Investigate the following Electronic Literature (E-Lit) types. I have included examples of some of the most popular ones. These examples are NOT the only options you have! They are merely examples to guide you!
- Hypertext narratives (Example: These Waves of Girls)
- Fiction blogs (Flogs) (Example: The Urban 30 or Chasing K8)
- Wiki (Example: Web 2.0 Guru)
- Digital poetry (Example: in the white darkness)
For your final project you will build on your experiences with the course and these technologies and create a work of electronic literature that is made of at least 50% Web 2.0 technologies and 50% HTML. Alternatively, if you would prefer to pursue a less abstract project, you can choose to create a wiki that identifies various concepts you have learned throughout the course. Whichever option you choose, your final project will consist of two elements: 1) the project itself, and 2) a 500 word response to your project that reflects on your journey through this course. In short, this project is designed to give you an opportunity to not only passively read about the concepts presented in this course but also participate as a content creator.
The minimum requirements for each option are listed below. Further details regarding each project can be found in the rubric section below.
- Fiction blog (flog): 2-4 entries of 250 words each
- Hypertext fiction using HTML: 4-6 pages or “lexia” of 100 words each
- Wiki: a main page plus 2-3 pages of 250 words each
- Digital Poem: 2-3 screens of 50 words each
Note that these are minimums. I would most appreciate it if your project exceeds the minimum criteria but it is not required. Also keep in mind your personal technical expertise. Learning how to use the technology you choose is an important aspect of this assignment, so make sure you choose a technology that you feel you can work with.
Prior to beginning your project, you will submit a project proposal to me via Blackboard. Your project proposal will be a paragraph in which you identify the type of project you will be pursuing (hypertext fiction, Second Life travel blog, etc.), give a short outline of your project, and finally identify some of the reasons you chose this particular project. The goal here is for you to have thought carefully about what you want to do beforehand so that you will have plenty of time to complete the project.
Response to your project
Regardless of which project you choose you will accompany it with a 500 word reflection on the process of developing your digital project in conjunction with your experiences during this course. This is your opportunity to express your thoughts about the advantages or disadvantages of the medium you chose to work in, as well as to consider how you might have done things differently in a different medium. There are no right or wrong answers here but your response should be well written and thoughtful. Grammar and spelling are always important.
You will be graded both on the content that you create, your application of Web 2.0 technologies and HTML structure, as well as how effectively you employ the technology you choose to work with. If, for example, you choose to write a hypertext fiction that is strictly linear without any “forking paths,” then you might as well have left out the hypertext all together. A successful project, therefore, will show careful consideration of what makes the chosen technology unique and then demonstrate those capabilities.
Your semester project will be graded based on the three primary criteria discussed in detail below.
1) The quality of your writing
Many of your projects are creative in nature, but, as you know, this is not a creative writing class. As such I will not be grading you on whether or not you’re the next Hemingway. That said, your writing should meet college level expectations. Specifically, you writing should be clear, precise and generally error free. Excessive wordiness, ungrammatical sentences, and poor editing will hurt your grade.
2) How well and extensively you are able to employ the technology with which you work
Your goal here is to demonstrate through your project that you have developed a fluency with the technology that you are using. See below for detailed expectations for your particular technology.
- Is the hypertext fiction non-linear?
- Does the author allow the reader to create his or her own narrative path through the story?
- Does the author take full advantage of html, including the use of links between lexia and the inclusion of images, audio, and video where appropriate?
- Do the mechanics of the author’s html code function as intended?
- Does the fiction blog conform to the definition of blog fiction studied in class?
- Does the blog include images, sound, and video as appropriate?
- Does the author take advantage of the comments feature?
- Does the author have an “about” page that explains the nature of their blog (this can be delivered from the perspective of the blog’s fictitious author or the actual author).
- Is the author able to create a narrative that engages the reader? Meaning, is the fiction blog more than just trivial details?
- Does the author address a solid aspects of the topic in his/her wiki?
- Is the wiki fact driven? Meaning, does the content presented clearly influence how the wiki is constructed?
- Does the wiki demonstrate an understanding (and execution) of the wiki style as seen on sites such as Wikipedia?
- Does the author include images, sound, and video where appropriate?
- Are quotations and other sources cited appropriately?
- Does the author create logical and useful links between pages, and does he/she link to outside pages as appropriate?
- Is the poem “born digital” in that it requires the functionality of the computer in order to be read/experienced?
- Can the poem be read both in its executable form and at the level of code?
- Does the poem address language in a meaningful way? Can we consider it “electronic literature”?
- Is there a balance between the attention to language and the attention to the digital?
3) The quality of your 500 word reflection on your project
Your response should be the most formal part of your project, and as such you should revise and edit it carefully before submitting. As I evaluate your reflection, I will consider the quality of the writing and the insights you develop as a result of completing your project. Some ideas you may want to address can include (but are not limited to): how educational technology compares to traditional forms educational delivery, ways in which technology reshapes the way we read, research, and learn (and thus who we are), the failings or shortcomings of technology that you encountered through your project, and how the process of creating this project differed from other educational practices you’ve experienced.
Submitting your Final Project
Include your reflection in a document along with the URL of your project and a zipped file containing all of your code.
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