The final project begins in Week 12 and runs through Lab 2 of Week 15. You will pitch your project to a panel of angel investors during our final exam time.
You’ll notice that 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.
- Team preferences due, come with a topic to pitch (not a formal pitch, just an idea!)
- Labs finalize topic choices
- 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
- We highly recommend that you look ahead at the assignments due in Week 13. There’s no penalty for working ahead, particularly with deciding on story directions!
- Strategy: Craft a survey that will be distributed (via Facebook, 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. By the end of lab, send a link to a Google Document with the questions and format to the instructor, the lead TA and your TA. You should also input your survey into Qualtrics. Wait to distribute your survey until you have approval from us.
- 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, Week 13) and you get your lab’s survey results back (these results 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: Begin setting up your site. Your TA will have directions on how you log in and get started. 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.
- No lab due to thanksgiving
- No lecture
- SPM teams submit 2-3 page (double-spaced) PDF outlining overall strategy by email by Saturday, November 25, at 8 p.m. to the instructor, the lead TA and your TA.
- SPM teams meet with instructor, the lead TA and your TA at the following times (in the JRR – more about these meetings here):
- 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.
- 306: 10:15 a.m.
- 307: 10:30 a.m.
- All: Staff bios due by end of lab — in whatever form requested by Platform team
- 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.
- 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: Continue outlining content for website. Consider any extras you might want (e.g. widgets, plugins, etc.). 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- All: Continue work from Week 12 Lab 1
- All: Lab work time
- SPM: Work with TA to analyze survey results. Present the results to your labmates. 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. When you are finished adjusting content according to the survey results, 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.
- Platform: Submit all requests for plug-ins to the theme plug-in requests spreadsheet by the end of Lab 1. Sterling, the J-School’s IT administrator, will review and enable them if they don’t pose a security risk.
- Platform teams meet with instructor, the lead TA and your TA at the following times (in Vilas 2120, one of the J202 labs):
- 304: 9:00 a.m.
- 305: 9:15 a.m.
- 306: 9:30 a.m.
- 307: 9:45 a.m.
- 301: 10:00 a.m.
- 302: 10:15 a.m.
- 303: 10:30 a.m.
- All: Alternative story form due to TA
- All: Informative drafts due to TA. TA will provide feedback during lab.
- All: Strategic content due to TA
- Pitch: you must send instructor, the lead TA and your TA a 1-page backgrounder for your presentation by Sunday, December 10, at 5 p.m.
- Pitch: Practice time! 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 from 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.
- 307: 9:00 a.m.
- 306: 9:15 a.m.
- 305: 9:30 a.m.
- 304: 9:45 a.m.
- 303: 10:00 a.m.
- 302: 10:15 a.m.
- 301: 10:30 a.m.
- All: Informative stories due to TA.
- All: Both small group multimedia packages due to TA.
All content must be posted to the website by 5 p.m. Saturday of Week 15 (December 16)
- 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. Saturday (December 16). You will lose access at noon Sunday (December 17).
Pitch teams will present to our panel of experts, 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, December 19 (I don’t pick the final time, sorry!), in 2195 Vilas Hall. Attendance is mandatory for all students.