Evolution of Technology (TEC 154 2014S) : Assignments

Assignment 1: Course Details and Introductory Survey


Summary: In this assignment, you will gather information about the structure of the course and then respond to a few basic questions about the course and about yourself.

Purposes: To encourage you to learn about the structure of the course and the course web. To give me a bit more information about you.

Collaboration: Each student should turn in his or her own responses to this assignment. However, you may certainly work with other students as you review the course materials and answer the questions. You may discuss the assignment with anyone you wish. You may obtain help from anyone you wish, but you should clearly document that help.

Citation: Since this assignment explicitly asks you to read and summarize pages on the course web, you need not cite such pages. However, if you rely on pages from outside the course web for information, you should cite those pages.

Submitting: Email your answers to . More details below.

Warning: So that this assignment is a learning experience for everyone, I may spend class time publicly critiquing your work.

Part One: The Course

As you might have been able to tell from the first day of class, I have a wide variety of opinions about learning and teaching which are reflected in how I run the class. You can (and should) learn more about these perspectives from the course Web. In this assignment, you will review the course Web and answer some basic questions.

First, read the following items.

Next, answer the following questions.

  1. When I assign a reading, what should you do other than just read the material?
  2. What happens if you turn in homework late?
  3. Explain what an eboard is (or seems to be) and list a few ways one can get the eboard for a particular class.
  4. How can you figure out what assignments you have due?
  5. When can you work with other students and when can you not work with other students?
  6. How can you obtain help from me?
  7. Other than simply selecting Print from the File menu, are there other things you should do (or think about doing), when printing documents for this class?
  8. Do you agree to abide by my policies on academic honesty? If you feel that you can't agree with them, we'll need to have a meeting ASAP to discuss your concerns or questions, as they are in effect for the course. (If I feel that your concerns or questions are reasonable, I may revise the policy.)
  9. What are two other important things you learned in this part of the assignment?
  10. What are two important things you learned on the first day of class?
  11. Why do you think I gave you this assignment?
  12. What questions about the class do you have that are not answered by the Web site?
  13. Why do you think I gave you this assignment?

Part Two: About You

As I start each class, I like to learn a little bit about each student. Hence, I provide a short survey. I find that knowing more about my students helps me teach a better class.

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your preferred gender pronoun?
  3. What phone number should I use when I want to contact you? (I used to rely upon the campus directory, but evidence suggests that most students disconnect their campus phones.)
  4. Optional: Where can I find your PGP key?
  5. What is your major (or intended major)?
  6. Who is your academic advisor?
  7. What courses are you taking this term? Please include meeting times. I prefer course names to course abbreviations, although you should feel free to include abbreviations in addition to names.
  8. Why did you register for TEC 154?
  9. What do you hope to learn or gain from this course?
  10. What are your biggest concerns for the course?
  11. What do you like most about Grinnell? (If you don't like anything about Grinnell, what do you dislike least?)
  12. What do you dislike most about Grinnell? If you like everything about Grinnell, what do you like least about Grinnell?
  13. Most surveys like this ask you to list your five favorite books, movies, TV shows, CDs, chia animals, buildings on campus, professors, or whatever. I'll give you a little more freedom. Pick a category of objects (it can be one that I listed, it can be one that I didn't list), and list your five favorite objects in that category.
  14. What else should I know about you?
  15. Since I'm asking you all of these questions, it is only fair that you get to ask me some questions. What, if anything, would you like to know about me?

Part Three: Start Reading

Do the readings for the next class. Send me questions on the readings before 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening. When sending your email, please use a subject of “TEC 154 Readings for Class 2 (*Your Name*)”. For example, if I were submitting the questions, I would use a subject of “TEC 154 Readings for Class 2 (Samuel A. Rebelsky)”.

  • Weinberg, Alvin M. (1996). Can Technology Replace Social Engineering? [Teich 10th, ch. 4]
  • Berry, Wendell (1990). Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer. (Also followup comments.) [Teich 10th, ch. 5]
  • Florman, Samuel C. (1981). Technology and the Tragic View. [Teich 10th, ch. 6]

Important Evaluation Criteria

I will evaluate your work on the seriousness with which you approach the assignment and your correctness in answering the questions. (And, yes, particularly clever or amusing answers are likely to earn you a modicum of extra credit.)

Submitting Your Homework

Please submit the work in parts one and two via two separate email messages. The first should have a subject of “TEC 154 Course Details (*Your Name*)” and should contain your answers to the first part of the assignment. The second should be have a suubject of “TEC 154 Survey Answers (*Your Name*)” and should contain your answers to the second part of the assignment. For example, if I were to submit answers to the first part of the assignment, I would use the title “TEC 154 Course Details (Samuel A. Rebelsky)”.

Please send your work as the body of an email message. I don't like attachments and prefer not to receive them when they can be avoided.

Copyright (c) 2014 Samuel A. Rebelsky.

Creative Commons License

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