Assignment 1 has three parts. You can type all three on the same document and separate them by heading, or you can upload three different documents. I’ll find and grade your work either way.

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Click here for an example of this assignment from a past student.

Part 1: Summarize the Readings

There are two learning activities in the Week 1 Module. Both give an overview of the research process, types of sources, and how to evaluate them. For Part 1 of this week’s assignment, please write a 250-300 word summary (in total) of the key information you learned from these learning activities. The summary should be thorough and include terminology learned from the textbook reading and course file. I should be convinced that you’ve read the chapters carefully and comprehend the concepts within.

Finally, write three questions that you still have regarding the concepts in these chapters. I’ll try to answer them via feedback or in a general course announcement.

Part 2: Guiding Question and List

This semester I’d like you to generate a topic of research that has to do with both of these categories: relationships and technology. That intersection is a starting point only. It is up to you to narrow down to a very specific question you’d like to investigate. I’ll list some ideas below. Note these are NOT required topics, but simply a way for you to see the variety of intersections you could come up with. Some examples:

How are telehealth appointments impacting the relationships between mental health providers and first-time patients?
Is technology (phone) addiction a growing reason for couples divorcing? What are early signs that a relationship may be impacted by such behavior?
Would a mandatory online course in romantic relationship health and safety be beneficial for teens?
Can friendships formed and enjoyed entirely through online gaming be as rewarding or more than IRL friendships?
The list goes on for forever…
The Guiding Question you establish this week will be the focus of every assignment in this course, as you build a body of knowlegde on this topic. Think about your own lives and experiences. Think about your hobbies and interests and wonders. Under that intersection of relationships x techology, what are you curious about? What would you like to spend several weeks diving into?

Try to frame a question that assumes nothing: Why are all long distance relationships doomed to failure? A question like that assumes something I don’t actually know yet, so it’s a bad question for open-minded research.

It is okay if this question shifts throughout the semester–it likely will as you begin learning about your topic and your research and interests move you down a different branch. But think of a place to begin.

Below your Guiding Question, please make a list of what I’m informally calling micro-questions. Aim for at least 15. A micro question is something very small and factual/historical you can look up in order to know more about your Guiding Question. Figure out everything you don’t know, everything you just assume, and terminology/definitions/history/context you’ll need to master in order to write with some sort of expertise on your topic. You cannot search and find a good answer to your whole guiding question. But you can search and find specific answers to the small stuff, and use them to formulate your own answer to the bigger question.

For this part of the assignment, please write a brief explanation of your thought process and reasoning for developing this guiding question. Then state the guiding question; below that, include a list of things you’ll begin to look up. Looking at the student example link above will certainly help you out.

Part 3: Preliminary Findings

Now that you have defined your guiding question for the semester, and now that you’ve established some smaller questions you need to answer, I’d like you to search for 3 credible sources on the web that offer some information on your topic (or address one or two micro questions from your list). Think about what your reading this week said about credibility of web sources as you gather three for this assignment.

For this part of the assignment, copy and paste the three web links into a document. Below each link write about 100 words describing what new knowledge you’ve obtained from the source and what new questions are raised by it.

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