English 25 exams are mostly “factual” and “objective” because they are designed to assess whether students have been keeping up with the readings and lectures. In an ideal scenario, such exams would not allow for looking at open notes or books, and would be proctored.
    • However, because there is no proctoring for English 25 online exams, there is no way for the professor and the TAs to enforce a no-open-notes practice.
    • Therefore, to be clear and realistic about exam policy and also to alleviate ambiguity about what counts as “academic integrity” in taking the exam, the policy for English 25 online exams is that it is fine for students to look at the readings and their notes during the exam.
    • However, students should plan on sparingly and only occasionally referring to the readings and notes. The exam is constructed in such a way that it is unrealistic and counter-productive to try frantically to research all the materials during the time allotment of 60 minutes.  It would be foolish to expect to do well on the exam without having kept up with the readings and lectures and studying them.
  • See also the course’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines”
    • Please see the sections of the Guidelines on “Collusion” and “Cheating” to be sure you understand UCSB’s rules as they bear on exam-taking.
    • Note that questions for each student’s exam are drawn randomly from an English 25 question bank and listed in random order so that no two students’ exams will be the same.

Essay #2 (due May 11, 11:59pm)

arrowhead right Essay 2: Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.

Submission instruction: 4-5 pages of double-spaced text (approx. 1,200-1,800 words, not counting notes, bibliography, and any multimedia material). Submit the essay as a Word (or PDF) document on GauchoSpace here.

Essay content: Write an essay on The Crying of Lot 49 in which you use at least one reading from earlier in the course (e.g., Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, Plato, Alberto Manguel, Claude Shannon, Warren Weaver, Vannevar Bush, Lev Manovitch, etc.) to show how we can gain a deeper, richer understanding of some key aspect, idea, character, action, or stylistic/formal feature of the novel.

For citation style, use MLA style (or another style, so long as you are consistent).

See Prof. Liu’s” Guidelines for Writing a Good Essay”
See also the course’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines”

Ungraded Assignment (for Week 8) (due in your section meeting)

(included in section grade)

 

arrowhead right Create a spreadsheet on being human in the age of knowledge work.

Submission instruction: Submit your spreadsheet on GauchoSpace here in any file format (or as a document containing a link to an online file or online spreadsheet). (If you are exporting from a spreadsheet to a format like PDF, please first select the portion of your spreadsheet to export so that you do not include all the unused columns and rows. Instructions for setting a print area [or print-to-PDF area]: Excel | Google Sheets.)

Essay #3 (due May 23, 11:59pm)

arrowhead right Essay 3: Being Human in the Age of Knowledge Work.

Submission instruction: 4-5 pages of double-spaced text (approx. 1,200-1,800 words, not counting notes, bibliography, and any multimedia material). Submit the essay as a Word (or PDF) document on GauchoSpace here.

Essay content: After you have finished creating your spreadsheet comparison (see assignment for previous week), write an essay that substantively uses both the spreadsheet and at least one work from the section of the course on “The Postindustrial and Neoliberal age” (e.g., Taylor, Zuboff, Brown, Critical Art Ensemble, Gibson’s Neuromancer) to explore the question: What does it mean to live a “human” life in the age of informational knowledge work? “Substantively” means that you use some key features of your spreadsheet and some key ideas or passages from the works in the course to help you frame and think through the issues.

For citation style, use MLA style (or another style, so long as you are consistent).

See Prof. Liu’s” Guidelines for Writing a Good Essay”
See also the course’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines”

Ungraded Assignment (for Week 10) (due in your section meeting [or by Wed. of this final week if your section does not meet due to Memorial Day])

(included in section grade)

 

arrowhead right Text Analysis Exercise (with short commentary)
Submission instruction: Save your “souvenirs” from the exercise in whatever format is appropriate (e.g., screenshots, text files, .csv or spreadsheet files, docs or PDFs, etc. Then submit your file(s) for these souvenirs together with a file containing your short commentary on GauchoSpace here.

Final Exam (W, June 8)

arrowhead right Final Exam in GauchoSpace.

General Instructions & Description:

The final exam will be taken by students in online form through the course GauchoSpace site here. This is an “open-book” and “open-notes” exam (see “Policy for referring to readings and notes for the exam” below). Students will have 60 minutes between starting the exam and submitting it.The window of time during which students can start the timed, 60-minute exam will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on June 8th. (Clarification on timing of exam: The exam may be opened anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Students who open the exam at 8 p.m. will still have 60 minutes to complete it before submitting it or having GauchoSpace automatically submit it for them at 9 p.m. If you open the exam after 8 p.m., however, you will not have the full 60 minutes before the exam automatically closes at 9 p.m.) (Note: Special time affordances will be established for DSP students.)

The final exam covers materials in the course since the midterm. (Important: the final exam is not cumulative. Only readings and lectures after the midterm are covered in it.) Like the midterm, the final exam is more or less “factual” or “objective.” It is designed to see if students recognize and comprehend key ideas, specifics, and other material in the readings. It will also include some questions specific to material or comments the professor presented in lecture (i.e., “you had to be there” or have seen the lecture recording). The exam is designed to reward students who regularly keep up with readings and lectures.

Specific Instructions & Descriptions:

  • Policy for referring to readings and notes for the exam: (This is an “open-book” and “open-notes” exam.)
    • English 25 exams are mostly “factual” and “objective” because they are designed to assess whether students have been keeping up with the readings and lectures. In an ideal scenario, such exams would not allow for looking at open notes or books, and would be proctored.
    • However, because there is no proctoring for English 25 online exams, there is no way for the professor and the TAs to enforce a no-open-notes practice.
    • Therefore, to be clear and realistic about exam policy and also to alleviate ambiguity about what counts as “academic integrity” in taking the exam, the policy for English 25 online exams is that it is fine for students to look at the readings and their notes during the exam.
    • However, students should plan on sparingly and only occasionally referring to the readings and notes. The exam is constructed in such a way that it is unrealistic and counter-productive to try frantically to research all the materials during the time allotment of 60 minutes.  It would be foolish to expect to do well on the exam without having kept up with the readings and lectures and studying them.
  • See also the course’s “Intellectual Property & Academic Integrity Guidelines”
    • Please see the sections of the Guidelines on “Collusion” and “Cheating” to be sure you understand UCSB’s rules as they bear on exam-taking.
    • Note that questions for each student’s exam are drawn randomly from an English 25 question bank and listed in random order so that no two students’ exams will be the same.

Section Grade (Participation in Section Activities)

arrowhead right Section Grade
Section participation is important in English 25 and counts for 16.7% of a student’s final grade.
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