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Unformatted text preview: PDENG 25 Module 2 Optional Activity: Making Assumptions
(How Analyzing Eric can help with Work and Academic Assignments) Systematic Content Mapping Technique Cheryl Batten Example Analysis for students who find identifying assumptions challenging: Select one student log from PDENG15 Determine at least 3 assumptions you made about the habits or characteristics of the student who wrote the log Provide a rationale for your assumptions To illustrate the steps in identifying and justifying assumptions using a content mapping technique, we have asked Cheryl Batten, a PDEng content developer, to carry out the assignment using Eric as an example. Step 1 Identify assumptions you may have about this particular task Ask yourself: What information or terms do I need to understand before I can do the task? What is the process that I will use to do the assignment? What do I need to include in my assignment to get the grades I want? For example, before you can come up with 3 assumptions from the student logs, you will need to understand the meanings of "assumption" and "rationale" and understand how they are connected. As part of your "rationale" you will need to clearly explain, how and why you have arrived at your assumptions about Eric. In other words, your decisions need to be based upon logical methods, guidelines and processes if you want your assumptions to be credible. Tip: How to make credible, rational, assumptions Recall, assumptions, unlike facts, are neither definitively true nor false. Assumptions are something believed to be true by the person making the assumptions. Assumptions can therefore be arguable or debatable. If you want to increase the likelihood that others will agree with your assumptions about the characteristics or habits that you attribute to Eric, then you will need to provide `sound' evidence that supports your perspective. `Sound evidence' is consistent, reliable and logical. By including supporting evidence from multiple sources, you will increase the validity of your assumptions. Step 2 Gather and Record Evidence Identify the source of your evidence. In this case, we have chosen Eric and will collect evidence from his first PDENG15 log. We will show the analysis of this log in detail to gain evidence about Eric. However, you could also look Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 1 of 1 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 at a broader set of logs (1-8) and focus on less detail in each one. To illustrate the process of content mapping we will concentrate on Eric's first log entry in PDENG15. The log reads: Star Date 2314.4.45 All is calm in the galaxy. Received debriefing about PDEng from the course commander. Note to self: update wardrobe - research company on the web - get hair cut before end of term. Note: first day - validate lunch access to StarDoom on the computer. Their pervasive and invasive firewall might block it. Jason says that they might also intercept and monitor email and also trace my computer usage. That can't be legal - note: check corporate policy on computer usage. I hope that I design new hardware for a video game, have lots of ideas I am sure that they have not thought of. Make it so! In debriefing, ability to communicate was stressed. Excellent. No problem. Aced grammar classes. Closing molecular communicator. Do the following to break it down: Read the first sentence. Write the main point of the sentence on a post-it note. Repeat this process for each sentence until you have read through the whole log. Make sure that each entry you record from the log is written on its own post-it note (one idea per post-it note) In cases where the sentence has more than one idea, separate each idea, if it makes sense to do so. For example, in the sentence "note to self: update wardrobe - research company on the web - get hair cut before end of term", separate each of the three items listed into separate notes so that you have 3 post-its: Tip: Why use Post-it notes? The post-it notes are used later to help sort the entries into logical groups. Since each post-it has one idea, you will be able to play with various groupings by simply moving the post-it notes around as you move through the sorting process. This method is modular. When you have finished going through the log, your collection of post-it notes may include the following: Uses date codes to signify future time, fit with concept / idea of star world Says galaxy is calm - equates with own feelings? Reminds self to research company on the web Reminds self to get a new wardrobe Reminds self to get a hair cut before the end of term (and beginning of work term?) Reminds self to make sure on the first day that he can get into Star doom during lunch time Notes might be blocked from getting into Star Doom b/c of the fire wall Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 2 of 2 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 Notes Jason says email and computer usage could be blocked or monitored by an invasive and pervasive firewall Questions legality of monitoring and blocking and notes to check corporate usage policy Hopes he will be designing video h/w Says he has lots of ideas Says his ideas are original Says "make it so" (action item) Noted in debriefing, that communication was stressed Thinks this is an excellent notion Thinks he will have no problem with communication Thinks he aced grammar Uses terms such as "galaxy, debriefing, commander, molecular communicator) Step 4 Organize the Evidence into Logical Groups Layout all the post-it notes in front of you. Look for connections and similarities among the entries that might help you to organize the entries into logical groups. If you are still not quite sure what to do, then review the mini-example for Making Connections (Table 1). Table 1. Mini-Example for Making Connections. Making connections between items so that they can be grouped is the technique many of you may use when you organize content when designing the layout for a website. First, you decide which content to include, and then come up with categories, groupings and labels to group the content. In the following example (for a retail web site, let's say?), what are some possible groups, categories or labels that connect all or some of the items listed? wool hats, boots, wool sweaters, skis, wool mittens, tents, wool scarves, wool hat Some possibilities that apply to ALL items listed could be: Things sold at a department store; Things I don't need in Florida; Things I use in winter Things made of wool: wool hat, wool sweaters, wool mittens, wool scarves Things that keep me warm: all items except skis Things I wear on my feet: boots and skis Other groupings could be: Begin organizing your post-it notes into the groups that you have determined. For example, there are several entries in referring to Eric's reminders to himself. Therefore, you could create a group of entries comprised of "Eric's reminders to self". This group label could then become simply "Eric's reminders to self" that might look something like this: Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 3 of 3 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 Similarly, a few of the entries refer to Eric's thoughts regarding his abilities. He writes that he has "lots of ideas", and "ideas they have not thought of (i.e. original ideas)". He also thinks he "aced grammar", that "communication" is "no problem". Since all these items have to do with how Eric thinks about himself and his abilities, you might label this group of entries "How Eric sees himself" leaving us with: Continue to work through all the entries you have recorded until all entries are grouped by similarities. As you work through this process and visually see how the entries relate to each other and to other entries in the group, you can expect to: Create new groups or reduce existing groups Modify group labels Move entries around to a more appropriate group Step 5 Give Each Group a Meaningful Label Assign a label that reflects the underlying connection between the bits of evidence that are in each group. In our example, the following labels were assigned to the groups of evidence from Eric's log: Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 4 of 4 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 The sorted entries in their category groups might look like this: Step 6 Determine Assumptions Based Upon the Evidence To determine some assumptions about Eric's characteristics and habits, we will need to study, and then interpret the evidence. In our example, we will do so at two levels: 6a. Look at the evidence within each group 6b. Look at the evidence across groups Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 5 of 5 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 6a. Evidence within Groups In our example, let's look at the entries in the group labeled "How Eric sees himself" and try to determine some characteristics based upon the entries. Evidence Seems to think positively about his abilities All statements are positive, there is an absence of negativity Possible habit or Characteristic Self-confident, self-assured, competent, skilled. Optimistic, eager, enthusiastic Can you think of any other characteristics or habits suggested by the evidence in this group of entries? 6b. Evidence across Groups In step 6a., we suggested, based upon the evidence in the log, that Eric is: confident self-assured competent skilled optimistic eager enthusiastic At this point, we are basing our impressions on the data from one group of evidence, "what Eric thinks about himself". It might help if we now look at other groups of evidence, and determine if the additional data can help to validate our findings. Let's examine the evidence from another group category, "Eric's reminders to himself". Is there other evidence that might support any of the assumptions that we determined in Step 6a? Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 6 of 6 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 Evidence Wants to learn about the company Cares about the impression he makes on the job Access to Star doom is a priority for him Possible habit or Characteristic Enthusiastic, eager to learn Strives for acceptance Has a passion for computer games Note that in the above example, we suggest additional evidence indicating that Eric is enthusiastic and eager. Do you see any other corroborating evidence that supports the characteristics or habits you determined in Step 6a? In our example, we would continue to study and interpret the evidence until we felt comfortable with the interpretations we made from all the evidence. Expect that you will make revisions to your original list of habits and characteristics as you uncover other evidence that either refutes or supports your list of assumptions. In a more complex analysis, we might look at other logs completed by Eric and similarly collect, organize, label and interpret each new piece of data log by log, then look at similarities across all his logs. Step 7 Clarifying Assumptions for Workplace and Academic Assignments Tip: Tools and methods to help you get better evaluations Ask yourself: What information or terms do I need to understand before I can do the task? What assumptions have I made? Who do I ask for clarification? What is the process that I will use to do the task? What assumptions have I made in terms of time and resources required? What do I need to include in my work to get the grade or evaluation I want? Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 7 of 7 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 PDENG 25 Module 2 For Graded Assignments: Create a check list that includes things like grammar, spelling, and assignment requirements. Review the check list against your assignment before submitting. Have someone else read or review your assignment to see if it makes sense and to ensure you have covered all key points. (Be sure to acknowledge any contributions!) Review the grading matrix. Does your assignment address ALL the items listed and to the level of detail that is required? Summary Overview Steps 1 7 Created: Winter 2005 Last Modified: September, 10, 2007 2005-2007 Page 8 of 8 Faculty of Engineering University of Waterloo CGM/CB/ v. 3.0 ...
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