Category Archives: Final Projects

Under this section you will find the final projects for this course #nyufyws

Final Reflection Assignment

Final Reflection (pdf here)
Thinking and Writing Through New Media
Fall 2015

In Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, Larissa Pahomov writes, “For student reflection to be meaningful, it must be metacognitive, applicable, and shared with others,” and defines metacognitive reflection as taking the process of reflection “to the next level because it is concerned not with assessment, but with self-improvement: Could this be better? How? What steps should you take?” (read full article here). In light of this assertion, I would like you to write a metacognitive reflection on the final project. This reflection should address the following questions, with an aim to identify how you could improve your work.

1. How did you formulate a group contract, and why did you claim responsibility for the tasks you pledged to complete? Was this an effective approach? In retrospect, could you have divided the workload in a way that was more effective?

2. Describe your contributions to the final project in detail. What writing/research/design/management responsibilities did you take on in order to complete this project? How did you complete your individual contributions to the group? What steps did you take? What tools did you use? Did you meet your deadlines (why or why not)?

3. Did you feel like your contributions had a positive impact on the final project? Did you feel the other group members valued your contributions? Did the reactions of your group members (revisions, suggestions, critiques) help you develop your materials in a constructive way?

4. How do you feel you worked as a team? How did you facilitate communication and collaboration between the group members? What tools did you use? Can you suggest improvements for this process? What did you learn that would help you in future group work situations?

5. Imagine you were an audience member during your presentation and rate it on the same scale provided in class: research, innovation, creativity, clarity (1-10) and why?

6. And finally, what did you learn through the process of creating and presenting this project? How did this project help you synthesize and apply the topics we covered throughout the semester? Do you have suggestions to improve this assignment?

You may expand or add to these guidelines in any way you wish. This is your opportunity to speak directly to me about what you learned in this course.

This will be worth 25 points, and should be 3-5 pages in length (single spaced please). Please submit this as a Google Doc that you share with me upon completion. You must invite me as an editor (with privileges to edit, not just read or comment). This is due at 4:55pm on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

“What Meaningful Reflection On Student Work Can Do for Learning.” MindShift. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

3RD Annotated Bibliography

Page, Stanley R. “User Customization of a Word Processor.” Common Ground (n.d.): 340-46. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

The primary author of this paper, Stanley R. Page, worked for Novell Incorporated at the time of writing.  Not much was to be found concerning Mr. Page’s current status, however the Novell website is up to date and provides some insight into the author’s background.  From their homepage: “Novell supports thousands of organizations around the globe, delivering software that makes the workplace more productive, secure and manageable.”  The paper falls in line with this mission statement in that its objective was to find out what and how users change in their word processors.  Based on a study of 101 volunteers, the research team tracked on discs what changes users made to the software (WordPerfect 6.0a), responses to a questionnaire, and macro usage files.  Put simply, their findings were that, “92% of the participants in this study did some form of customization of the software. The maximum number of changes made by a participant was 54. The mean was 9.1. Eighty-six percent made changes to their general preferences settings.  Sixty-three percent made use of custom functionality in macros. Seventy-seven percent customized the software interface to add or change access to their functionality.” Though the piece may be somewhat out of date, in the past eighteen years, not much has changed in word processing outside of cloud storage and a few nifty tricks and features.  These numbers are most likely different today, however they are more than likely still representative of general trends in word processor usage.

The researchers’ audience for this study were originally those in attendance at the 1996 Conference of Human Factors in Computing, a conference that is still held today.  As the name implies, the conference focuses on how humans and our ever-present computers interact with one another, with an attendance base from across the computing spectrum.  The bias or slant present in the paper is minimal.  Though the authors are all involved in computing technology themselves, the paper remains easy to comprehend for those less versed in such vernacular.  The team set out to find out something they did not know, and were not out to prove anything, they write several times that the fact that 92% of users customize their processors to be surprising.

One of the main reasons this remains such an interesting and relevant study is that within it is contained a sampling of the word processor user demographics.  The researchers state that of those sampled, “57.4% having ten or more years of computer experience . . . 50.5% falling between the ages of 40 and 54 . . . 55.4% female and 44.6% male.” In addition the study provides a comprehensive analysis of what users changed and theorizes on why the changes were made.  Two of the key reasons cited for the desire to customize the word processor were that the user realized certain patterns or habits they had and wanted to facilitate these changes more, or that the user wanted to retrofit some new piece of software into an older version of the program.  These two user desires are key in developing White Space further in that once the user’s wants are more deeply understood, the product may react accordingly.  That said, it is important that White Space should do more than just provide users with what they know they want, to stay ahead of competition it is important to try new things, test ideas that have no assured demand, and create inventions that give the user something they didn’t even know they wanted.  Apple is a perfect example of this practice.  When the iPhone was launched in 2007, there were few if any metrics to depict how a smartphone would sell, but Apple took a chance, and now its product is one of the most widely used devices on the market.

Scarlett Curtis Third Annotated Bibliography – Panache

Borges, Jose, Morales, Israel, Rodriguez, Nestor J. Page Design Guidelines Developed through Usability Testing. University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus. n.d. Web. 30 November 2014.

I was unable to find any information on Borges, Morales or Rodriguez as I am assuming they are all Puerto Rican professors with little to no internet presence. The paper was written under the authority of the University of Puerto Rico which is the largest and most diverse public university in Puerto Rico. I therefore felt it was a trustworthy source and worth incorporating into my research.

The author’s thesis centres around a worry that individual website creators with little design knowledge are creating more and more web pages with poor usability and that hinder the use of the websites in general. The authors then go on to describe in detail steps that web designers can take to improve the usability, navigation, appeal and overall design of their website. They focus a lot on research and studies about web design and include a lot of factual evidence behind all of their points.

The author’s intended audience is anyone interested in web design but especially those who may not have a rich background in the field or are interested in looking at the research behind web design and not just one persons opinion.

Unlike a lot of articles about web design that include a lot of personal opinion on behalf of the author, this article is fairly un biased. The authors of the paper are looking extensively at research, facts and figures regarding web design and are not simply relying on what they think looks nice.

This article is very strong in that it provides a lot of evidence for each of the points that the author is making. However its weaknesses come in the large, dense chunks of information full of computer jargon. The article sets out to be a guide for beginner web designers in how to set up a site however it is often very hard and confusing for a beginner to get through.

This article supported much of our thesis in that it provided evidence and factual research for many of the aspects of web design that we thought made a successful website especially highlighting how important navigation is to a website that aims to store a large amount of information.

For the Design Features section of our paper this source was very useful. As I’ve said before it’s hard to find good sources about web design on the internet as they all seem to be so personal but it was really useful to see such in depth research on subjects we were so interested in like where the header should be and how to organise categories. We used this source to guide us and to back up some of the points we made in regard to our website’s design.

Karen Annotated Bibliography #3

Swallow, Erica. “Creating Innovators: Why America’s Education System Is Obsolete.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 06 Dec. 2014. <>.

Erica Swallow is a writer at Forbes Magazine and she focuses on case studies and strategies for founding successful startups. Swallow’s main argument in this article is that innovation will be driven if the American education system renews itself. Her article mostly highlights the studies executed by Tony Wagner, who is a Harvard Innovation Education Fellow.

Swallow’s main argument is that she covering this research without an objective voice but instead she is trying to persuade the reader that Wagner’s study is a useful resource. The strength of the article is that she has logical reasoning behind the claims that she makes and quotes authority figures in the field to support those too. The weakness of this article is that it links to the study but does not elaborate on the methods taken and what it actually tested to reach these conclusions. It furthers the argument of our final project because it talks about changing the stolid education system that relies on lecturing to a dynamic one in order to make children prepared to be innovators. Although, our product is mainly a way to enhance the working memory of children in order for them to learn basic skills, it also makes students engage more interactively with learning, which will build these problem-solving characteristics that Wagner talks about. SynesthEasy goes beyond performing rudimentary activities to remember state capitals and the periodic table.


Snowman bibliography

Ridling, Zaine. “TABLE OF CONTENTS.” Word Processor Review N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.


Zaine Ridling, a well-versed and educated author of documents on word processors, has written for the Word Processor Roundup and runs the Great Software list. Ridling’s article is more informative than anything and seeks to outline and review the new 2007 Microsoft Word interface. The intended audience of the article is students, educators, researchers, and writers and Ridling gives specific tips to each demographic. Throughout the article Ridling inserts his own view into an overview of Microsoft Word’s features and thus presents a slant towards not using Microsoft Word if you are a student, researcher, scholar, or writer.

The biggest strength of this article was its ability to go over so many of the key features of Word. As someone who is working on creating a new word processor, this is helpful to me because it outlines what features currently exists and where they fall short. I also think that since the article is written in a way that the everyday person can understand, the audience becomes wider and broader. I though the weakness of the article was how it attempted to cover so many different word processors in the same article. Ridling tried to go in depth about many word processors, but in the end the reader was left confused or muddled with a wide array of information. The information in this article is very relevant and helps my research because it presents us with many different features of word processors and goes through the pros and cons.nowman