Source: StuffJournalistsLike (JournalistsLike). “Canada VS USA hockey game tomorrow. This is a billboard in Chicago. http://t.co/rtDnCbc7zE“. 20 Feb 2014, 22:41 UTC. Tweet
Thanks everyone for your participation in the first discussion forum! We want to provide you some general feedback on the essays. First of all, we really appreciate your thoughtful comments about your own identities and their relation to the culture of cities, nations, and world regions. Many of you shared insightful stories about your past experiences traveling or studying abroad, or creative answers on what you might experience, or, on other hand, revealing stories about your home culture as part of your reflection. We also appreciate the general tone of curiosity and respect exhibited in the various reactions to other students’ posts.
For those of you who didn’t receive the scores you were hoping for, remember that you have several more assignments to improve your grade (three more discussion forums and the research paper) as well as a bonus assignment on the Sochi Olympics (due no later than 5pm February 28th). For future discussion forums, re-read the directions posted on the course blog. Moreover, here are some common problems we noticed and suggestions for improvement:
- Some students simply didn’t post a reaction to other student’s essays, which is worth 6 out of the 30 total points. Don’t forget to post these reactions! Not only are they a substantial portion of your grade but they also makes for a richer course experience.
- Many students wrote very thoughtful reflections on how their identity might change in Europe or Canada but didn’t demonstrate that they actually read or viewed the course material. Remember, we want to see that you’re engaging with and understanding the weekly textbook chapters, podcasts, and lectures. The best responses used and analyzed several different sources from both the Europe and the US/Canada materials.
- Use of course material was most effective when specific examples, details, or even quotations were used to make a point rather than general allusions to sources.
- While, we’re not grading meticulously on grammar or style, it still matters for constructing fluid, coherent, and engaging prose, so do remember to proofread and revise your writing.
An IMPORTANT note about LATE ASSIGNMENTS: for those of you who posted past the deadline, we wanted you to see your grades based on the work you did. Points have NOT yet been deducted for being late but will be deducted from your final course grade.
Finally – we know the online system can be a bit confusing but please make sure to look carefully for the correct discussion forum area to post.
If you’d like to discuss your grade further or ways to do better on future assignments, please come to office hours or schedule an appointment with either of us.
Kris and Andy
ps: Canada vs the USA x 2 Thursday & Friday >> http://www.sochi2014.com/en/ice-hockey-schedule-and-results
A tantalizer (that has gone viral today) for the East Asia week…
In response to a few project related queries:
1) Please be sure to fill in the proposal template available here. It should be filled in in single space format, and should not spill over into more than one page. This is all we need at this stage of time.
2) Group members all need to upload the same proposal…so finish it together, then each of you should upload it into your own dropbox.
3) Feel free to insert a question or two into your proposal – some of you have visited, and quite a few have emailed, but if anything in unresolved, then inserting a question in the proposal is absolutely fine!
4) Please remember that I am changed the due date for the project proposal FROM Wed 12 Feb at 5:00 pm TO Sunday 16 Feb at 5:00 pm. It needs to be uploaded into the Drobox in the course site on Learn@UW. Please do not send it to us via email – we’ll provide comments after we review them all on the site.
This stage is not graded, though the submission of a proposal is a required element of the course — I will not grade the final paper of a person (or a team) if a proposal was not submitted at this stage!
ps: I will award a bar of delicious European chocolate to the first person who can guess which country and city I took this photograph in! Hint – the country is in the Winter Olympics. And only one guess per student permitted…
pps: Congrats to the four winners! This is Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Hi there – a few people have sent me emails about iTunes U and how to access L’Auberge Espagnole.
All you have to do is:
- Go to the Geog 340 course site on Learn@UW
- Click on iTunesU in the upper right corner of the main page you see.
- Follow the steps through to get iTunesU loaded up. These are self-explanatory.
- THEN, and this is the step that trips a few people up, go to the Europe tab (see below) and link to the movie there.
I should add, too, that iTunesU is only to be used for movies — podcasts, lectures, etc., are all available and best viewed/listened to on the main course site (you get the content in the Course Materials by Region link in the left column).
Hope this helps…and good to see some original discussion forum contributions being posted now! You have until Friday at 5:00 pm CST to (1) post your original contribution, and to (2) load up the Word version in the Drop box. And remember, paste in the original contribution in the discussion forum area – no one will read what you have to say (including us!) if you upload a Word file there as it is not easily accessible for your fellow classmates.
Well, what perfect timing we have for the fourth (admittedly trivial, albeit still challenging!) part of this week’s discussion question:
- Part D: Justin Bieber vs Drake: which one of these two singers seems more ‘Canadian’ (vs ‘American’) to you, and why?
- ‘The White House will be forced to end its silence on whether Justin Bieber should be deported,‘ AV Club, 29 January 2014.
- ”Deport Justin Bieber’ petition reaches 100,000+ signatures,’ CNN, 29 January 2014.
Inspiration, I trust, for your responses to come?!
Hi there – see below for guidelines regarding your research paper.
Key Dates & Downloads:
- Upload Project Proposal via Learn@UW Dropbox due no later than Wednesday 12 February @ 5:00 pm CST (Week 4)
- Research Paper Due on Wednesday 2 April @ 5:00 pm CST
Please download the Project Proposal template here in Word format and be sure to start working it up in the next 1.5 weeks. Remember that it is due in just over two weeks from today.
Please link here to download the grading rubric we will use to assess the papers.
Finally, email or see either of us if you have questions about your paper!
Kris & Andy
Guidelines for Geog 340 (Spring 2014) Research Papers
Please note that 40% of your final grade is based upon a detailed research paper titled Global Actor/World Region
You are welcome to work on one of these projects alone, or with up to three other students (as long as they’re registered in the class this term!). If you choose the group project option, you are responsible for forming your own groups in an organic fashion, though if you need any tips on how to do so just ask us, OK!
If the papers are written by:
- One person, they should be 5-8 single spaced pages (not including large graphics and references).
- Two people, they should be 8-10 single spaced pages (not including large graphics and references).
- Three people, they should be 10-14 single spaced pages (not including large graphics and references).
- Four people, 12-16 single spaced pages (not including large graphics and references).
The length guidelines reflect the 40% of final grade weighting. Please note that the length does not proportionally rise as group size expands as the process of coordinating research and co-authorship takes some time to ‘get right.’ And please don’t worry if you are a little above or below these page length guidelines…in the end it is the quality of the content that matters, not minor issues like length. Don’t pad/fluff up at the last minute as it rarely ever helps improve the quality of a paper.
We strongly encourage you to review the Writing Center’s website this term when working on the paper:
and the UW-Madison Writer’s Handbook, including guidelines for referencing:
Please note that there is no single required citation style – the key thing is to choose one you are comfortable with and apply it consistently.
We also encourage you to make an individual appointment to receive assistance if need be:
See below for some additional guidelines for each option.
As you begin to deliberate options, please keep these points in mind.
First, you should not only rely on Google for information. Take advantage of the truly excellent library system (and librarians) we have on campus. The most appropriate librarians are those working in the Geography Library, the Business School Library, and Memorial Library. Health-oriented people should also consider Eppling.
Second, explore the amazing databases we have access to at the tips of our fingers! Dig around and search by keyword. Two excellent social sciences/sciences data base are the Web of Knowledge/Science, and Proquest Research Library.
Third, if your actor is a firm, the Business School librarian had this to say about data bases:
Hi, the best database for company information is OneSource. Factiva has the most international newspapers and magazines. It can be accessed from anywhere but only 3 people can be in it at one time. Other article databases with company news would be ABI/Inform and Business Source Premier. Business Monitor International may also be useful – it has excellent quarterly reports on certain industries in all countries. And my International Business research guide is organized by country and has links to many other resources: http://researchguides.library.wisc.edu/intbusines
Fourth, a very good newspaper database is LexisNexis, which the Library subscribes to.
See below for some additional guidelines.
Global Actor/World Region
The main objective of this project is to learn how public, private or non-governmental actors with ‘global reach’ frame and implement strategy in a distant world region. In doing so, you should acquire an understanding of (a) how the world and regions are effectively ‘mapped’ (ie conceptualized) by a global actor, and then (b) how this actor tangibly and practically works to implement its strategy in a selected region outside of its origin/base region.
This project is designed to complement the course text material so you learn about world regions by applying the lens of a specific actor to making sense of a region (e.g., the EU’s perspective on Africa). This is a very different lens in comparison to that applied by the course text authors who are trying to be broad, general, integrative, and unbiased.
For the purposes of Geog 340, a global actor is an organization that is based/headquartered in one world region and is clearly active (hence the term actor) in one or more other world regions. Global actors can be in the public, private or non-governmental/non-profit sectors. Please note that the term ‘global’ simply implies it is active outside of its main/origin base and in one or more world regions.
Some examples (of thousands that exist!) include:
|European Union||Citibank||Amnesty International|
|US State Department||Moody’s||Médecins Sans Frontières|
|World Bank||Thomson Reuters||Gates Foundation|
|Asian Development Bank||Greenpeace|
|IMF||News Corp||European University Association|
You will inevitably be faced with a decision about how large or small of a global actor to focus on – some are very small (e.g., a small NGO or charity) and some are huge (e.g., the UN, UNICEF, World Bank, the EU). Both small and large are fine, though here are a few tips on making up your minds.
If the actor is very small:
- You do need to ensure it was formed or is registered in one part of the world, but is active in another. You cannot work on an NGO, for example, that is 100% Kenyan that works in sub-Saharan Africa.
- You need to ensure you can find out enough information on it, including information regarding how it operates in another world region. Contacts work, obviously, but you might end up having to ask for quite a bit of information, reports, etc., so be wary about being too demanding on the small actor. And be wary about being biased in favor or against the actor IF you have had previous engagement with it (e.g., as an intern).
For large actors like the EU it would help to develop, as part of your framing stage, a case study on a particular program or project or initiative that helps you understand how this huge actor ‘does its stuff’ in the region you are focusing in on. And make sure the case study is a logical one and not so quirky or unique you can’t use it as a representative case study regarding how this global actor implements its strategy in the world region you are interested in.
What does the “global ‘geographical imagination’ of the actor” really mean? By this I simply mean how and why does your actor carve up the world into component parts. So, for example, some actors generate a country-by-country map of the world and then they focus on select countries. Other actors generate a country-by-country map of the world but then bunch the countries into world regions. See UNESCO, for example, which has defined a number of world regions. Or see the case of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which carves up the world this way – they focus on “catastrophic events — such as armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, or natural disasters” that overwhelm local health systems, and generate a map like this one:
In other words, explain how and why your adopted actor frames the globe and its component world regions the way it does. For example, some global actors are constituted by nation-states, so each region is viewed as a collection of regionally specific nation-states. In contrast, other global actors only focus on ‘emerging regions’ that are associated with the potential of rapid economic growth, or else they focus on ‘less developed’ regions like South Asia. Or perhaps they focus on countries with infrastructure challenges, or key disease outbreaks.
You also need to focus on how your adopted global actor attempts to implement its strategy in a single world region. So, for example, you could focus on the EU’s Africa strategy, or Google or Facebook’s attempt to develop profitable activities in East Asia, or else how Médecins Sans Frontières deals with crises in Africa. The key thing is to do enough research so you know how the actor operates in your selected world region. For example, some actors will establish a regional headquarter in select world regions and use this as a ‘basing point’ for their operations in the region. Other actors use joint ventures with regional actors – they work through a regional actor that has the connections, knowledge, etc., to be effective in the region. There are many approaches to implementing strategy in a world region – your task is to sort this out and see how the ‘rubber hits the road’, so to speak, and the actor really operates in a world region beyond their region of origin. Some options for fleshing this issue out include case studies of specific projects, events, etc., so things are a little more tangible when you write up the paper. Case studies will enable you to get your ‘hands dirty’ (using a gardening analogy) and really see how the global actor tangible gets things done on the ground in the world region you are focusing on. This means being aware of why and where, for example, Coca Cola produces its product in select parts of Africa, or why Google places its R&D units in Zurich and its key lobbying unit in Brussels.
1-2 case studies at the most, though, OK!
Remember these key dates:
- Upload Project Proposal via Learn@UW Dropbox due no later than Wednesday 12 February @ 5:00 pm CST (Week 4)
- Research Paper Due on Wednesday 2 April @ 5:00 pm CST
And please do not hesitate to contact either Kris or Andy if you have any questions!
Hi there – I’ve posted the first discussion forum question on the Learn@UW course site. Here are a few responses to questions that are likely to emerge.
Q1: I can’t seem to find l’Auberge Canadian/the Canadian Apartment (the equivalent of l’Auberge Espagnole/the Spanish Apartment).
A1: This is just a hypothetical movie. In other words, once you watch the movie l’Auberge Espagnole, and had to imagine how you would change living in this Spanish apartment for 6-12 months, use your imagination and think through how you might change in a Canadian equivalent based in a Canadian city like Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or Halifax or even smaller cities like Moose Jaw or Calgary or Winnipeg or Yellowknife). But only do this AFTER you have completed all the Canada/US and Europe readings, podcasts, lectures, etc.
Q2: I can’t find l’Auberge Espagnole on the Learn@UW course site.
A2: Go to the course site on Learn@UW, then up to the iTunes tab on the upper right bar. Click on it and launch iTunes. Once it is launched you will see the course name – click on the Europe tab and you’ll see the movie’s title…click on that to launch it. Please see the syllabus for further tips on using iTunes in this course.
Q 3: For part A and B, do we just simply state out our feelings as a student studying abroad or we shall also include information about the context (Europe/Spain/Barcelona + North America/Canada/city of your choice).
A3: You should do both…your transformation as a person will obviously be related to the Europeans you are engaging with in l’Auberge Espagnole but also by the Barcelona/Catelonian social, cultural, political, linguistic, food, environmental, etc., contexts you will be embedded in. So learn a little about the city and the region/country before responding. The same goes for the l’Auberge Canadian (the Canadian apartment). I would read about Canada (esp via the textbook) and then you should select a province and a city and then learn about these contexts via other sources you yourself identify via Google, the library, etc. But then imagine also living in the apartment with a bunch of Canadians and Americans. Inevitably you’ll be influenced by their personalities and you’ll change just being away from ‘home’ (the purpose of study abroad) but the transformation you undergo living in Montreal vs Barcelona or Whitehorse (Google it…) vs Barcelona or Vancouver vs Barcelona will be different and similar…in what ways, perhaps? So I’d try and state your feelings as a student studying abroad but also discuss the places (the cities/regions/nations) you’re situated in.
Q4: When is my first (original) posting due again?
- One original contribution, no later than Friday 7 February @ 5:00 pm CST
- One informative reaction to another student’s original contribution, no later than Sunday 9 February
ps: two pics of Vancouver, my hometown, to get you into the mood!
Welcome to Week 2! Here are a few guidance notes.
Week 1 and the Introductions
You should have introduced yourself by now. Please do so no later than Wednesday of this week if you just joined the course and had problems accessing the Learn@UW website.
Weeks 2 & 3
Our bags are packed (I hope!) and we’re shifting to our first world region – the one we’re in right now (the US/Canada). Interestingly the textbook authors left off Mexico and incorporated it into Latin America and the Caribbean.
Please check the schedule at the end of the syllabus for the details of what you need to do in Weeks 2 & 3. You will note you need to read/view/listen to all assigned materials related to two world regions…the US/Canada region, and Europe.
The multi-part discussion forum question will be made available on the Learn@UW course site on Tuesday (27 Jan) morning.
Engaging with the Material
It is important to ensure you engage with all of the assigned content. One of the key dimensions of success in a course like this is to ‘attend’ and ‘engage’! We can assure you that full engagement and completion of the course materials makes a huge difference to enhancing your learning outcomes, and getting a good grade.
Now, this is the first time you’ve been asked to read (vs scan) a chapter. Please keep it in mind that the textbook has been carefully selected as it is actually very well thought through and written so as to provide a broad and integrated overview about each work region in global context. Please read the chapter closely but don’t fret about taking notes on every single miniscule piece of detail. The chapters help you learn about each region, they provide context for the lectures and podcasts so it makes sense to read the chapters first – they also provide the base/contextual knowledge you’ll be asked to reference in your research papers. Then view/listen to the short lectures and podcasts, and do the assigned recommended readings.
How to Write a Discussion Response
The key to writing an effective discussion response is to clearly answer the questions posed by drawing conclusions that are based on course material. Below is a bulleted list of suggestions to help you write an effective response.
- Clearly answer each question posed for discussion. It helps to number each answer. Another option is to write each answer in a separate paragraph rather than combining answers to three questions all in one paragraph.
- Craft answers that draw on information from a variety of coarse materials. Discussion responses are partially crafted to make sure you watch the podcasts, lectures, and movies. Therefore, cite the weekly podcasts, lectures, and movies in your post. By citing where you are gathering information, we will not have to wonder whether you are drawing that from material WE gave you to learn.
- It is perfectly fine and welcomed to personalize discussion questions and answer the questions with personal experiences as examples. Keep in mind, you still need to show you can intertwine your personal experience with the material learned in the weekly podcast, lecture, and movie.
- It is okay to use material from the textbook when crafting your discussion response. However, you still must use the weekly podcast and lecture (and movie if we have one) in your response if you want to get a good score.
Again, your original contributions should be informative and engaging. And we’re on an around-the-world trip of sorts, so let’s have some debates and fun along the way. Your personal opinions and views are perfectly valid to include. The learning process, including via the discussion forum element, should be enjoyable and we’ve certainly got plenty of interesting topics and content to engage with in this course. Do, though, keep in mind that this is an online course so you are engaging via a computer or tablet screen – you can’t see your fellow students faces and expressions so make sure you provide some nuance in your text, and also be respectful and if you seek disagree (i.e. disagree constructively just like you would want to be engaged with yourself).
Grading the Discussion and Response
As the syllabus outlines, the discussion forum activities are worth 60% of your final grade.
To earn the points for the discussion portion of the course you must write thoughtful responses and actively engage by reading other student’s posts. Thoughtful responses include application of information from across course resources. This means that you cannot just respond with a personal anecdote that leaves no connection to course podcasts and/or lectures and (if requested) assigned films or documentaries. Your response should make it clear to other students, the professor, and TA that you listened/watched the podcasts and videos and were mentally engaged.
To help guage the quality of the response, we will use a rubric that can be found in Learn@UW. If you enter your dropbox submission, the rubric scoring will be found there. Here it is too:
If you receive less than full credit, is either due to the quality of the response or a lack of clear engagement with course materials you should be considering in writing your response (which also implies a lack of quality). Please note, to earn full credit, your response needs to be quite good. This means that it will likely be quite difficult to consistently earn 100%. We will be assessing each response individually. It also helps to indicate that you have read enough of your fellow 340 student postings. We can see the total number posted and read in aggregate statistics on Learn@UW for each of you. This also helps us spot students who might be having problems keeping up with the discussion forum exercises.
OK, that’s it for now.
Kris and Andy
Hi there – rather chilly this morning! See the pic below I took yesterday standing on the Terrace at 2:30 pm.
I’m going to compile a few messages sent out this week so they’re all in one place, and also flag a few other Week 1 issues.
The Text Book – see these links:
Two copies of the 5th edition are available in the Geography Library (Science Hall) and two copies are available in College Library (Helen C White Hall). And, as noted in the syllabus, the first three assigned chapters are available to be viewed within the relevant week’s page (via Course Materials by Region link on the left column of the homepage of the Learn@UW course site). This will give you some time to get the most affordable version of the text that you can. We are not permitted, for copyright reasons, to do this more than three weeks this term.
What Do I Do in Week 1?
Assuming you’ve sorted the textbook issue out, there are three other things to do.
First, read the syllabus from start to finish – it contains a lot of relevant information (it better!) and a detailed week by week schedule of what is due when.
Second, develop your profile and introduce yourself. The syllabus explains how to develop your profile (this needs to be done by Sunday at 5:00 pm), and how to introduce yourself (also due by 5:00 pm on Sunday). Andy Davey (the TA) also had this to say about the introduction requirement:
1) Make sure to visit the “Introduction to the course” page via the course homepage on Learn@UW. You can access it by clicking on “Course Materials by Region” on the left hand side bar. Then click on the first link. I encourage you to listen to the podcast Kris and I recorded to learn more about us and hear important information about how to get in touch with us.
2) Posting Introduction to Learn@UW: on that very same “Introduction to the course” page, if you scroll down you’ll see instructions on how to use the Discussion Forums for this class. You’ll first have to find out which group you’re in (groups will function somewhat like online “discussion sections”) and then in under the “Discussion” tab, click on your group, and then post using the “Compose” button.
- Listen: Introductory podcast with Kris Olds & Andy Davey
- Listen: Q&A podcasts with Vincent Del Casino, Diana Liverman & Paul Robbins
- Scan: Chapter 1 of course text
The podcasts are available on the Learn@UW course site for Geog 340. Go to the homepage of the course. Go to the Course Materials by Region link on the left column. Then go to Week 1 (Introduction to Course) and link on it. ALL podcasts are available there. You do NOT need to go to iTunes. The iTunes link on the course site is only used for digitized movies – all podcasts, lectures, etc., should be accessed by the Course Materials by Region link on the left column on the homepage for the course.
Help, I Just Signed Up! The Sunday Deadline for Week 1 is Approaching
No worries – this is a target deadline, and the profile update and introduction forum should just be done ASAP. The forums always have target deadlines which you should keep to but if you miss the Sunday deadline this week you can still upload anytime next week (ie they do not shut down).
And please remember, if you are newly registered, it takes 24-36 hours for the Learn@UW system to recognize you so you can see the course site on Learn@UW.
Week 2 – What’s Due?
See the schedule in the syllabus. When you do you will note that you have assigned readings and viewings/listenings, but the discussion forum that is related to Week 2 relates to Weeks 2+3 so the first important deadline to meet is not until Friday 7 February (your first posting) and then Sunday 9 February. So relax – we start slow in Geog 340 as there is always an influx of students in Week 1 and I’ve learned my lesson about phasing things in gradually!
What are You Looking for in Discussion Forum Contributions and the Project Proposal?
Guides for both will be posted here on the course weblog this coming weekend.
Who Do I Email for What?
You can email Andy Davey (the TA) or me (Kris, the Prof) on any matter – just remember to always email BOTH of us. Our schedules are busy so our policy is to reply when we can and cc the other so we know who’s done what. And if you have not heard back in 24 or so hours, resend your message to both of us. Reminders like these are viewed positively.