Final Projects

Throughout the semester we will be reading and discussing a variety of uses of mobile media technologies and exploring mobile application development.  For your final project you are required to draw on all of these tools to conduct original research and develop a research-grounded mobile technology or application design that will address a social justice issue. Review the report “Designing for Social Justice” by Light and Luckin listed in the syllabus.

You do not necessarily need to construct the device or application, but will deliver a digital or paper prototype for the design by the end of the semester. This assignment is your culminating project for the course and should draw together the various themes and texts we cover. You will have small assignments due throughout the semester that will build towards this final project.

At the bottom of this page there is a list of social justice issues, from which you must pick one to focus on for your final project. If you want to do a topic that is not listed here,  then you must get approval from Dr. Shaw before the first component is due on February 15th.

For all of the below assignments, you must use APA style citations.

This project will consist of six parts:

  1. Social Justice Topic Research Report (10%): After picking a general area of social justice from the list on the course site, you will conduct your own library research on that topic. In this report you will: 1. outline what the topic entails; 2. identify a particular issue related to that social justice topic that you want to address in your final project; 3. and discuss some of the proposed solutions (from the academic literature) for that issue. The report must cite at least 3 peer-reviewed scholarly sources and be a minimum of 500 words (not including citations). This should be posted to the course blog and categorized as “Social Justice Research.”
  2. Application/Technology Concept (10%): Building on your research on your social justice topic, in this assignment you will talk about what type of mobile technology or application you could develop to help address the social justice issue you have chosen. Be sure to include a discussion of: how the app/technology addresses the social justice issue and who the intended user of the app/technology is. You must cite from at least 2 course readings and 2 peer-reviewed academic sources. The sources you cite can be the same ones used for the Social Justice Report. This should be at least 500 words (not including your works cited list). You should post your concept to WordPress and categorize the post as “App/Tech Concept.”
  3. Theory and Design Assignment (10%): Using the readings from 3/11 and 3/18 discuss how your final project will connect with the ideas of mobility and social interaction. If your design does not take advantage of mobility or social interaction, make sure you talk about why it does not. Also, using the readings from 2/18 and 2/22 discuss how you will address privacy and accessibility concerns in your design. Substantially engage with at least one reading from each of those days (so four total). In doing so, make sure you are clear about the arguments being made by authors of the readings, and how those argument connect to your project. This should be a minimum of 800 words (not including works cited). This should be posted to the course blog at categorized as “Theory and Design.”
  4. Prototype Draft (2%): This will be due in class as part of our prototype workshop on April 15. This can be either digital or a physical object. It should allow a user to work through the basics of how your app/technology would work. Review the Bentley and Barrett reading from 2/25 for more information on what a prototype should entail.
  5. Presentation (3%): On the last day of class you will give a 3-minute (maximum) presentation of your final project. It should explain: what social issue is being addressed and what your app/technology does to help address that issue.
  6. Final Project (15%): Yourfinal will include two parts.
    1. The paper will be a combined and refined version of the first three assignments above: Social Justice Research, Application/Technology Concept, and Theory & Design. In combining them you should address any earlier critiques of them and some additional discussion of how the app/technology will work. The finalized version should be a minimum of 2000 words and include APA style citations. It should be submitted as a word .doc. Be sure to give it a final name formatted this way: LastName_Final (e.g. Shaw_Final) so I can easily identify the author. Make sure your name is in the .doc as well.
    2. The prototype should be revised based on feedback from the 4/15 workshop. It can be either a digital or physical prototype. It should be clear from the prototype what the application/technology would do.

List of Social Justice Topics

Note: these are not mutually exclusive. You might for example address the intersections of class and race in a project about education justice. You could do a project on homelessness that also addresses disability and mental illness. Although this list is meant to provide you with an entry point into social justice, you are expected to address those topics in a nuanced way based on your original research.

  • Animal Rights
  • Economic Justice
  • Education Justice
  • Environmental Justice
  • Food Justice
  • Healthcare Justice
  • Housing Justice
  • Prison Abolition/Prisoner Rights
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Workers’ rights (including interns, migrant workers, wage workers, freelancers, sex workers, etc.)
  • Homelessness
  • Effects of Globalization
  • The “Digital Divide” : access to technology
  • Movements addressing various forms of inequality and discrimination, including but not limited to (and the intersections of):
    • Age (ex. children’s rights, senior rights, etc.)
    • Gender/Sex (ex. Feminism, trans* rights, intersex rights, etc.)
    • Race (ex. racial justice, migration movements, postcolonial movements, etc.)
    • Sexuality (ex. LGBT rights, queer rights, sex positive movements, etc.)
    • Religion  (ex. religious freedom, etc.)
    • Disabilities, including Mental Illness (ex. Neurodiversity rights, disability rights, crip justice, etc.)
    • Body type (ex. Fat Pride, etc.)

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