HDCC 209C - Spring 2017

Research and Reflections Journal


The idea behind the Research and Reflections Journal is two-fold. First, we want you to use it as a research journal where you document the approximate amount of time you worked any day where you worked on the project, with a brief note about the work you were doing. At the end of wach week you will add a brief summary of your sense of that week's accomplishments and/or surprises you encountered, especially with reference to your target timeline and to your project goal. You should incorporate images, drawings, schematics etc. when appropriate. In addition to being a part of our regular communication, this journal's contents and your status reports could prove to be very useful when you are writing your final report as well. Second, for each of the first six full weeks of the semester we will provide (below) a "reflection prompt" upon which to write. These prompts (with the exception of the 6th one) will be designed to be fairly open and you are free to write about whatever you like so long as it is related to the prompt and reflects on your project. Each reflection should likely be around 500 words in length. I'll note that a reflection that is crisp and well formed is probably going to be better than one that is long yet aimless.

Weekly Prompts

A new prompt will be added here for each of the first six full weeks of the semester. Remember, you don't need to address every bullet point within a week (except the 6th one). We provide multiple ideas to inspire your reflection. It's not a quiz.

Date Range Prompt Ideas
03/27 through end of semester... Each week, we now expect you to provide us with updates on your project's progress and while we encourage you to continue to reflect on your experiences, we will no longer require such reflections to be added in the remaining weeks. Please continue to indicate the week for each new entry.
03/06 through 03/17 This is your mid-semester reflection, and the last reflection. We'll still be expecting your weekly research/progress updates but I don't anticipate posting any new prompts. Please answer the following:
  • How far have you progressed in terms of your original timeline? Do you need to provide me with an updated timeline to discuss?
  • How do you feel so far about the experience of undertaking a project of your own design?
  • Are there and questions and/or concerns that you would like to talk about during an individual meeting either some time on 3/15 or during class time after Spring Break? If so, mention them here and send me e-mail so we can find a time that works.
02/27 through 03/05
  • Read quoteinvestigator.com/2014/12/16/no-mistakes and say whether you think any of these sentiments apply to your project so far. Have you made any mistakes? If so, what did you learn from them? If not, do you think that's somehow a bad thing?
  • Discuss how you've applied iteration in your work and whether you see the iteration as a powerful tool or a side effect of unexpected problems.
  • Have there been any major conceptual or technical changes to your project or approach?
02/20 through 02/26
  • Watch vimeo.com/29684853 and discuss whether information visualization will apply to your project presentation or final poster.
  • Do you think the idiom that "a picture is worth a thousand words" is accurate? Is "look" a better word to use there than "picture" and if so, how do you think that would apply to your capstone fair demo?
  • If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is an infographic worth?
02/13 through 02/19
  • Discuss a reading from your proposal's bibliography that you think has been most helpful or inspiring so far, and why.
  • Have you done additional reading on or related to the topic of your capstone? If so, what lead you to do so and what do you feel were the outcomes of it?
  • What research went into the design of your stakeholder questions?
  • What research went into the design of your task scenarios?
02/06 through 02/12
  • What does "iterative design" mean to you and how does it apply to your project? What forms might the iterations on your project take?
  • Discuss an researcher, designer, industry personality, or artist who you feel has inspired or influenced your project.
  • Pick an existing, designed, object that you feel has some connection to your project and discuss whether (and how) that type of object has changed over time. If it has changed, has the change been for the better?
01/30 through 02/05
  • What is the importance and impact of good time management and project planning?
  • Describe an instance in the past three years where in retrospect you feel you managed your time poorly. What were the consequences and did you adjust your approach in the future?
  • Consider time from a more conceptual standpoint. Are there different "types" of time, and if so how would you describe them? Do you think time can "change" based on perception or context?


This is due weekly every Sunday by midnight. You need to share a single Google Doc with me at egolubUMD@gmail.com and give me permission to add comments. Each week should start at the top of a new page with a simple heading indicating the time period (such as "01/30 through 02/05"). As you add new weeks, have the most recent week be the first thing that I see (so think of it like a stack where the newest thing pushes all the old ones down a little).