INLS 501: Homework

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Each homework exercise will be assigned prior to a specific class session. You should do the homework exercise prior to that class session, and, at a minimum, come prepared to discuss your work. You may also be required to write a post to the course site, documenting your work.

Stumpers

I will post a stumper question to the course site once a week. These will be questions that cannot easily be answered using the usual suspects (Google, Wikipedia, etc.), and will require some creative searching and/or integration across sources.

This is an exercise in collaborative reference: I would not expect anyone to come up with the answer to a stumper on their own, or on the first attempt. I anticipate that these questions will be answered cooperatively and iteratively.

Any individual or members of any team that post (a) the first, or (b) the best sourced answer to any stumper question will receive an additional ½ point added onto your final semester grade.


A Google a day

A Google a day is a game, of sorts, that tests your Google search skills. There is a new puzzle every day.

Play a Google a day. Maybe not every day, but occasionally. I have embedded the a Google a day widget into this page on the course site. Post your answer in the Comments, along with an explanation of your search process. Your answer must: (1) be well-sourced, and (2) match the official answer. Feel free to also submit your answer to a Google a day.

For every a Google a day submission you make (to the course site, not to Google), subject to the caveats below, you get an additional ½ point added onto your final semester grade.

Caveats:

  • First come first served: Only the first student to submit an a Google a day answer to the course site on any given day gets the additional ½ point.
  • Today only: Only answers to the current day's a Google a day gets the additional ½ point.
  • Maximum: You can submit maximum of 5 answers over the course of the semester. If you submit more than 4 answers, I will just stop counting at 4, so don't bother. The semester is 15 weeks long (from the first to the last day of classes, not including exam period). That's 105 days. This course has an enrollment of approximately 30 students. That comes to 3.5 days per student (do the math). You may answer 4 days' worth of a Google a day questions in a row, or spread your answers out throughout the semester. But bear in mind that you're competing with your classmates for time, so stay on top of it.


Wednesday search challenge

Daniel Russell is a research scientist at Google. (He is also, perhaps not surprisingly, the originator of A Google a day.) On his blog, SearchReSearch, he posts a Wednesday search challenge every, well, Wednesday.

Challenge yourself: work on the Wednesday search challenge. Maybe not every Wednesday, but occasionally. Post your answer in the Comments, along with an explanation of your search process. Your answer must: (1) be well-sourced, and (2) match the official answer. Feel free to also post your answer in the comments on SearchReSearch.

For every Wednesday search challenge submission you make (to the course site, not to SearchReSearch), subject to the caveats above, you get an additional ½ point added onto your final semester grade.


A note on grading

1 point = 1/100th of your final grade total. So 3 or 4 points (depending on where you're starting from) = 1 grade; e.g., from B+ to A-.


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