Sample Syllabus

Syllabus Scavenger Hunt

  1. Download the PDF or Word version of the syllabus onto your device.
  2. Highlight three times the word “access” appears. Does the meaning shift in different contexts?
  3. Underline, circle, or otherwise mark a word or statement that you don’t understand.
  4. Name 2 ways you can participate in the class.
  5. Name 3 different formats your final project can take.
  6. Place a symbol (star, asterisk, arrow, heart, etc.) beside a topic you’re looking forward to learning about.
  7. Add a comment/note beside an activity or assignment that makes you anxious or worried.
  8. When is the Project Proposal due?
  9. Highlight an activity that you’re curious about or have questions about.
  10. In your opinion, what is the most unlikely or unexpected word in this document?

Course Description

The Digital Research Methods course will introduce students to a range of technologies and teach them to think critically with and through media objects, practices, and processes. Students will ask critical questions about digital methods and explore how these methods work with other forms of knowledge production. Students will develop their critical thinking, close-reading, textual analysis, platform analysis, visual analysis, and critical game design skills. This course will offer students an opportunity to both interrogate the digital realm as a site of inequality, and to harness digital tools in addressing complex social challenges with attention to the intersections of dis/ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, and nationality. The course speaks to the technological innovations and transformations shaping the lives of disabled people and responds directly to the expressed needs of students for content that will prepare them to navigate digitally mediated community, work, learning, and cultural spaces.

Course Objectives

In this course, students will:

  • Identify the affordances and constraints of media platforms and technologies, with attention to access and disability justice and reflect critically on the labour and ethics of digital making.
  • Gain proficiency with two or more digital storytelling platforms or practices.
  • Develop an understanding of the social and techno-scientific innovation that proceeds from and accounts for body-mind difference.
  • Craft stories about specific digital devices, linking objects to broader global, political, cultural, and societal narratives about disability, materiality, and capital.
  • Generate interactive narratives using play and collaborative storytelling to explore a contemporary issue relevant to disability justice.
  • Identify the digital divide and its impact on disabled people related to inequitable economic, physical, geographic, and infrastructure access to digital resources.
  • Interrogate and analyze the intersections of medicine/psychiatry and digital media.
  • Become familiar with the discourses of new media, crip technoscience, cripping digital media, and critical game design and apply them in cultural and social environments.

Method of Instruction/Teaching

This course is primarily asynchronous. Lessons will be posted as word documents on D2L alongside assigned media (which may include essays, TikTok videos, YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram accounts, etc.). Short informational videos highlighting key terms or concepts may be posted, and discussion boards will be used to generate conversation amongst the class.

I am also offering an optional synchronous component to the course. Each week the instructor will host a one-hour work session. This session will provide an opportunity for students to troubleshoot, practice digital storytelling, and have live discussions with their peers.

Accessibility Statement

It is assumed that everyone learns differently and experiences learning in different physical, intellectual, sensory, and emotional ways. This class strives to provide a safe, accessible, and inclusive learning environment conducive to basic principles of Universal Design for Learning and in-line with anti-oppressive space-making (i.e., respecting people’s choice of personal pronoun, etc.) and within the limitations of D2L. I expect that as a class we will collectively attend to all these needs and be in conversation with each other about how we may make the course more accessible. This commitment to accessibility should be engendered in all presentations (by students, the instructor, and guest lecturers).

If you recognize other circumstances that may negatively affect your experience in this class, please let me know so that we can work together to design strategies to make the course more accessible. My experience is that such strategies are best taken up sooner rather than later; you are welcome to communicate with me via email at [instructor email]

Digital access: Online courses are not inherently more accessible that in-person ones. I recognize that glitches, slow wifi, screen fatigue, back pain, and other difficulties associated with online learning may impact your engagement with the course. I encourage you to take breaks as needed and to explore different forms of engagement if possible (using to voice to text, for example, or writing drafts in an analog format with pen and paper, etc.). We will be troubleshooting technology glitches as a community, but I invite you to reach out if lack of internet or tech access is impacting your learning.

Assignments and Evaluation

Detailed assignment instructions are available in the next chapter titled “Assignment Descriptions.” Below is a list of assignments, their mark value, and their due date.

Assignment Mark Due date
Project Proposal 15% October 1, 2021
Project Outline 20% October 22, 2021
Project Draft 25% November 19, 2021
Showcase Participation 10% December 3, 2021
Final Project 30% December 10, 2021

Assignment guidelines

  • Please note that for written assignments, the font Arial size 12 is preferred.
  • Assignments must be submitted to the appropriate drop box on D2L as attachments.
  • A note on late marks: I don’t do them. I’m happy to give you extensions (working within the limits of the university and the deadlines we have from the institution). In some cases, extensions may not be possible (for example, the final project has to be submitted in time for the TA and I to mark them before our own deadlines for submitting grades to the university). Please contact me if there’s more we can do to help you, and I will try to accommodate, as long as it won’t be extremely hard on me or our teaching assistant. We want to take care of each other. If you do need an extension, please tell me, but remember that I don’t need to know why. It’s not an instructor’s place to assess whether or not a request is valid. Furthermore, your personal life is none of my business, and I’m not here to surveil you. I’m here to teach you. So let me know what you need, and I’ll tell you if it’s possible, and if not, we can try to come up with other solutions or compromises.


Students are required to adhere to all relevant University policies:

Several key policies are pasted below.

Academic Integrity

Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity

This policy is premised on the commitment of the University to foster and uphold the highest standards of academic integrity, the fundamental values of which are honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, courage.[1] These values are central to the development and sharing of knowledge.

All members of the University community, including faculty, students, graduate assistants (GAs), and staff, have a responsibility to adhere to and uphold them in their teaching, learning, evaluation, research, and creative activity. This includes a responsibility to take action if they have reasonable grounds for thinking that academic misconduct has occurred.

Academic Misconduct is any behaviour that undermines the university’s ability to evaluate fairly students’ academic achievements, or any behaviour that a student knew, or reasonably ought to have known, could gain them or others unearned academic advantage or benefit, counts as academic misconduct. Included in academic misconduct are: Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism; contract cheating; cheating; misrepresentation of personal identity or performance; submission of false information; contributing to academic misconduct; damaging, tampering, or interfering with the scholarly environment; unauthorized use of intellectual property; misconduct in re-graded/re-submitted work. While this list characterizes the most common instances of academic misconduct, it is not intended to be exhaustive. A more comprehensive list of inclusions can be found in Appendix A within the Policy.

Suspicions of academic misconduct may be referred to the Academic Integrity Office (AIO).  Students who are found to have committed academic misconduct will have a Disciplinary Notation (DN) placed on their academic record (not on their transcript) and will normally be assigned one or more of the following penalties:

  • A grade reduction for the work, ranging up to an including a zero on the work (minimum penalty for graduate work is a zero on the work)
  • A grade reduction in the course greater than a zero on the work.  (Note that this penalty can only be applied to course components worth 10% or less, and any additional penalty cannot exceed 10% of the final course grade. Students must be given prior notice that such a penalty will be assigned (e.g. in the course outline or on the assignment handout)
  • An F in the course
  • More serious penalties up to and including expulsion from the University

Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property:

The unauthorized use of intellectual property of others, including your professor, for distribution, sale, or profit is expressly prohibited, in accordance with Policy 60 (Sections 2.8 and 2.10).  Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to:

  • Slides
  • Lecture notes
  • Presentation materials used in and outside of class
  • Lab manuals
  • Course packs
  • Exams

For more information please visit the Academic Integrity Office website ( Important Student Resources such as: informative videos, a list of available workshops along with writing and citing guidelines are provided to assist with your success as a student.

[1] International Centre for Academic Integrity (2013)

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

This policy establishes guidelines for the academic accommodation of students with disabilities in order for them to access and demonstrate learning in a university context while maintaining the integrity of course content and objectives, as well as ensuring fairness for all students.

Toronto Metropolitan University provides academic accommodations for students with disabilities in accordance with the terms of the Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”). The University strives to make its academic programming accessible to all students.

The University is committed to preserving academic freedom and high academic standards. The University will provide academic accommodations to assist students with disabilities to fulfill the academic requirements of their programs without alteration in academic standards or outcomes. The nature and extent of accommodations shall be consistent with and support the integrity of the curriculum and the University’s academic standards.

The University re-affirms that all students are expected to satisfy the essential requirements of their program of studies and recognizes that students with disabilities may require academic accommodations to do so, including alterations to how the student demonstrates that she or he has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills.

Accommodating students with disabilities is a shared responsibility and a collaborative process. To this end, the University is committed to educating students, faculty and staff about the requirements to accommodate students with disabilities, the provisions of the Code and AODA, and the resources available to provide additional information and guidance.

For more details on academic accommodation at Toronto Metropolitan and how to register for these services, please see details on their website:

Direct Links to Other Important Toronto Metropolitan University policies:

Academic Consideration:

Email Policy:

Missed Tests/Examinations Policy:

Examination Policy and Procedures:

Medical Certificates:

Religious Observance:




Student Advocacy and Support Groups


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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.

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