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Digital Media in the World  FYS Social Action Project

Page history last edited by David Shutkin 8 years, 11 months ago

Project Guidelines 

Dr. David Shutkin

FYS70 2014 Social Action Groups 


Matt Thomas 

Sara Verdi 

Connor Simpson   

Sydney Brown  

Mia Iaderosa  

Joseph Mrowca 

Jonathan Arehart 

Mason McKenrick 

Ben Campbell 

Sami Taylor 

Megan Fenner 

Jaclyn Steele 

Matthew McGreal  

David Chojnacki  

Jakob Wendell 

William Good  

Nicolas Daigle 

Ethan Moeller 

Ryan Hovis  

Sadie Aman 


Cole Larson 

Jim Walleshauser 

Tony Perugini 




What can a small group of committed college students do to effect real and lasting change in the world?

As global citizens of our digital world, you are more likely to advance your knowledge and understanding of digital media and social justice through direct experience in our complex technological society. What is your responsibility? How will you respond to the injustices that you witness or learn about through our studies and experiences in class?

Collaborating in small groups (+/- 6 students), propose, design and produce a creative, meaningful and PUBLIC response or intervention that calls out injustice at the intersection of digital media and social justice.  Through your response, I challenge you to find your voice and to be the change you want in the world.


The primary goal of this assignment is for you to engage in direct action and to learn with citizens of the world beyond the four walls of our classroom.


Drawing inspiration from 

  1. the Bobs
  2. Jonah House,
  3. HollaBack,
  4. Adbusters,  
  5.  Keri Smith, 
  6. The Yes  Lab
  7.  Ignatian Solidarity Network, 
  8. SACOM,
  9. Greenpeace 


And other forms of social activism, and our studies in FYS, the primary goals of this group project are for you to:


  1. Engage in direct action to effect pro-social change at the intersection of social justice and digital media;
  2. Learn with citizens of the world beyond the four walls of our classroom.



 Perhaps you want to engage and learn with high school students in Cleveland or back home, college students here at John Carroll or at another university, or citizens in the community of any and all ages?


 Will your event take place on campus at John Carroll, at a local school, or at public place somewhere in Cleveland?

Project Form

 Your project can vary tremendously in form depending on your interests and where and with whom you want to engage.  Some possibilities (suggestive not exhaustive) are not limited to:


  1. Creating a Teach-in,
  2. Producing guerrilla art,
  3. Culture jamming,
  4. Staging street theater, or readers theater,
  5. Choreograph a Flash Mob,
  6. Engaging in civil disobedience,
  7. Bringing a speaker to campus,
  8. Starting a new student organization,
  9. Organizing a public debate,
  10. Producing a documentary film,
  11. Canvassing the community door to door,
  12. Organizing a field trip,
  13. Organizing a peaceful demonstration,
  14. Attending and documenting a political rally.


Minimum Expectations for an acceptable project:

1. Reaches a population beyond your FYS.2014 class;

2. Addresses issue(s) at the intersection of digital media and social justice;

3. Approved by all affected organizations or individuals and Dr. Shutkin (See proposal guidelines below);

4. Does NOT cause harm, physical or emotional, to any individual or group;

5. Does NOT cause damage to property;

6. Does NOT involve illegal materials or activities.


For this project, assessment will include group and individual work.  I will use relevant aspects of my holistic assessment rubric to assess the merits of your project. Each section of the project, as described below, is weighted and will be assessed using this rubric as well.


If you want to receive credit for your work on a section then your name needs to be on the document.


Further, you are required to keep a log documenting your contributions to the development of the social action project including each of the distinct sections and the social action project itself. This will be turned in after the completion of the project.


6x Additionally, group members will be asked to anonymously assess the contributions made by each group member to the conceptualization, development, production and staging of your social action project.  Please follow this link to see the group assessment rubric. Individual and group assessments will be averaged.


Social Action Project Proposal

(I invite you to develop your proposal in a shared and private online environment such as PBWorks which I used to develop this course syllabus.  All collaborative work must include a means of demonstrating the approval of each member of the collaborative).


2x Introduction (Due week 6) (Individual) 

  • Discuss the broader digital media and social justice topic, issue or cause that your social action project will respond to? What is the ethical, historical and/or political significance of this topic, issue or cause? (250 words)
  • Describe the type of social action project that you have identified.  Offer examples of how it has been used in the past. Why does this type of project form an appropriate response to the specific topic, issue or cause introduced above? (250 words) 


3x Problem Statement (What Now? / Why Now?)  (Due week 9)  (Group)

  •  What is the historically specific event at the intersection of digital media and social justice that your social action project will respond to? Introduce historical, political, cultural, social and/or economic explanations related to the broader topic accounting for this specific event. (This is a one page collaborative overview / summary of the individual literature surveys described below and should answer the questions, "why are we taking action"?). (250 words)
  •  Explain the ethical and/or political goal(s) of your social action project. Explain its ethical and/or political significance as your collaborative considers what it hopes to achieve. This statement can be grounded in the social justice literature that we have read and/or the literature reviewed in A + B below. (250 words)
  •  Please include in your proposal answers to the practical questions of your proposed social action project including: who, what, where, when and how. (250 words)


3x Literature Review  (Due week 9) 

Conceptually, situate your social action project AND the event(s) that it responds to at the intersection of digital media and social justice. Accomplish this in two steps by surveying the literature about:

A. (Individual) The historically specific event including the varying issues, perspectives and debates within and/or forming its conceptual boundaries; (250 words) 

B. (Group) The form of the social action project that you have selected and how to produce and stage such a project (500 words)


2x Permissions and Permits  (Due week 10) (Group)  

Provide a provisional list, including: names and contact information of persons, organizations, and locations for which you might need permits, permissions, and/or written approval to produce and stage your social action project.


University Posting Policy


Bibliography (With Every Document that is turned in -- No Exceptions!!)

Ongoing, continuous and complete bibliography in a standard form such as MLA, Chicago, or APA. Build your bibliography as you go.






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