Portfolio Exercise 1: Apply the communication models to a case study
Download these other short case studieswhich illustrate different scenarios of communication breakdown. Write a brief (max 500 words) commentary ononeof these, identifying the problems and issues which you believe led to the breakdown. Apply one of the communication models discussed to explain the communication breakdown? Use the earlier class discussion to help you.
Read Wendy Tuohy’s article calledThe Runaway BrainWhat argument is she is making about the impact of information overload on the ways our brains work?Do you think modern communication technologies such as mobile phones, email and the internet might impact on our perceptual faculties? Has the advent of modern technologies impacted our ability to read more difficult texts? Use the information from the lecture and the background reading fromSadler and Tucker (1981)to write about 500 words. You will get extra marks if you also do some of your own background research (but make sure to include a reference list).
Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio exercise 3: Case Study: Carbon tax and other dirty language
Read Case study 2.3 (page 44 of the textbook)on the impact of the word ‘tax’ on the debate about government action on climate change. How does using the language of economics change the way we think about the debate? Write a maximum of 500 words.Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio Exercise 4: Paul Ekman and ‘Face Values’
Read through this article titledFace Values(also in the ‘Readings’ link in the right hand column) by anthropologistPaul Ekman(this is his website). Summarise the main points he is making about facial expressions as a universal indicator of emotions. What problems did he have in trying to do his research?
Write up your response and keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.Portfolio Exercise 5:The impact of social distance
During the next few days, observe and make notes about the eye contact behaviour of people you meet in public places. Some settings you might like to consider are: lifts, escalators, footpaths, crowded shopping centres, trains/buses, cinema foyers. Try to identify a variety of non-verbal behaviours that people are using consciously or subconsciously and what they might mean in this context.
Write about 300-400 words and keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio Exercise 6: Debating censorship
Choose ONE of the topics below and write 500 words answering the question above.Best marks will be given to students whose answers show that they are familiar with the various writings on the topic, and who are not just expressing unsubstantiated personal opinion. Your points should be referenced and cited using APA citation style. Don’t forget to include a brief reference list at the end of your response.Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio Exercise 7: The medium is the message or the message is the medium? The future of literacy in the information age
Read this dialogue about so-called decline in literacy due to the Communication Age,between Sven Birkets in the“Gutenburg Elergies”and Wen Stephenson who wrote a reply titledThe Message is the Mediumin the “Atlantic Monthly”.Summarise the two arguments being made.Is Birkets right? Or is reading in the so-called “information age” different?
Here are some other perspectives to help you.Education in the information age: is technology making us stupid?Does all this online educational material make students helpless?Consider the arguments in thisshort article about the impact of using text languageon literacy by Dale SpenderOr this article bySue Butler editor of the Macquarie Dictionary.Here’s what noted professor of linguistics, David Crystal has to say in a chapter from his bookTxting: The Gr8 debateOr this article from the New York Times titled‘The way we read now’which makes an argument in favour of electronic books.School’s in for digital learning:Are iPads a recipe for mass distraction or an essential tool?Portfolio Exercise 8:How do electronic technologies impact on our work and personal lives?
Using the database ProQuest ANZ Newstand (available via the ‘Subject’ file n the UWS library “E-Resources”), chooseone (1) of the suggested topicsand find at leastthree (3) recent newspaper articles. Summarise the arguments made.Do you agree/disagree, why/why not? Write about 400 words. Set out the references to these articles correctly (see APA style guide).
Suggested topics/themes include:Online dating/e-relationshipsHow we are using social mediums like Facebook and TwitterCyberbullying.This is the60 Minutes reportabout celebrity Charlotte Dawson and the dangers of Twitter trolls.Here is one news story around this.Here is another perspective.Issues of privacy/surveillance of email/mobile phones. Check out this discussiontitled‘Using and abusing technology
Impact of technology on work/relationships/productivity – cyberloafing/cyberslacking. Try reading the extract from Will Powers’ book‘Hamlet’s Blackberry’. What is the impact of being constantly ‘switched on’? Here’s another useful perspective titled‘Only Disconnect’
Write about 300-400 words in your answer. Best marks will be awarded to those who answer with reference to a variety of sources. Make sure you cite correctly and create a reference list at the end of your post. Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio Exercise 8: Differences in cultural interpretations: Mick Jagger in Iran
Read this brief newspaper clippingon the reaction to a portrait of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger in Iran. How is the Iranian reaction to the painting a reflection of different worldviews? Write about 400 words. [Hint: you might want to do a Google search on the term 'worldview' and relate it to what the article is about].
Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.Portfolio Exercise 9: Comparison of websites between cultures
Choose an international well-known product brand such as Coca Cola, KFC or a product such as jeans or joggers. Use Google, to do a search for at least two (2) other websites from different countries for the same product or company eg American, Australian, Chinese and/or Japanese.Write about 500 words and include a screen shot of the web pages you are discussing.How are the websites presented differently?What colours are predominantly used in different countries? Do you think these have a cultural significance and why?Why do you think different nationalities create different looking websites for the same product?
NOTE –For some help on how to do this well, you might read the following journal article byWurtz (2005)titled “A cross-cultural analysis of websites from high-context cultures and low-context cultures”.
Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
Portfolio Exercise 10: Letter writing case study
Even when applying for a job, being able to write well is an important asset for a prospective employee.Read through the following case study titled“Trying to get that job”(Galvin et al, 1992)Form groups of 4-5 and complete the following:
Discuss with your group what’s wrong with this letter.Rewrite the letter to improve the tone.Keep a copy to submit with your Workshop PortfolioPortfolio Exercise 11: Compare the layout and design of two different types of documentsChoose two different types of documents (eg a newspaper or magazine article, sales brochure or advertisement, instruction manual, a letter etc)in terms of the way they have been set out and designed. Think about why this might have been done (ie how does it assist the way people read the document). Answer the following questions with respect to your two documents. Scan a page or two from each example and include a copy of these in your portfolio.What do you think the writer’s purpose is for your two examples (hint: think about more than the obvious purpose eg cookbook is obviously a set of instructions on how to cook, but the writer may also want to show how attractive a meal might look or how easy it is by using glossy photos or numbered steps).How do you think the needs of the intended readers of your examples be different? (hint: a person reading a cookbook may need to be able to easily see the steps they have to take while they are cooking – this might influence whether the steps are numbered or have pictures or if the book has pages that can be wiped clean.)Compare the size, colour, use of pictures and layout of the two documents. Why do you think they might be different? Relate this to the audience and the purpose of the document.How do you think the factors you’ve identified about might influence whether or not a reader will read the document? Think about size, colour, illustrations etc. Make sure you explain your answers with examples.
Portfolio Exercise 12: The internet … friend or foe?Read the article byOrnatowski(2001) on internet ethics.Since 2001, there have been even more technological advances which might have ethical implications. What has changed?
Using ONE of the ethical issues listed above, write about 500 words. Give your piece a provocative title.Best marks will be awarded to those who answer with reference to a variety of sources and who make an argument that is not just personal opinion. Make sure you cite correctly and create a reference list at the end of your exercise.Keep a copy for your Workshop Portfolio.
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