For this assignment, we’re asking students to begin exploring a world they’re already familiar with (smart phone apps) through the lens of one of the books for the course this semester – Living In Information.
The rubric for the grading of this assignment is available here –
After reading the Introduction and chapters 1-5 from Living in Information, follow these steps:
- Look up which smart phone app you’ve been assigned to work on. This information is listed in the IA assignment spreadsheet linked here.
- Install the app, look through the assigned app and try using it yourself. Be sure to take notes of anything that seems remarkable.
- Think about the question Arango asks in chapter 2 – “Where are you and what can you do there?” (p. 23) With respect to the app you’ve been working with, how did the designers of the app suggest the answers to that question for their users? Are there features (things the app can do) that you didn’t pick up on immediately? What about the app helped you (or hindered you) to identify the possible actions you can do?
- Choose one feature of the app that you found particularly interesting with regards to this question of how the app users assess the possibilities of the information environment they find themselves in. Document the feature using screen shots. If you’re unsure about how to make a screen shot, see https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-ios-or-android-2377912 (Links to an external site.) or a similar site for directions.
- Using the concepts from chapters 2-5 of Living in Information (i.e., semantic environment, vocabulary choices, layout of the screen, use of icons, etc.) write a short essay that answers the following points:
- Briefly describe the app you were assigned and the feature you’ve chosen to focus on for this assignment. Use the screenshots you’ve created to illustrate the feature.
- Discuss at least two specific ways in which the apps’ designers are either successful or unsuccessful in their choices for presenting this feature to the users of the app. In short, how do the designers’ choices help to answer the question, “Where are you and what can you do there?”
- In Arango’s definition, the “… success of the design depends on whether or not it supports the goals its users have for the sort of place it creates.” How well have the designers succeeded at this task and specifically, how did they create that success?
For this assignment, your written answer should be in the range of approximately 800-1000 words. It’s also required that you’ve documented the feature using at least two screenshots. It’s likely that you may need more screenshots to successfully describe the feature you’re writing about. If you’re unsure how to embed screenshots in a discussion post in Canvas, you can read directions here (Links to an external site.).
POSTING YOUR RESPONSES
You will do a total of 3 postings: your initial post is you posting the essay you wrote in step #5 to the discussion board. After you make your initial post, you need to return to the discussion before the deadline and post 2+ replies in response to other students’ postings.
- To post your initial response to the discussion topic, click the Reply bar below the topic, respond to the questions, and then click the Post Reply button at the bottom right to save it.
- Use the toolbar to check for spelling (highly recommended), format your text, or add a link. Directions for embedding your screen shots in the post are available here (Links to an external site.). You may want to resize your screen shots to make your post more readable.
- Students must make their initial posting before they will be able to view other students’ postings.
After posting the initial posting, return to the discussion forum and post responses to at least two other members of the class. In these responses…
- Try to think critically about which posts are the most provocative to you, if a posting has generated a reaction in you it’s probably a good candidate for you to respond to.
- When responding, use the student’s name and describe the point you’re reacting to so that the discussion group can follow along. Example: Jessica, you make an interesting point about technology increasing without training increasing.
- Whether you are asserting agreement or disagreement, provide clear and credible evidence to support your response. If your response is less than 150 words, you probably haven’t done that part of the response well enough.
- Avoid using unsupported personal opinions, generalizations, or language that others might find offensive, and when you disagree with someone, keep responses respectful and academic in tone.
- To reply to a student’s posting, click the “Reply” link at the bottom left of the comment you are responding to and then click the Post Reply button at the bottom right to save it.
- Remember, you need to post two responses in addition to your initial posting before 11:59 pm on Friday to avoid late deductions.