Weekly reflection memo
You’ll need to submit a one-page (500 words) reflection by noon on Monday each week. You can do a lot of different things with this memo: discuss something you learned from the readings, write about the best or worst presentation you saw that week, connect the readings or projects from that week to your own work, etc. These memos essentially let you explore and answer some of the key questions of this course, including:
- Why do people like stories?
- What makes a good story? What makes a bad story?
- What is the role of stories in presenting analysis?
- What problems are there with framing scientific analysis as a story?
- Why do we give presentations about research?
- What makes a presentation worth attending?
- What are good visual aesthetics?
- What makes a good visualization? What makes a bad visualization?
- How comfortable should we be with uncertainty?
- How can you lie with statistics? How do you tell the truth with statistics?
- How do you make sure people don’t think you’re lying with statistics?
These memos are also to help me see what you glean from each week’s reading so I can prepare class discussions to be most useful and interesting to you. These memos will only be graded for completion. Instructions for submitting the memo will be in the assignment page for that week.
In order to give you practice with the design and narrative principles you’ll learn in this class, you will complete three different projects, each focused on a different overarching course theme. In general, in these projects I will give you slides, charts, handouts, or academic papers that you will need to redesign or restructure. You will not need to create your own content for these assignments, and you’ll be able to use whatever program you feel comfortable with (Microsoft Office, Adobe applications, R, Tableau, etc.).
Specific details will be posted on the page for each individual project.
Final project: Story portfolio
Each research presentation has a structure that has to change depending on the medium and audience of the presentation. For your final project, you will create a collection of stories for an academic research article I will provide you. Specifically, you will create the following:
- An outline for a 60-minute talk
- An outline for a 10-minute presentation (which you will then present)
- A two-page policy brief
- An op-ed
- A 400-word blog post
- A three-tweet thread
- A single tweet
At the end of the course, you will turn in all the parts of your story portfolio and give a 10-minute presentation of your research article. I will grade these final presentations according to both your rubric and my own rubric, with equal weight (i.e. your rubric score consists of 50% of the total grade). These presentations will be held during the course’s scheduled final.