Critical Thinking & Information Literacy
Across the Curriculum
"Expert Seminar" Project Information
What are we doing?
In this project you will investigate a current
IT-related topic in more depth than the course materials provide. The topics are
listed below. They are intentionally broad, so there are plenty of articles on
each topic. You'll be working in small groups.
The purpose of this
project is for you to be become the "expert" on your chosen topic and to become
familiar with topics from other groups. You will be teachers when your topic is
the one being discussed; you will be learners when the other topics are
List of Topics
Hacking/cracking/phreaking This topic focuses on the users who break into
computer and phone systems without the owners' knowledge or permission.
Topic #2: Web and e-mail use in the workplace: employers' and
employees' rights This topic focuses on work-related and personal uses of
e-mail and the Web at work.
Topic #3: Software piracy, copyright
infringement This topic examines what a copyright is and how the
copyright laws are applied to software, music, writings, etc., that are
Topic #4: Encryption relating to security
and Web commerce This topic looks at what encryption is and how it
enables Web commerce and privacy.
Topic #5: Privacy and database
marketing This topic examines the prevalence of database marketing and
how it relates to individuals' privacy rights.
Articles: You may use articles that are (approximately) less than 2 years
How to get from here to there:
yourself with the topic:
Week 2: First, choose a topic to investigate.
Week 3: Next, you will work individually to gather three relevant
articles for your topic. Find the best articles you can. Look for depth and
relevance. You will read each article and make brief notes as to its
strengths and weaknesses. (5 points)
Week 4: Then, you will meet with the other students who chose the same
topic as you. In your first "expert group" meeting, you'll present the ideas
in your articles to your group-you'll also listen to the other folks in your
group as they present their articles. You will find out that these topics are
complex-don't worry if it seems like the articles seem to be "all over the
map." The result of this step is that you will become familiar with the
In the same meeting, the group will choose one
aspect of the topic as a focus for the seminar that it will present. You'll
have one or more articles from your research that are specific to your chosen
focus. The group will have to make enough copies of these articles so that each
person can have one. Read these articles before your next group meeting. (5
Become an expert:
Week 5: Now that you have a specific focus, each person in your group will
find one additional article on that specific topic. Once you have found
your article, make a copy for each member of the group. Give the copies of
your article to group members. You'll receive copies of the other group
members' articles. Read all articles before your next expert group meeting.
Week 5: In the next expert group meeting, members choose the five best
articles to use for the discussion sessions.
Week 5 & 6: On your own time, each member prepares three discussion
Week 6: Groups meet to finalize the discussion questions-each group
decides on the best 5 questions. (5 points)
On Friday of Week 6, the group will turn in five copies of each of its
five articles (clipped, not stapled) and five copies of its typed questions.
Anne will then put these packets on reserve in the library. (10 points)
Each student will bring typed responses to his or her group's seminar
questions. Typed responses will be due on the same day we have your "Expert
Group" scheduled. (10 points)
The culmination of this project is the expert discussion
groups. Each student is now an "expert" on his or her chosen topic. When it's
your group's turn, one person from your "expert group" will help lead another
groups's discussion on the topic.
(TEMPLATE FOR) EXPERT GROUP QUESTIONS
person who prepared this sheet: _______________________________ Date:
Expert Group Broad Topic: The original, broad
topic as stated in "Expert Groups" handout
Specific group topic: The
topic you decided upon after discussing the broad
List the members in your group in alphabetical order by last name