Deadlines

The final project begins in Week 11 and runs through Lab 2 of Week 14. You will pitch your project to a panel of angel investors during our final exam time.

You’ll notice that in the first week of the project, you have a lot of direction as to what your team should be doing. We want to help get you started, but then we back off with the directions and let you figure out how to use your time.

You will turn everything in twice: once to your TA for grading, and once to the appropriate team for peer feedback. The deadlines for your TA are outlined below. It would be ideal for your lab (specifically, the strategy team) to set in-lab deadlines before the TA deadlines. This way, you can get peer feedback before your final versions are due to your TA. It’s your choice whether to incorporate your peer feedback into your pieces. You can absolutely make changes to your content after the TA deadlines, but your TA will only be grading what is turned in by the deadlines outlined on this schedule.

Please be sure to watch your email for any updates or changes to the schedule below. 


Week 11

Lab 1

  • Go through the Final Project pages on the J202 website before lab. TAs will introduce the final project in lab.
  • Start thinking about which team you would prefer to be in, and fill in the team preference worksheet before lab 2.

 Lab 2

  • Team preferences due, come with a topic to pitch in lab (not a formal pitch, just an idea!)
  • Labs narrow topic choices to top three, email to instructor, lead TA and your TA. We’ll let you know the topic you’ll work on by Saturday, April 7, so you can start brainstorming for story ideas.

Week 12

Lecture

  • An unexcused absence during this meeting will result in a 20-point deduction on the final project participation grade
  • Be prepared for a short 10-question quiz (some multiple choice, some true/false, some short answers) on the basics of the final project
  • As a lab, start planning for how you can develop your final project based on your chosen topic.
  • We highly recommend that you look ahead at the assignments due in Week 12-14. There’s no penalty for working ahead, particularly with deciding on story directions! Start planning for timeslots over the next three weeks when you might be able to conduct interviews for your stories.
  • Continue brainstorming for story ideas for the individual/pair assignments: one informative story, one strategic content, one ASF and two small multimedia packages.
  • Get into your assigned teams (you may not get your first choice), review and start working on the following tasks:
  • Strategy: Craft a survey that will be distributed (via your social media networks and on our J-school listservs, etc.). The questions on this survey will shape your entire strategy. What do people want from a site like yours? Integrate questions from the Pitch team, as they need information that should inform their revenue strategy, as well as the Content team, as they might need information on the best story angles. Document everything on a Google Document, and share the document with your instructor, your lead TA and your TA.
  • Pitch: Brainstorm revenue options. Who will support your site? Who will you market it to? Why will that audience be receptive to this site? What are some creative ways to reach that audience? Create survey questions that will help you get answers to questions like these and work with the Strategy team to add those questions to the survey. After coming up with questions for the survey, begin brainstorming strategic content. Make a list of your “must haves” for strategic content (e.g. a press release announcing your site, a multimedia video to sell the site that would go on the front page of the website, etc.).
  • Content: Brainstorm story ideas. These may change as you get input from your labmates and feedback from your lab’s survey. Make a list of your “must-have” informative stories (e.g. big-picture topical story for front page of website, ASF map of locations important to your story, multimedia local TV news story about your site that would be featured in the press section of your website, etc.) Please wait to do the actual story assigning until you get the informative pitches from your classmates (they’ll bring in pitches in Lab 1) and you get your lab’s survey results back (these results should come in in Lab 2, and may lead you to focus on different areas). Remember, the multimedia and ASFs may be informative stories, so think about which ideas work best on the various storytelling platforms. Start talking with your labmates about what kinds of stories they’re interested in working on.
  • Platform: Start planning for your site. Your TA will have directions on how you log in and get started in Lab 1. Make a “must-have” list of informative or persuasive content that the Content and Pitch teams can dole out to your labmates (e.g., site logo and branding elements, video or audio pieces for front page of site). Before getting too deep in the woods of WordPress, use a pen and paper to map out what your site might look like — think specifically about navigation. You’ll want to be sure that your lab will produce enough content to populate the pages you want on the site. For example, if your topic is crime prevention for UW students, you want to make sure you have enough stories to fill in pages like “Protecting yourself” or “About campus crime.” Share any “must have” content with the Content team (informative content) and Pitch team (strategic content). Additionally, decide how you want to include staff bios on the site.

Lab 1

  • All: Everyone should come to lab with a proposal for an informative story idea. This proposal requires you to list your potential sources. The format of the proposal can be found here. Submit these proposals to the Content team at the start of lab.
  • Strategy: Start inputting your survey into Qualtrics, and invite the instructor, the lead TA and your TA to collaborate on the survey. Wait to distribute your survey until you have approval from us (you should get the approval the same night – you then have 24 hours to collect data for your survey). When you are finished inputting the survey into Qualtrics, create a deadline calendar for your lab. The deadlines for the content to the TA are non-negotiable, but you should set goals for your labmates to submit their content to the Pitch team (strategic content) and the Content team (informative content). Make sure all teams know how to communicate and access the deadline calendar and any other team materials. It’s your job to keep your lab organized.
  • Pitch: Finalize your list of strategic content, filling in the holes with input from your labmates. Work with the Content team to fairly divvy up ASFs and multimedia pieces between informative and strategic content. By the end of lab, make sure everyone has their strategic content assignments. People should not be forced to do stories they don’t want to do, so work as a lab to decide who is doing what.
  • Content: Review informative story proposals. Create a draft of who is covering which story based on your “must have” informative list and your labmates’ story proposals. Consult with the Pitch team to make sure you are fairly divvying up ASFs and multimedia content, which can be either informative or persuasive. Once your team and the Pitch team have a working list of persuasive and informative story ideas, present those to the class (writing them on the board or projecting a list would be helpful). People should not be assigned to do stories they don’t want to do, so work as a lab to decide who is doing which story. By the end of lab, everyone should have their story assignments. Make sure you create a spreadsheet, or use some other technique, to ensure everyone knows what everyone else is doing.
  • Platform: Begin setting up your site. Continue outlining content for website. Consider any extras you might want (e.g. themes, widgets, plugins, etc.). Submit all requests for plug-ins to the theme plug-in requests spreadsheet by the end of Week 13, Lab 1. Make sure the final stories assigned provide what you need for the site. Alert the Content or Pitch teams if you need something specific for the site. Finalize the logo, branding, and color schemes for the project, and brief the SPM team so that they can include these in their strategy memo.
  • Lab should end with everyone knowing what they are doing for their individual informative, persuasive and ASF stories. The multimedia pairings should also know what they are doing and whether their content is strategic or informative.

Lab 2

  • All: Staff bios due by end of lab — in whatever form requested by Platform team
  • Strategy: Work with TA to analyze survey results. Present the results to your labmates. Provide feedback to the Content and Pitch teams so they can make adjustments to assigned content based on survey results. For example, someone may be assigned to do an ASF outlining the process of plasma donation, but your research tells you that your UW audience is more interested in getting paid for donating plasma. Instead of a process story, the piece would be more satisfying to the audience as an informative story, or even an infographic, about payment for plasma donation. Finally, start working on the strategy memo. Check with the Platform team for the final logo/branding/color schemes – incorporate these into the strategy memo.
  • Content: Review informative story proposals. Create a draft of who is covering which story based on your “must have” informative list and your labmates’ story proposals. Consult with the Pitch team to make sure you are fairly divvying up ASFs and multimedia content, which can be either informative or persuasive. Once your team and the Pitch team have a working list of persuasive and informative story ideas, present those to the class (writing them on the board or projecting a list would be helpful). People should not be assigned to do stories they don’t want to do, so work as a lab to decide who is doing which story. By the end of lab, everyone should have their story assignments. Make sure you create a spreadsheet, or use some other technique, to ensure everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

Week 13

Lecture

  • 301: 9:00 a.m.
  • 302: 9:15 a.m.
  • 303: 9:30 a.m.
  • 304: 9:45 a.m.
  • 305: 10:00 a.m.
  • 307: 10:15 a.m.
  • 308: 10:30 a.m.

Lab 1

  • All: Lab work time
  • Strategy: Share feedback on the strategy memo with the other three teams. Work with them to make adjustments as necessary.

Lab 2

  • All: Lab work time
  • Platform: Meet with your instructor, your lead TA and your TA during your lab to walk through your final project website (whatever is up and available at that point), and your proposal for the website going forward.
  • Pitch: Start working on your pitch (presentation) and 1-page backgrounder. You must send your backgrounder to your instructor, your lead TA and your TA by Sunday, April 29 at 5 p.m.

Week 14

Lecture

  • Practice time for Pitch teams. You’ll run through your pitch as if the professor and the TAs are the panel of experts. All Pitch teams attend the full lecture session, 9-11 a.m. All members of each lab will attend for that lab’s assigned pitch time. After a lab’s practice pitch is over, you’re welcome to head to another room to go through feedback and talk about how to improve. Schedule:
    • 307: 9:00 a.m.
    • 308: 9:15 a.m.
    • 304: 9:30 a.m.
    • 305: 9:45 a.m.
    • 301: 10:00 a.m.
    • 302: 10:15 a.m.
    • 303: 10:30 a.m.

Lab 1

  • All: Alternative story form due to TA
  • All: Informative drafts due to TA. TA will provide feedback during lab.

Lab 2

  • All: Strategic content due to TA
  • All: Informative stories due to TA.
  • All: Both small group multimedia packages due to TA.

All content must be posted to the website by 9 a.m. Monday, May 7

  • Content: All content copy edited.
  • Strategy: Document emailed to instructor detailing any social media accounts set up with login and password information (in case account is compromised in the future).
  • Platform: Site finalized by 5 p.m. Monday, May 7. You will lose access by 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 8.

Final Exam

Pitch teams will present to our panel of experts, 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 (I don’t pick the final time, sorry!), in 2195 Vilas Hall. Attendance is mandatory for all students.