Composing Digital Identities: A Group Assignment

Project Two: Composing Digital Identities

A Group Project

           Project Two is a two-part assignment that reflects your understanding of our classroom community’s emphasis on group work and collaborative leadership. It consists of a group presentation and an individual essay. Informed by Sherry Turkle’s “How Computers Change the Way We Think,” your group will choose and research a topic, and then collaboratively create a presentation to share with the class. By working within a group composed of students pursuing similar career goals, you will learn the cooperative benefits of sharing ideas and research tasks. Guided by the readings in Reading Identities, “Identities in the Media Age” you will choose and research a topic, and then collaboratively create a presentation to share with the class on the discussion board. In the second part of the project, you will narrow research on an area of your interest within your group’s topic to produce an individual argumentative essay of 3-4 pages in length. Your individual essay must utilize at least three scholarly sources. The group presentation and the individual essay are due Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Project 2 makes up 20 % of your overall class grade. The group presentation is worth 30% of the assignment’s grade and the formal essay makes up the other 70% of the assignment’s grade. The group presentation will be 15-20 minutes long (approximately 5 minutes for each group member) and will be posted to the discussion board by March 4th. You are welcome to use any presentation program (Prezi, PowerPoint, etc.), but the presentation must demonstrate a fair distribution of effort from group members. Your formal essay will compile your personal research on the specific topic within a larger group topic. The individual essay will be uploaded through the Canvas assignment link for Project 2.


Getting Started with groupwork: The goal of Project 2 is for you to collaborate with peers to research a topic. All members must participate in the delivery of the presentation. I will provide a link to a Google Doc to aid you in beginning your plans, however, you are ultimately responsible for exchanging contact information, making appointments with the Speaking Center, and distributing the workload equally. You should first elect someone in your group to be the group leader, and that individual can help to facilitate the group’s work. Remember that one of the keys to successful collaboration is flexibility. I suggest breaking your topic up into mini-topics, assigning one to each member, and then collaborating to synthesize the mini-topics together into a cohesive comprehensive research presentation.  For this assignment, I insist that you to take advantage of the Speaking Center in the USM library. They are equipped to assist groups online to build presentations. I suggest that the group leader make the appointment at At this link you will find a tutorial for making an appointment: With the complexity of time constraints, you may find it impossible for everyone to meet with the Speaking Center. If this is the case in your group, then the group leader should communicate information gained in the meeting with the Speaking Center to those unable to attend. You will make a schedule for research together, as well as due dates for the parts of the assignment to hold your group members accountable. This schedule should be submitted to the instructor along with the group’s topic by 2/25/18 via Canvas. I expect each member of the group to experience every aspect of the assignment. One or two members of the group should not take on roles that require them to shoulder an unequal portion of the workload. If you miss a meeting, expect an extra assignment to make up for the missed participation. Each group member will be provided with an evaluation for the members of their group at the end of the project.


Rhetorical Considerations: The audience for your presentation is your class and instructor, but the audience for your essay is your instructor, only. You will want to consider your class and the online venue for viewing your presentation. The presentation must be multi-modal which means it includes video, audio, and visual aids. As for the essay, I expect a formal, scholarly essay, that evidences research and synthesis of sources. Additionally, it must be written in standard English, be free from punctuation or spelling errors, and demonstrate in-text citations with a works cited page that conforms with MLA guidelines.  The group presentation will have a minimum of 10 scholarly sources; the individual essay must use a minimum of three scholarly sources.


Putting It Together: First, you will research broadly and gather information to determine your topic and mini-topics. Then you will research more specifically. As a group, you will submit an annotated bibliography with at least ten entries on 3/4/18. The annotated bibliography is weighted in your presentation grade. Remember, this is practice for your major research project later this semester.


The presentation should help you prepare for your essay. Write your essay using standard, edited English, in an academic format. Your essay should be concise, 3-4 pages in length, double-spaced, in 12 point, Times New Roman font, and conform with MLA guidelines. Do not forget an attention-grabbing title! The essay is due on 3/4/18, and it MUST be submitted through Canvas Assignments for Project 2.


The Speaking Center:

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Speaking Center, with consultations available at no cost to all students, faculty, and staff. The center is available for advice on all types of oral communication—formal individual presentations, group presentations, class discussion, class debates, interviews, campus speeches, etc. The center also offers several practice rooms for recording presentations and practicing with delivery aids (PowerPoint and internet access are available). Visit the center in Cook Library 117, call the center at 601-266-4965, or visit the website at