Sample Assignment Descriptions

Class Participation – 10%

Due: throughout course

Your participation grade is based on your engagement online as well as your attendance and active involvement.
Here are some key ways to participate:

  • Attend webinars
  • Add to the Collaborative Google Docs
  • Engage in online discussion

You will receive two participation marks:

  • One at the midpoint just after reading week
  • One at the end of the term.

Generally speaking, online discussion is not oriented around instructor questions—although you will find some embedded in the lectures each week. Instead, I want to engage with you in a much less structured conversation about what you take (or find you cannot take!) from both the readings and the lectures. Your participation mark is based on not just the number but the nature and quality of your posts, and the way you engage in the ongoing D2L dialogue that we develop together as a class. I will be present in the discussions and engaging with you.

  • To get a BASIC participation grade, you will post at least one comment in response to the module discussion exercises/questions each week. Your posts should integrate what you think and write about what you grasp from the module readings (even if partial). Also, think about what you ‘don’t get’ about the readings. Where does it leave you puzzled or frustrated? Being able to express your uncertainties, confusions, and struggles to understand is also part of good scholarship.
  • To get a GREAT participation grade, you need to establish your presence as a learner, thinker, and writer in relation to this course material and to your classmates. In most cases, I am not looking for a ‘right question’ or a ‘right answer’ each week. Rather I look for you seeking your honest, critical response to the material, from confusion or outrage to insight, excitement, and celebration! Demonstrate your emerging knowledge, as well as your ongoing questions. What is your process as a reader from an area of study that may be currently quite strange to you? Are your ideas changing as you go along? (And if they are, that’s a good thing!)

Here are some general guidelines that are useful for online discussions:

  • Read an entire thread and respond to what has already been posted. In other words: Be part of a conversation.
  • Ask questions. Respectfully take people up on what they write, and as sure as you can ask questions be sure to respond to questions posed in your direction. You are not expected to fully understand everything in the course readings, so use the discussion board as a place to work through new/unfamiliar concepts.
  • Avoid repetition. Read the entire thread before you post and say something different from other posters.
  • Be respectful. Keep in mind that each person is moving through an exploratory process of understanding themselves in relation to course concepts, and this will manifest differently for everyone.
  • Write clearly, but don’t get caught up in writing perfectly. Avoid the use of acronyms or other jargon we may not understand, but at the same time don’t be afraid to try writing in new ways: poetry, freewriting, notes, etc. are all useful methods of writing as we move through our discussion.
  • Post regularly. Visit the discussion board two or three times per week and speak up when you feel moved to do so.
  • Be specific where possible. If you are using quotations from readings or relying on other sources be sure to cite them.
  • Keep it brief. You do not need to write an essay. Your discussion post is not an assignment-length paper. Rather, it is a method of participation. So focus on being present, rather than being perfect!

Project Proposal – 15%

Due: October 1
The project proposal is a 150250word pitch describing the project you intend to develop for the course. The proposal should include the following:
  1. The main topic or theme you will explore in your project.
  2. Two or three ‘curiosity questions’ about your theme/topic that you want to explore further in your project.
  3. Two or three sources that will shape or influence your project.
  4. The medium you intend to use (audio, video, photo essay, game, etc.).
  5. The platform you intend to use (i.e., Twine, Instagram, Canva, PowerPoint, etc.)
  6. Two questions about access.
  7. Two concerns and/or potential barriers that might impact your project.


Please follow the formatting of the example when composing your proposal (warning: spoilers for Black Widow below!)
Topic: My project will explore the representation of disability in Marvel’s 2021 film Black Widow, focusing on Antonia.
Curiosity Questions: How is Antonia’s disability represented? What is the relationship between disability and gender in this film? What is Antonia’s relationship with technology?

Sources: My project will be shaped by Ellen Samuels article entitled “Prosthetic Heroes: Curing Disabled Veterans in Iron Man 3 and Beyondand Imani Barbarin’s TikTok video on disability representation in popular culture.

Medium: My project will take the form of an interactive narrative/game.

Platform: I will create my project in Twine using my laptop computer(Windows).

Access Questions: how do I make my game accessible for visually impaired players? How can I discuss or explore trauma in a way that is respectful and not triggering to players with PTSD?

Concerns and Barriers: My laptop is getting old and sometimes shuts down randomly. This might make it challenging to develop a game. I’m also not sure yet how to turn my topic into an interactive storydo I write a story from the perspective of Antonia? Or as a pretend film editor making changes to the movie that highlight disability or change the representation? Or as a film viewer who experiences feelings and thoughts when watching the film?

Project Outline – 20%

Due: October 22

The project outline is a more detailed summary of your narrative arch as well as the goals for your project. The outline also requires students to consider access and barriers in the process of creating a digital narrative.

Submit your responses to the questions below. Please feel welcome to submit as a chart/table.
Question Answer
How does the story start?
What key points or critical moments appear in the story? (list at least two)
How does the story end?
What do you want the viewer/listener/player to learn from your story?
What terminology from the course appears in your story? (list at least two)
How are you using your chosen medium to communicate your story?
How will you cite the sources you’re using?
How will you build access into your digital narrative?
What barriers have you encountered so far?

Project Draft – 25%

Due: November 19

Students will create a full draft of their digital narrative. The narrative will explore a theme/topic related to technology and disability. The story will include a critical analysis of a specific digital practice or platform, paying close attention to access and privilege (however, this critique may take the form of a traditional academic argument, a personal narrative, a creative story, etc.). Stories are also invited to explore the relationship between disability and other identity positions in their work (i.e., race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, etc.).
The story will be told through a digital medium. Options include: a photo essay, a video, a podcast episode/audio recording, or a digital game. Other mediums/platforms may be used if approved by the instructor.
Here are a few themed prompts for inspiration:
  1. Your personal relationship with tech/media and disability/health/illness.
  2. Pop culture representations of disability and technology.
  3. The global production of screen technology.
  4. Platform study/access analysis of a specific platform or device.
  5. Technology, disability, and relationships, dating, and/or sexuality.
  6. Digital violence and harm.
  7. Technology and access in education.
  8. Technology, access, and fashion, entertainment, or the arts.
  9. Technology and healthcare.
  10. Technology and mental healthcare.

Showcase Participation 5%

Due: December 3

Students will be invited to share their project drafts with their peers in a Digital Storytelling Showcase during the final class (week 12). At the showcase, students will be expected to write 35 positive and supportive comments about their peers’ work. This feedback should be specific, noting a particular element of a particular project that you enjoyed or found engaging or educational.

Final Project 25%

Due: December 10

Based on the feedback they received from both their peers and the instructor, students will revise their digital story and submit a more polished version. Students will be expected to engage with the feedback they received from the instructor or TA, and the final version should be different in some way from the draft.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Digital Methods for Disability Studies Copyright © 2022 by Esther Ignagni is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book