Social Implications of Computer Technology

CS 195, Fall 2023

Podcast 1

Timeline #

Assignment Submission
Due Fri 10/13, 11:59pm on bCourses: link
Optional Supplementary Materials Upload: link
Project partners
Due Mon 10/02, 11:59pm, remaining students auto-assigned to partners. Link to form in the Ed Announcement.
Peer Reviews
Assigned Sat 10/14 via bCourses, due Fri 10/20, 11:59pm

Assignment Description #

Pick a topic, a related piece of media, and a CS195 classmate and talk about it for 7-10 minutes! Review others! Read below for more detail.

Podcast Details #

One of the learning goals of this course is to share and engage your opinions about the social implications of computing technology, particularly with others. Since most of you will engage with these implications through spoken conversation, we’re hoping that this will be a better simulation of what you will do in practice—as opposed to a written essay.

You will record a 7-10 minute audio file of you talking with one other person in the course. This does not have to be an Audible/Spotify-level production, but the audio quality should be clear enough such that an automatic captioner would reasonably be able to pick up on most words. We share some resources for recording audio at the end of this assignment.

The goal of this assignment is a conversation between classmates. You do not need to submit a written script (beyond any automatic transcription; see below). However, both you and your partner should speak roughly an equal amount of time, and there shouldn’t be too many extra-long pauses (e.g., 5-10 seconds of pausing every once in a while is fine, but a longer amount of silence is not). Heuristically, aim for the amount of speaking you see in a podcast or internet stream. With these two things in mind (no script required, but conversation should keep both parties engaged), if you need it, we encourage you to outline some thoughts ahead of time. You may need to do several recordings!

Topic choice and required media #

You must pick a topic related to what we will have covered in lecture, from Lecture 1: Free Speech up to and including Lecture 06: Government Censorship and Surveillance. (It cannot involve AI - you will have a chance to talk about AI in the second and final podcast assignment of this course.)

As part of your discussion, cite or discuss one news article, tweet, video from Tiktok/YouTube/etc., academic paper, or other relevant form of media that is outside of the ones discussed or shared in class. You can include multiple of these if that’s what you want to talk about, but just one is required for submission.

You should “register” you and your partner as a group via this Google Form by Mon 10/02, 11:59pm. Unassigned students by this time will be automatically assigned within 24 hours and notified via email.

We will have a pinned Ed post to search for project partners. If you post on this thread, we ask that you mark your threads as “resolved” to help other students search.

Groups are two students; no groups of three will be permitted for this assignment.

Submission #

Submit your podcast via bCourses (see the assignment link at the top of this page).

  • Only one partner from each group will need to submit to bCourses.
  • Your assigned groups have been imported to bCourses here. If you see an error, you should have the ability to move yourself around, but you can also make a private Ed post and we can help resolve as needed.
  • We suggest that you announce your topic and the media you are citing at the beginning of your podcast. This will greatly facilitate peer and staff grading.
    • If you need to adjust your topic/media piece for any reason, please include it as part of the announcement at the beginning of your podcast. No need to resubmit any Google Forms or email us.
  • File renaming: Remember that peer reviewers will view your filename when they download; please rename your file if you would like to prefer anonymity. We suggest using a short-form version of your email hash, since you have already computed it.
  • Transcript submissions: If you prefer to submit a text transcript of your conversation for peer grading; details on how to use Zoom recordings for auto-transcript are at the bottom of the assignment page. Please note that you will need to ALSO submit the audio file to the [Optional] bCourses assignment, viewable to instructors only. That bCourses link is also at the top of this page.
  • If you need an extension, please fill out the Extension/Regrade Request form.
  • More details on the Ed post here.

Grading and Rubric #

Since this is a pair assignment, if all goes well your assignment will receive four anonymous peer reviews. Each person therefore will have to submit two peer reviews (see “Peer Review” below).

A passing grade on a podcast is such that all rubric categories are marked “Satisfactory” by all peer reviewers.

Category 1 point 0 points
Uploaded file is a text file (.vtt, .txt, PDF, word doc, etc.) or an audio file that contains the group conversation. Satisfactory File is a video file / File is not the conversation file.
Conversation topic is pertinent to one (or more) of the specified lectures. Satisfactory Conversation is not pertinent to class.
The conversation cites or discusses the uploaded piece of media (news article, tweet, video from Tiktok/YouTube/etc., academic paper) in a relevant manner. Satisfactory Conversation neither cites nor discusses a new piece of media outside of class resources.
Conversation does not have particularly long pauses (e.g., longer than 15 seconds) and is within time limit. Satisfactory Conversation includes an extra-long pause / contains so many pauses such that it cannot be considered satisfying the 7-10 minute requirement / Conversation exceeds 7-10 minutes or thereabouts.
Conversation feels relatively balanced, i.e., it flows back and forth. Satisfactory One person is dominating the speaking time / One person takes the first half, then the other person takes the second half.

Instructional staff will spot-review some podcasts and will explicitly re-review any submissions that do not achieve “Satisfactory” in all rubric items.

Peer Review #

As part of the grading process for this course, each person will anonymously submit two peer reviews, which includes submitting the above rubric as well as posting a single “Reply” as a text comment on the assignment on bCourses. Peer Reviews will be randomly assigned via bCourses. “Reply” guidelines

  • Post a question, quote and discuss, or comment on your classmates’ podcast. See the QQCR guidelines.
  • Submit this as a text comment in the peer review assignment you are assigned to.
  • Just like for QQCRs, you should be civil in your responses. Your classmates have worked hard on this assignment, and they will read your comments! One rule of thumb for constructive commenting: Instead of “I don’t like/I disagree,” say “I like” and “I wish…”
  • See the syllabus for further guidelines, as well as how to report comments that violate the Code of Student Conduct.

Audio Resources #

The easiest way to make an audio file AND an automatically generated transcript is to record your conversation via Zoom.

  • Start a Zoom; you and your partner do not need to both sign on, but if you are in the same room then both of you should be in front of the microphone.
  • Click the “Record to the Cloud” or “Record to my Computer” and start your conversation.
  • After you finish, click “End Meeting” or “Stop Recording.”
  • After you end the meeting, if you selected “Record to my Computer” then your files will be available locally. If you selected “Record to the Cloud” you will need to wait for Zoom to email you a link to download your files.
  • Upon viewing the files, you will see an .mp4 video file, .m4a audio file, a .vtt text transcript file. You can upload either the .m4a audio file or the .vtt text file to the bCourses file submission (do not upload the .mp4 video file!!)
  • If you choose to upload the .vtt text transcript file, you must also separately email your group’s audio file to the course staff. See the “Submission” details above for the correct email subject heading.