Schedule

Week 1

***The last day to add a course online is January 13.

Monday 1/9 Welcome! Go over syllabus and discuss course expectations. Due noon 1/11: Send me a link to your WordPress blog. You will post materials there for class throughout the semester. Be sure to title all posts DTC356 Post#. You can include a more topical title as a heading within the post. If you do not already have a WordPress blog, sign up for a free account and set it up before next class. Then send me a link to your URL. This should go without saying, but be sure you send me a link to the frontend of the blog, not your private dashboard.
Wednesday 1/11 Icebreaker activity: what is in inforg?  

Due in class 1/13: Look up a definition of “information” and bring it to class with you on Friday. Make a note of your source.

Friday 1/13 Introduction to information: what is it? Introduction to Project 1: Wikistorming. Review Nancy Van Doren example and Edit-a-thon example. Blog #1 due noon 1/18: For your first blog post, review Wikipedia’s editing policies. Then look up any article and answer these questions: Does it have any editing restrictions (indicated by a lock in the upper-right hand side of the page)? If so, what sort? When was the page created? How does the first version compare to the current version? What are the basic features of the current version? What do the most recent edits change/contribute? Check out the “talk page” (in the upper-left hand side of the page). What issues, if any, have been discussed there?

 

Week 2

Monday 1/16 MLK Day observed. No class.
Wednesday 1/18 Introduction to Wikipedia. Discuss example pages. Read Nathaniel Tkacz’s “Wikipedia and the Politics of Mass Collaboration.” Pay careful attention to how Tkacz interprets Wikipedia collaboration. (Later we’ll see how it’s different than Reagle.) Before class, try to summarize in your own words why Tkacz calls the discourse of collaboration “vacuous.” Also note how the main example—a case study of the “Muhammad” entry—works to support his argument.
Friday 1/20 Reading Quiz #1. Discuss Tkacz. Look at controversial Wikipedia pages. Blog #2 due noon 1/23: Read Joseph Reagle’s book chapter on Wikipedia, “Good Faith Collaboration.” In an expository blog post, explain what Reagle means by “epistemic stance” and “intersubjective stance.” How do they work together? Be sure to use a quote or an example from the chapter that helps illustrate what he considers the main elements of collaborative culture.

 

Week 3

Monday 1/23 Discuss Reagle with a focus on trying to understand collaborative culture. Create hypothetical dialogs between Tkacz and Reagle. Read James Gleick’s article, “Wikipedia’s Women Problem.” Be prepared to discuss both the initial motivation for moving American women authors out of the “American Authors” category and the reason for controversy. Pay special attention to how Gleick explains the problems that come along with categorization.
Wednesday 1/25 Reading Quiz #2.

Discuss Gleick and begin to put together wikistorming prospectuses.


Blog #3 due noon 1/27
: Finish writing your wikistorming prospectus using the Wikipedia pages “Women in Computing” and “Women in Red,” as well as “The Untold Story of Women in Science” (or whatever other source that’s useful). Figure out if you’ll need to have a Wikipedia account to do the editorial work you’ve laid out in your prospectus. If you do need an account, sign up for one now. If you do not, check the edits page to see if there are any other anonymous users editing that particular entry. If so, how do their edits get treated by others? Are they authoritative or treated as suspect?
Friday 1/27 Go over prospectus ideas. Discuss Chelsea Manning example and Wikipedia’s editorial rules. Continue finding material for the wikistorm. Pinpoint at least three areas where you can expand on the article as it exists. If it does not yet exist, pinpoint at least three areas of focus that will be important for creating the entry.


Week 4

Monday 1/30 Discuss research and prepare for wikistorm. Watch Clay Shirky TED talk and compare to Reagle. Prepare for wikistorm. Make sure you have all your materials ready and available for reference tomorrow at the CDSC. If you cannot attend, be sure to wikistorm remotely and finish the reflection blog post by the end of the day Friday 2/3.
Wednesday 2/1 Wikistorm: Meet at the CDSC from 9am to noon. No regular class. Project 1 due 2/3: See prompt for details.
Friday 2/3 Wikistorm reflection and introduction to Project 2. Begin reading the third chapter of Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton’s Web Style Guide, “Information Architecture.” Read the introduction and first section. We’ll work with the “five hat racks” of information in class, but you should be prepared also to discuss content inventories and chunking information.

 

Week 5

***The last day to drop a course without record is February 7.

Monday 2/6 Reading Quiz #3

Discuss “five hat racks” and practice brainstorming techniques using Solange’s website.

Finish reading the third chapter of Web Style Guide. We’ll discuss site structure and presenting information architecture in class on Wednesday. Be prepared to explain different browsing structures, directory structures, and the need for search.
Wednesday 2/8
Reading Quiz #4

Discuss information architecture and different organizational models. Find examples for each type.

Friday 2/10 Based on what you’ve learned from Lynch and Horton, map your own WordPress website and reorganize it for ease of browsing. Blog #4 due noon 2/13: Look through Siege Media’s list of 100 Best Infographics. Pay closest attention to the infographics that involve data visualization. Pick one that you find especially interesting. Post it to your blog (use a screen capture if it’s interactive) and explain what makes it work.


Week 6

Monday 2/13 Professor out of town. Entertain yourselves with some not so great infographics. Blog #5 due 2/15 by noon: Check out Laurie Frick’s website and read about here data-driven art project. Write a short blog post explaining how her approach to visualization differs from the infographics we’ve looked at together. If you iPhone owners are feeling brave, download her app and see what kind of “data selfie” you get.
Wednesday 2/15 Watch Laurie Frick TED talk. Discuss personal data collection and different ways of knowing oneself. Check out the Dear Data website and read about the collaborative art project that spanned an entire year. Watch the artists’ closing keynote at Visualized and read the FiveThirtyEight article about them. Pay special attention to their methods and process. You’ll need to reproduce the project, so be thinking about how they went about doing it. The tips at the bottom of the FiveThirtyEight article will help you in that regard.
Friday 2/17 Reading Quiz #5

Professor out of town. Begin work on your data collection. Remember to bring take-home quiz to class on Wednesday (link above).

Begin collecting data on yourself. Keep a good record and start to note patterns. As patterns emerge, they will give you some good ideas about how you might visualize your data on a postcard. Bring your records to class on Wednesday 2/22.

 

Week 7

Monday 2/20 President’s Day observed. No class.  
Wednesday 2/22 Discuss data collection efforts so far and begin brainstorming visualization strategies. Keep recording your data and bring your records to class again on Friday 2/24. We’ll focus on finding the right visualization type for your project. To prepare yourself, look through the Data Visualization Catalogue.
Friday 2/24 Examine the historical examples in Michael Friendly’s Milestones project. Find one that provides an historical example of the sort of data visualization that you want to create. Finish recording your data and continue drafting data visualizations for your postcard project. Once you’ve landed on a visualization type, pick an historical example and find a good-quality image of it that you can use without copyright infringement. Archive.org will be of great help here, but don’t hesitate to use WSU’s library as well. Anything before 1923 should be fair game for scanning. Part of the next stage of this assignment will require you to contextualize your own work historically, so it will help to know about the historical example you pick. Who made it, where, when, and how it was published are all key details.

 

Week 8

***Mid-term grades are due on March 1.
***Attend Sharon Leon talk and post response blog for extra credit. Details TBA.

Monday 2/27 Introduction to Dublin Core elements and Omeka. Blog #6 due noon 3/1: Read through the Dublin Core elements and take a first shot at cataloging your own data visualization postcards. If you’re not sure what to add for any particular element, just give it your best guess. We’ll compare notes on Wednesday and you can revise before adding it to our Omeka collection. Be sure bring the data postcard and metadata with you to the CDSC next class.
Wednesday 3/1 Lab Day: Meet@CDSC. Bring your data visualization postcard so you can scan it. Bring your Dublin Core metadata as well so we can revise if necessary. Due Friday 3/3: Upload your post card images to our class Omeka collection. Add appropriate metadata. Bring historical example to class with you and be prepared to catalog it using the same Dublin Core elements.
Friday 3/3 Lab Day: Meet@CDSC. Bring historical example with you. We’ll work on preparing those files for Omeka. Due Monday 3/6: Upload your historical example to our class Omeka collection. Add appropriate metadata.


Week 9

Monday 3/6 Introduction to Omeka exhibits. Look at Free Culture example. Due in class Monday 3/8: Bring a draft of your artist statement (see prompt for further directions). Be prepared to workshop it in class.
Wednesday 3/8 Professor out of town; no class. Draft artist statements and begin creating Omeka exhibit pages. Finish creating your exhibit page and add your records—both postcard images and the historical example. Add revised artist statement. For class on Wednesday 3/10, come prepared to work on the design.
Friday 3/10 Workshop artist statements and review exhibit pages. Project 2 Due by 5pm 3/10: Complete revisions of your exhibit page. Then enjoy spring break!


Week 10

Monday 3/13 Spring break  
Wednesday 3/15 Spring break  
Friday 3/17 Spring break  

 

Week 11

Monday 3/20 Introduction to Project 3. Discuss twitter trends and representations of data society. Read Ingrid Burrington’s article, “Why Amazon’s Data Centers are Hidden in Spy Country.” Be prepared to discuss Amazon Web Services in terms of Cold War intelligence agencies, global internet traffic, infrastructural design, and energy use.
Wednesday 3/22 Reading Quiz #6

Discuss Ingrid Burrington and data infrastructure. Try to locate a AWS data center in US-West.

Read Janet Vertesi’s “My Experiment Opting Out of Big Data Made Me Look Like a Criminal.” Be careful to note the various sites of information gathering that corporations do, or might, exploit. How does Vertesi know if, when, or where Facebook gathers information about her? In addition to identifying how corporations track individuals, be prepared to explain why.
Friday 3/24 Reading Quiz #7

Discuss Vertesi and personal information.

Blog #7 due noon 3/27: Read Laura Kirchner’s article “When Discrimination is Baked into Algorithms,” then look through her curated collection of examples in the article, “What We Know About the Computer Formulas Making Decisions in Your Life.” Read one or two to get a sense of particular examples of algorithmic bias. Then write a 200-word blog post that explains how bias works in terms of data and data selection. How does Kirchner explain the legal repercussions of such bias? Do laws from the twentieth-century adequately cover the new phenomenon of “big data” bias? Why or why not?


Week 12

Monday 3/27 Discuss Kirchner and examples of bias in algorithmic analyses of big data. Read the first half of Frank Pasquale’s “Digital Reputation in an Era of Runaway Data” (pages 19-38, up to the section on racial bias). Pay special attention to how Pasquale addresses the question of how data circulates between agencies. Why is that a special concern? Why is Pasquale especially concerned with algorithmic analysis, rather than just data collection? Be prepared to discuss the difference between reporting credit or medical history and calculating credit or medical scores.
Wednesday 3/29 Reading Quiz #8

Discuss Pasquale’s take on digital reputation.

Finish reading Pasquale’s “Digital Reputation in an Era of Runaway Data” (pages 38-58). Pay attention to his explanation of why we cannot resolve debates about racial bias in big data. Be prepared to explain Pasquale’s view of a “full-disclosure future.” Do you imagine a different future than he does? Why or why not?
Friday 3/31 No class. Attend colloquium in the Bundy if possible.

 

Week 13

Monday 4/3 Reading Quiz #9

Given what we know about how companies target consumers, we’ll debate whether or not government agencies should be legally allowed to buy data from commercial sources.

Due in class 4/5: Prepare three separate samples of your writing. These should be samples you’ve already completed—no need to write something new, just find material you’ve already written. Each sample should represent a different genre. For instance, one could be a research paper, another an email. Two of the three should be at least 200 words long—generally speaking, more is better, but don’t bring anything more than a few thousand words. Be sure to have them in digital copy. You’ll need to cut and paste the text into a web browser.
Wednesday 4/5 Explore Apply Awesome Sauce and Panopticlick.
Blog #8 due noon 4/7
: Watch the documentary Do Not Track. Write a blog post explaining what you learned about online tracking and what the website learned about you.
Friday 4/7 No class. Keep watching Do Not Track. See if you can figure out how to hide some of the information. Blog #9 due noon 4/10: Visit Me and My Shadow. Read through the website, making sure to look at the Tracking and Control Your Data Pages. Write a blog post that explains what a “digital shadow” is and about what else you learn. Consider comparing the project to Do Not Track or explain what sort of practical steps it offers for avoiding excessive online surveillance.


Week 14

***Last day to withdraw is Friday, April 14.

Monday 4/10 Discuss Me and My Shadow and begin the 8 Day Detox.
Wednesday 4/12 Continue the 8 Day Detox.
Friday 4/14 Discuss structure of a research paper. Practice concept mapping.
Blog #10-11 due noon 4/19
: Write a short blog post explaining what the topic of your final research paper (2-3 sentences). Include an annotated bibliography that includes at least one course reading, two secondary sources (scholarly) that you find through the library, and one primary text that will serve as a major object of analysis. Each annotation should include two sentences: one that summarizes the source material and one that explains why it’s useful to you.


Week 15

Monday 4/17 Workshop: Research. Keep working on final.
Wednesday 4/19 Workshop: Quotes. Keep working on final.
Friday 4/21 Workshop: Thesis. Keep working on final.

 

Week 16

Monday 4/24 Project Showcase: present your research. Keep working on final.
Wednesday 4/26 Final Review: write questions for comprehensive reading quiz. Keep working on final.
Friday 4/28 Reading Quiz #10-11

Last day of class!

Final due noon Monday 5/1: post it to your blog.
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