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Collab1: Focusing on a source and building a narrative

The short version: You’ll be signing up for one of five different groups on Discord. Your group will need to produce two documents: 1) an analysis of the source that you’ve focused on, chosen by me, and 2) a sequential narrative using artifacts from that source and others to tell a particular story.

Now, some more details . . .

The Groups

I have opened five different channels in Discord corresponding to one of five different groups, each one with a signup thread at the top. You will need to choose one. Each channel focus on a different source; from each source you’ll have to pull “artifacts”. Artifact is defined below for each source. Those sources/groups are (with links attached):

  1. Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate Twitter/X accounts from Jan. 1 to the present. These accounts are the primary reporting space for actions of the Georgia General Assembly; they often link to important resources. From the source, what counts as an artifact is a tweet.
  2. Politically Georgia radio show/podcast from Jan. 5 to the present. Politically Georgia runs every M-F from 10a-11a on WABE/90.1 FM. All episodes can be found here on Apple podcasts and here on Spotify. Keep in mind: you only need to pay attention to news related to the Georgia General Assembly, so you’ll be able to skip over some sections of the episodes. From this source, what counts as an artifact is a quote from one of the speakers including the episode number and approximate time.
  3. AJC articles in its Georgia Legislature section. New articles will be added to every day. From the source, what counts as an artifact is either a quote from and a link to the story or a tweet from the AJC promoting the story.
  4. Tweet using the hashtag #gapol from Jan 1 until the present. Remember to look at the different ways these tweets are arranged using the Top, Latest, People, Media, and Lists buttons. From this source, what counts as an artifact is a tweet.
  5. Gov. Brian Kemp’s State of the State Address from Thursday, Jan. 11. Kemp talks about a wide range of things, so your attention should be statements he makes that directly relate to the work of the General Assembly. From this source, what counts as an artifact is a quote.

Document #1: Source Analysis

After digesting your source for several days, your group needs to compose a 1-page document analyzing the source. These documents will be used as a resource for the rest of the class who has not spent hours reading and understanding the source like you have. What should they know? Feel free to deviate from a regular essay/paragraph format; use charts, lists, outlines, and embedded media if you would like. But remember: you only have one page. In that one page, you need to prove that your group members have spent several hours each with the source and have talked about how and why it’s useful and how it demonstrates ethos.

Document #2: Artifact Narrative

List 10 artifacts in an annotated list to tell a specific story about the work of the General Assembly. Focus as narrowly as you can: steer clear of general statements about the GA; instead, try to focus on a bill, or a particular part of the state, or an issue that seems important to voters or politicians. Give a brief (1-3 sentence) description of the story that your group has decided to tell followed by 10 artifacts (using hyperlinks for web contents or quotes). Each artifact should be followed by a 1-3 sentence annotation. The annotation should not summarize the source; it should instead engage in analysis: explaining why this artifact is important, how it’s different from the others, how it demonstrates ethos, how it complicates the story. You can put your artifacts in any order you like in order to tell your story in the best way, but you must have a very specific mix of artifacts according to the following list:

  1. 5 artifacts from your group’s main source
  2. 3 artifacts from any of the other groups’ sources
  3. 2 artifacts from digital stakeholders (sources with strong ethos, not politicians or journalists)

Ground Rules for Effective Collaboration

This activity is as much an exercise about collaboration as it is about political engagement. Be intentional and precise about how you work with the people in your group. When your group agrees to meet, be there on time. When your group assigns you a piece to complete, finish it and share it on time. Build time into your schedule for the things that seem like they won’t take that much time like answering group members’ questions, revising/editing someone else’s work, researching a source. The final product reveals the time and attention to detail that group members have invested.

To encourage good collaboration please do the following:

  • Join a group quickly on Discord (by the end of the day today, Jan 12) and let your group members know that you are there in the channel.
  • As a group, choose a Project Manager (PM) by Saturday. A PM does not need to be a group leader in terms of idea generation or accountability. A PM should be detailed and should remind everyone of the deadlines they have agreed to. PM can be chosen from volunteers, a vote, or random selection. For any groups that I have not identified a PM by Sunday, I will be assigning someone to do that work.
  • Set up two synchronous meetings of at least 30 mins. One should be early in the cycle and one should be close to the end. Meetings can be virtual and can be held over the phone, video, or over a Discord voice channel. Do not hold meetings if one of the group members can not or does not attend; everyone must be present for the meeting. Someone besides the PM should take notes during the meeting.
  • Divide the work up in the way that the group sees fit, however: everyone must spend a significant time with the source (at least two hours) taking notes and observations. The writing, artifact identification, revision, editing all can be shared or divided out to different people as long as the work is equitable and agreed to by everyone.
  • Work should be placed on a collaborative document (Google or One Drive) that everyone has access to. The link should be shared with everyone.
  • If you need help/guidance from me, ask for it in a way that everyone can see, either a message using my @ name in your channel or a KSU email with everyone on copy. I’m happy to join a group meeting on the phone or video call if my schedule allows. However, if you’re having a personal problem with the work, the group, or the timeline and you need to talk to me, don’t hesitate to DM or email me (pete@kennesaw.edu).
  • Keep your communication about the project in the channel. Resist the urge to make a GroupMe or switch to some other platform where I cannot offer guidance if you need it. It’s acceptable to exchange phone numbers and talk/text with each other that way, but most of the communication about the project should be in a place where everyone can see.
  • Remember: the Wednesday, 1/17, class period is reserved for a workshop on this project. I will be there and able to answer any question. Any Monday or Wednesday student can come on their own or with their group. Also, groups can hold one of their meetings during that period in addition to being able to talk to me.
  • Turn the work in on time (by 11.59pm, Thurs, 1/18) in the appropriate channel in Discord. I’ll let everyone know where it goes.
  • Finally, after the project is submitted, I will be sending out a survey for everyone to rate their own performance and the performance of their team members. It’s important to remember that as you engage with your group.

If you have questions, please post them in the #help channel for me or others to address. Also, please look at the #help channel before you pose a question (it may already be asked and answered on there). If you need to, DM or email me (pete@kennesaw.edu). I’m very willing to help, and I want to see you succeed together.

Published in writ3152

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