This assignment has two purposes: The first, more orthodox, is to encourage you to think, research, and write about a particular set of social relationships, such as between poverty and civil war, or between energy use and economic development, that are relevant to the study of peace and justice. The second, more unusual, is to create a "visualization" of those relationships.
The assignment has three parts:
(a) Creating an individual visualization using the "Gapminder" template
(b) Creating a group "Concept Map" together with the other students who are exploring your topic. The Concept Map part of the exercise has two stages: first, an initial group brainstorming session about possible connections; second, a final product, created with VUE, that links the connections that and you and group consider important (websites, photographs, bibliographies, documentaries, government and non-governmental organizations, policies recommendations, etc - be creative)
(c) Writing an individual eight page essay
Thus the assignment combines both individual and group responsibilities. A more detailed grading grid will be distributed at a later date.
The Individual Gapminder visualizations and the group Concept Maps will be displayed in a large virtual poster session during class time (9:30 to 11:20) on Thursday, November 19 in Sophia Gordon Hall. A nice breakfast will be served and we will invite other university guests to attend.
See relevant tabs above for more information on this portion of the assignment.
The assignment includes an eight-page essay that is to be handed in Thursday, November 19. The main part of the essay should explore the relationships that you have established in the visualization exercise and the connections outlined in your concept mapping exercise. You should track and include all sources (any recognized and consistent citation method is acceptable). You have the freedom to take the essay in the direction that you consider to be the most important. A list of possible questions that you might want to consider follows (although you are not expected to address all of them):
Pay attention to the concepts. What is meant by "poverty" or "inequality" or "health"? Does the data capture the concept?
Is there another source of data that could be used to measure the same concept? Are the results affected by this other source of data?
How has the relationship between the variables changed over time? Your exploration of this question will be assisted if you have been able to create a historical component on the Gapminder template.
Examine the outliers, the cases that do not seem to fit the overall pattern. Can you explain these cases?
Your visualization captures a problem that carries human costs. What have you learned that could contribute to possible policy solutions?
Finally, the issues listed below are complex. Academics, politicians, activists, and journalists spend years and years working on them. Let's try to keep our expectations at a reasonable level. We are not expecting, path-breaking, state-of-the-art results. The purpose of the exercise is for you to learn something more about a particular topic and to learn how to present your findings in a creative manner. The exercise is an exploration, not a conclusion.
- Understanding the Assignment - Sarah Doerrer
- Using GapMinder - Anoop Kumar
- Using Google Docs/Google Motion Charts - Hannah Reeves
- Using VUE - Hannah Reeves
- Using this Wiki - See the Wiki Tutorial we've created or contact Hannah Reeves
- Finding Credible Sources of Data - Martha Kelehan
- Finding Secondary Sources (Articles, Books) - Martha Kelehan
- Citing Sources - Martha Kelehan
- Prof. Paul Joseph, Eaton 113, Monday 10:30-11:30; Wednesday 3:00 - 5:00, email Prof. Josesph
- Sarah Doerrer, TA, Eaton 125, Tuesday 10:00-11:30; Wednesday 11:00-12:30, email Sarah Doerrer
- Martha Kelehan, Tisch Library, email Martha Kelehan to set up an appointment
- Anoop Kumar, Academic Technology 16 Dearborn House email Anoop Kumar to set up an appointment
- Hannah Reeves, Academic Technology 16 Dearborn House email Hannah Reeves to set up an appointment