Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Super Ultimate End-of-Course Assignment of Doom

Chemistry Cat is from the wrong academic tradition, but I'll let that slide for now. The point is, it's science time! (And also, no way am I going to organize an online course without posting at least one cat picture. This is the internet, after all.)
Surprise! Welcome to the end-of-course assignment! I was going to make you do one last weekly assignment, but that would've left you with very little time to do this one. We'll cover the last weekly assignment in one way or another, but for now we'll focus on the final assignment (of doom!).

This time things are a little different. Instead of having a week to email your answers to me, this is an assignment you'll present in person at our last meeting on Friday 14.12., 12:00–14:00.

ASSIGNMENT:

Formulating and presenting research ideas is one of the basic skills you pick up at the university. It is a skill that will come in handy regardless of what you end up doing after you finish your Master's Degree. Coming up with research plans and examining topics analytically is a great way to review what you've learned so far, and it also helps you organise your thoughts. As students on the Master's level, I trust you already have experience of formulating and pitching research plans, so this shouldn't be too hard for you.

The study of digital culture obviously has a wealth of methodologies and theories of its own. However, often an interesting way to approach digital culture is via a lens of another academic tradition. One such approach was Henton's article you read during the previous assignment.

To get a hands-on experience of studying digital culture, your task is to create a brief plan on studying something related to digital games – such as the game itself, the players, the playing situation, or some cultural phenomenon attached to games – using any and all methodological and academic knowledge you have learned in your prior studies, regardless of the subject. Points are awarded for creativity, so don't hesitate to try outlandish things. It doesn't matter how well your prior academic knowledge meshes with the study of digital culture. What I want to see is you being able to adapt that knowledge to work in a new environment.

You can use Gere's book and what you've learned on the course, but focus on how you could use your prior strengths in the study of digital culture in general and games in particular. Naturally your study idea can be related to your master's thesis. Be prepared to present your plan when we meet 14.12. Your presentation should last around five minutes. (But certainly not much more, or we'll be in that seminar room for ages.)

Focus on topics such as your research question, the way you plan to gather data and what that data would consist of, what you hope to achieve with the study and what your hypothesis is on the likely outcome of the study. Feel free to use any methodologies you are familiar with, and do elaborate on the theoretical backgrounds if you wish to.

Oh, and please keep in mind that this is meant to be a rather laid-back exercise. No need to go into deep research details, construct long any bibliographies or in any way fret over this too much. You don't need to do the actual research or gather any information; concentrate on the research plan, not the research itself. The real boss battle of this course is, of course, the book exam. Focus most of your time and energy on that.

And, as always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to mail me. I've mostly recovered from my dreadful flu :)

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