Assignment Tasks Your assignment consists of one task (worth 100% of the total marks for the… 1 answer below »

Assignment Tasks

Your assignment consists of one task (worth 100% of the total marks for the

assignment).

Assignment Task 1: Essay

“Within modern computing, every actant acts on or is acted upon by at least one other actant, in order to fulfil the aims of the assemblage.” Discuss this statement by following the tasks below.

Select TWO computing news stories of your choice, published anytime between 01/02/2016 and 15/04/2016. Analyse these using Actor Network Theory.

Your analysis should be written as an essay, and include the following points:

Describe why Actor Network Theory is a relevant theory for studying computing.

· Name and categorise the actants in your stories. Describe how they are “acting” upon other actants in the assemblage. Include the connection between the hardware and software actants, as well as other categories of actants.

· Discuss how the actions of the software actants can enhance management functions within the computing news stories.

· How can you link your analysis to some of the larger issues/questions raised due to the constant use of computing within modern society. Discuss some of advantages/disadvantages of contemporary computing. To achieve this, compare and contrast the viewpoints of a range of theorists and critics explored throughout the module.

· Conclude by summarising how your answers relate to the statement “Within modern computing, every actant acts on or is acted upon by at least one other actant, in order to fulfil the aims of the assemblage”.

· Add an appendix which includes definitions of at least four computing terms or concepts used in your assignment. One of these terms MUST be software.

Deliverables

You will submit a single word processed document to Turnitin, of between 1350-1650 words.

Your content will follow the structure outlined on page 3.

Task 1 is worth 100% of the total marks for the module. The marking criteria is outlined on pages below.

Suggested essay structure

Cover Page

Assignment title, module code, student name, student number and submission date.

Table of Contents

A list of headings and page numbers.

Introduction (about 10% of the essay)

Refer to the statement your essay is designed to explore:

“Within modern computing, every actant acts on or is acted upon by at least one other actant, in order to fulfil the aims of the assemblage.”

? Explain how you intend to address the statement.

? What issues/topics are you going to explore?

? What argument will you make?

Main body (about 80% of the essay)

• Introduce your theory – what is Actor Network Theory, define key terms and give

2-3 reasons why it is suitable for studying computing.

•Computing News Story 1 – identify your actants, and categorise their scale, i.e. digital, software, hardware, human, cultural, structural

Computing News Story 1 – describe and analyse how some of these actants are

acting on each other (the push/pull of actants – when an actant ‘acts’ on another

actant, how does this change/modify the behaviour of the actant being ‘acted

upon’)

Computing News Story 1 – how can the computer system described in the story be

seen to enhance management – whether of self, or a business etc

•Computing News Story 2 – identify your actants, and categorise their scale, i.e. digital, software, hardware, human, cultural, structural

Computing News Story 2 – describe and analyse how some of these actants are acting on each other (the push/pull of actants – when an actant ‘acts’ on another actant, how does this change/modify the behaviour of the actant being ‘acted upon’)

•Computing News Story 2- how can the computer system described in the story be seen to enhance management – whether of self, or a business etc

•Outline the issues raised by how these actants are acting, e.g. is Big Data being generated? If so, what does Morozov say are the issues? Are human behaviours being adjusted – if so, what does Nicholas Carr say about that, e.g. effect of Internet on our ability to deeply think? Do the stories describe an innovative combination of technology plus free time? If so, what does Clay Shirky say about that in his theory of "cognitive surplus"? Each week we will look at yet another author/theorist, and what they consider the "big issues" of computing – use these as much as possible to create debate and counter-debate. ie include some techno-optimistic views and some techno-pessimistic views and include the views of some of the relevant theorists/authors discussed in the module (or some others that you have found with your own research)

Use a chain of paragraphs to EXPLORE AND DEVELOP your ideas/argument.

You will probably have 3 to 4 main ideas. Break each idea into paragraphs, possibly 2 per idea. Perform substantial amounts of analysis and point making in each paragraph.

In each paragraph the reader is asking you to explain:

? What is this paragraph about?

? What is your argument on this?

? What is your evidence? What does it mean?

? How does it link to the essay title?

? How does it link to the topic in the next paragraph?

It is not sufficient simply to describe a situation. Analysis and a critical approach are essential. Charts, diagrams and tables can be used to reinforce your arguments.

Conclusion (about 10% of the essay)

Refer back to the statement your essay is designed to explore " Within modern computing, every actant acts on or is acted upon by at least one other actant, in order to fulfil the aims of the assemblage”. How can we identify if an actant is acting? Did you see that happening in your stories? Was A.N.T. an appropriate theory to use for your analysis? Did you meet the challenge you set yourself in your introduction?

? Do not introduce any NEW material here.

? Summarise your ideas/argument (you might also have done this in your

introduction)

? Restate what you consider to be the main points

? Make it clear why those conclusions are important or significant.

? In your last sentence: link your conclusions or recommendations back to the title.

References

All the named sources you have quoted from or reproduced in your report. Please use The Harvard System for all references. Details for the Harvard System can be found on the student portal.

 

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