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Planning for Success

Texts to have read

  • Writer/Designer chapter 5, on "Assembling Your Technologies and Your Team," especially the sections on Team Contracts and Project Proposals
  • Overview of GitHub's Project Management features

Work to have done

  • Team contract, if it wasn't finished in class; research toward group project

Takeaways from the Reading

So, since I gently guilted you guys about reading the W/D chapter last time, and since you didn't have a final website due today, I'm hoping now everyone's read this chapter. What struck you as interesting, insightful, worthwhile? Was anything surprising?

Discussion: Criteria for Collaboration

Here's an interesting question:

Should we have shared baseline criteria across all groups? What could they look like?

How, in general, should groups be assessed?

Collaborative Composing: Project Proposals

I want to give you the bulk of today's class to work on formalizing a project proposal, with all the pieces that Arola, Sheppard, and Ball suggest you'll want (90-91) for guiding you over the next few weeks. I've adapted those prompts here (but do look to the book for ideas):

  1. Introduction/summary. This will update the project pitch. Can you write yourselves a more specific assignment, now that you know what project you're on and who's on the team?
  2. Project plan. What tech will you use? Where will you source any necessary assets? How will you combine your separate efforts? Build in some flexibility, e.g. through stretch goals.
  3. Justification. Given the motivation and goals in your intro, how will the plan actually accomplish it? What Digital Media Composing skills will you be leveling up on?
  4. Roles and responsibilities. How will you divide up the pieces of the plan? How will you know if the work's been done satisfactorily? This will update and/or include your team contract.
  5. Timeline. This should be a set of deadlines you're targeting, using the schedule of our semester as a guide. The authors of W/D offer a set of six stages or modes that you might consider adopting and matching to particular class meetings:
    • doing further research
    • preparing a storyboard or mockup (a design, not implemented in the final tech / platform)
    • creating an asset list
    • preparing a rough cut or draft (implementation in the final tech / platform)
    • revising and editing your final project
    • delivering your final project

And I want to add one more thing: reflection. As with the previous projects, as part of delivering your final project, I'm going to ask you to write at least 500 words about what you've learned, what the process was like, what challenges you faced and how you overcame them, what questions you have. These reflections will be individual, even though the project will be collaborative.

Group conferences

As you finish your proposals, turn them in to me and I'll give you in-person feedback on them as a group, aiming to approve an appropriately scoped plan. I'll expect to do most of those meetings during Tuesday's class, but if any of you finish today, I'm happy to have a look.

EXT: Implement the plan!

Once you've met with me and gotten approval on your proposal, get to it! (You can, of course, start research even before then, because you'll need to have some sense of what you're putting in your proposal.)

For next time


  • If you haven't yet turned in a project proposal, work as a group to finish it by Tuesday. I'd like to meet with every group by the end of Tuesday's class, if possible.
  • If you have met with me as a group and had your proposal approved, get going on that plan!


  • Have a look over the resources page on our WordPress site, and compile a list of places to look for the assets (or instructions) you'll need.
  • Continue any research necessary for getting your project off the ground. Tuesday's class, when you're not in conference with me, will be studio time.