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Final Research Project: Tracing Techno-Cultural Change

In this assignment you will explore some aspect of techno-cultural change. Your goal is to
research, analyze, produce, and synthesize several interesting artifacts into a multimodal
exploration for your reader that challenges their conception of something, causes them to
wonder, and provokes them towards some action. To do so you will combine audio, video,
web design and print to create a 10-15 page multimodal equivalentthinking not only about
what your topic is but also about how it is displayed.
Ideally, you will choose a research topic that will benefit you in your future career: How has
tech changed publishing, education, music, exercise, comedy, religion, etc. But your research
question should be more complex than just how has tech changed x, y, or z. Choose a specific
sub-topic within those broad headings, i.e., instead of asking how has technology changed
education you might consider: how has tech changed collaboration between teachers; how
have online for profit universities (like Phoenix) changed higher ed; how have technologies
in class changed how students engage with a course. Your project also must be something
you can do some primary research oni.e., you must be able to interview someone who has
experience with/is somehow expert on a topic.

Tips

Don't automatically assume that change is bad.


You don't necessarily need or want a proposal for change. Your goal is to analyzing
culture as it isnot solving a problem or assuming that something is a problem.
Make sure you are open to the positive and negative aspects of your topic.

General Project Requirements


1. Your topic must be about technological changehow some new technology has changed
some pre-existing culture: how has tech changed love, music, gender, class, race, psychology,
etc.
Your topic must be exigentyou must make clear to your reader why this topic is
important to study now by illustrating some problem or gap in research before you begin
your analysis proper.
2. You must engage with three primary research sourcesthis must include interviews with
members of the community you are analyzing as well as observations/textual analysis of the
literacy artifacts (texts) that this community produces.
This analysis must be systematized in some way; i.e., you draw similarities and trends
from your analyses, which attempt to answer some kind of research question.
You must justify who and what you analyzed in terms of your research questionyou
cant just pick random people and things.
You create or use others key terms in order to describe the trends you see.
3. You must perform some secondary researchspecifically, you must use 8 sources
somewhere in your essay. At least 5 of them must be academic textsfrom journals or
books about your topic. The other three can come from blogs, newspapers, YouTube, etc. All
of these sources should be used to either set the stage for analysis or to analyze your primary
research.
4. You must use two of the big media weve used (Photoshop, Audition, Premiere, Web Design)
in class.
5. You must meet with me at least once (ideally, twice) about your topic.
6. You will showcase your research at the end of the semester.

Examples

See many of our multimodal readings, including: Hollow, Radiolab, RSA Animate
See the academic journal Kairos: http://kairos.technorhetoric.net
See the undergraduate journal the Jump: http://jump.dwrl.utexas.edu/issues

Secondary Goals
Though the primary goal of this research project is to learn how to research and produce
multimodal texts, you might think about this project as a way to highlight your skills for a future
employer in a job portfolio, win one the Department of Englishs undergraduate awards
(http://cas.ou.edu/english-awards-and-funding), and/or presenting at undergraduate research day.