Assignment instructions

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General Instructions for Each Assignment

Structure & Formatting

  • Write your Full Name (First, Last), Email Address and Phone Number (with area code) - at the top of the page
  • 12 points, Arial font, no fancy fonts, italics, etc.
  • 1 inch margins
  • 1 page = 500 words per page); Single-spaced
  • Use page numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3)
  • Use headings
  • Properly Name Documents (i.e., Shawn Fisher_Final Proposal)
  • Use MICROSOFT WORD for your documents - IT IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE AT RUTGERS / Office of Information Technology
    • On occasion, a document in pdf may be required - ask instructor for details.
  • Submit Assignments to Canvas

Assignment Penalties

Discussion / Blog Posts

  • Posts are DUE in the week they are assigned. The same applies for responses to peers.
  • Late, missing or incomplete discussion / blog posts - 1 point per each post, off final grade
    • Posts that are less than 250 words are NOT considered "complete"; AND
    • Posts that do not reply substantively (i.e., 75 words, and not 'rah-rah') to at least two (2) peers
  • Substantive replies are NOT required for the last discussion

For Document Naming, Formatting & Following Directions

  • Lack of proper naming of documents - If you document does not follow this naming standard - First Name Last Name Assignment Name - (i.e., Shawn Fisher_Resume) , there will be a penalty of up to five (5) points off your grade for the Assignment
  • Lack of appropriate document formats AND / OR not properly following directions - You are required to provide your document in a specific format AND follow directions - the Instructor will tell you - if you provide the document in a different format, then there will be a penalty of up to five (5) points off your grade for the Assignment.

Assignment Late Policy

  • Assignments that are late will NOT be accepted unless there is a PRIOR Agreement between Professor and Student.
  • If assignment is not submitted by agreed-upon date and time, it will NOT be accepted.

Discussions - Posts & Substantive Replies

  1. There are no grades for each Discussion (Blog) Post. However, there are penalties if you don't submit the initial post and then respond to your peers.
  2. They MUST be 250 words with substantive information / content AND substantive replies to at least two (2) of your peers (75 words each).
  3. Continue the discussion thread / conversation as appropriate. Feel free to share your thoughts, experience and advice.


  • Posts that are less than 250 words are NOT considered "complete", and will forfeit credit for the week's post - and lose four (4) points off your Grade for the Final Paper; AND
    • Contributors who do not respond substantively to at least two peers - will forfeit credit for the week's post - and lose four (4) points off your Grade for the Final Paper; AND

DISCUSSION POST DUE: Wednesdays by 11:59 pm

REPLIES DUE: Fridays by 11:59 pm

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Be aware of:

  • Timeliness
  • Connection / Alignment to Week's Theme
  • Focus on what you Learned
  • Writing / Presentation Quality

Discussion Topics

Week 1: Discussion - Introduce Yourself: Your Name, Major / Field of Study, Future Goals and the Types of Jobs / Companies you want to work for

Getting to know your classmates is essential to building a supportive and trusting learning community. Please introduce yourself as follows:

  • Share an image/picture/audio/video that describes you
  • Explain why you chose that image
  • Tell us who you are; your field / degree; and what you want to do when you graduate
  • What do you hope to learn from this course - and why?

You may reply to this post in writing, or in audio, or in video. To reply in audio/video, use the Record/Upload Media icon in the text editor menu above.

Looking forward to our learning journey!

Week 2: Discussion - Share three (3) CAR Stories from Your Work Experience (Aligned to the desired Job Description / Ad)

  1. CAR Story 1
  2. CAR Story 2
  3. CAR Story 3

Week 3: Discussion - Research Your Desired Job & Company + Highlight Your Abilities

Many people believe the resume and traditional job applications are not as important as what you share and communicate online through blogs and social media. In Week 2 class, we watched Jason Shem from Etsy's TED Talk - where he spoke about highlighting his abilities. He researched the company, and went through Etsy's IPO (Initial Public Offering) document to raise investment funds. He read the IPO document from cover to cover, and then created a website with four (4) ideas. When he went in for an interview, he discovered the company was actively working on two (2) of these ideas. As a result, he was uniquely-positioned to share his thoughts, experience and advice.

  1. What do you think about Jason Shem's approach - is it original or old hat? Why / Why not?
  2. As you prepare for a new role / company, what will you do to research the job and company?
  3. How will you use social media to gather information and insight (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
  4. Which sources other than social media will you use? What do you hope to obtain - that will help you secure this job?
  5. How are you going to stand out from the crowd and out and get visibility in your job search.
  6. Provide examples of your own success - CAR stories, images, website, portfolio, articles, links, etc.

(Comment.gif: This discussion will be of greater value to you and your peers if you analyze Jason' Shem's Approach - and Use it to inform / develop your own strategy instead of listing or describing what you will do. I want to see CRITICAL THINKING here - expressed clearly and concisely.)

Week 4: Discussion - Changing Nature of Work & Universal Basic Income

Read: This California Town Will Give $500 to Every Resident (Universal Basic Income theme) -

1. Identify 3 groups of people (i.e., audiences) who will be affected by the example above.

  • Be specific and examine the characteristics of each of the three (3) audiences.

2. Then, focus on one (1) group, and explain how the group of people (i.e., community) would benefit from the funds?

  • What would it enable them to do? Analyze Why.

3. How would individuals in the group benefit?

  • Why is that important?

Week 5: Discussion - Labor Standards, Risks & Research

Read: Are you an employee or a contractor? Carpenters, strippers and dog walkers now face that question, in LA Times, by Margot Roosevelt, February 23, 2019 (assigned by Prof. Naomi Williams)

  1. What ideas do you have about new regulations, or changing existing regulations to fit today’s context? What is the issue? What would be your proposed solution?
  2. How will different groups (stakeholders) be impacted by the proposals?
  3. What factors would you need to consider when drafting proposals to present to policy makers, public, workers, businesses?

Week 6: Discussion - Gig Economy; Temp Work, Automation & Anti-Unionism

Read: Break up Amazon Before it Does Any More Damage -

1. Identify 3 groups of people (i.e., audiences) who will be affected by the example above.

  • Be specific and examine the characteristics of each of the three (3) audiences.

2. Then, focus on one (1) group, and explain how the group of people would benefit from the funds?

  • What would it enable them to do? Analyze Why.

3. How would individuals in the group benefit?

  • Why is that important?

Week 7: Discussion -Workforce Impacts

  1. Choose three (3) of the Stakeholder Groups from your Memo Draft
  2. Now, choose 3 of the top impacts per group.
  3. Explain specifically what is involved regarding the impact - remember I LOVE DETAILS!
  4. Explain why you chose the impacts, and why you consider them to be most important. Be sure to share your knowledge from previous situations / experiences or readings.
  5. Make sure, when you write this up - that it IS NOT A BRAIN DUMP, but rather a well-thought out and WELL-WRITTEN SUMMARY.

Week 8: Discussion - Curiosity & Empathy for Stakeholder Groups (3)

  • Choose three (3) of your Stakeholder Groups
  • Put yourself in their shoes - Empathize with them as to how they might think / feel about the change affecting them. How would they react? Positively or negatively or just don't care? How would you explain their reaction? How would you anticipate / expect them to behave?
  • Respond to at least two (2) of your class peers - deepening your empathy and analysis.
  • Feel free to be curious about their rationale for how their stakeholders respond.

Week 9: Discussion - Stakeholder Training, Communications & Budgeting

Week 10: Discussion - TBD

Week 11: Discussion - Findings from Stakeholder Discovery Interviews

  • What were your findings from your Stakeholder Discovery Interviews? What did you learn? Why was that important?
  • What will you incorporate / not incorporate into your final assignment? Why / Why Not?
  • Be sure to indicate who you interviewed, their role and what organization they were from?
  • What additional questions do you have, that need to be answered - if you had more time with the interviewee? Why?

Week 12: Discussion - TBD

Week 13: Final Discussion: Course Learnings & Takeaways (400-500 words)

  • What Did I l Learn in this Course that was Most Valuable? Least Valuable? Explain.
  • What Did I Learn About Myself?
  • What Am I Going to Do Differently? Why?
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Tip: In this course, we use Chicago Style

Resume & Cover Letter (1 page each)

Key Elements

  • In response to a job posting on the Internet / Job Boards
  • Submit a PDF copy of the job posting / job description - by attaching it to the appropriate section in CANVAS (Comment.gif: Make sure that the instructor will be able to see the contents - i.e., permissions / settings))
  • 12 point Arial - no fancy fonts, italics, etc.
  • 1-inch margins
  • Most important accomplishments first - for the bullet points.
  • Go to your CAR Stories - Use a "RESULT" for each position / role
  • Proofread & Corrected - NO ERRORS in sentence construction, grammar and punctuation; use periods at the end of sentences.
  • Conservative look and feel - nothing too wild unless you're a graphic designer.

Submitting Resume + Cover Letter Assignment

  • Complete and submit the next draft of your Resume V3.0 to Canvas.

Follow these steps for Submitting Your Final Assignment:

  1. Continue to write, edit and polish your Resume + Cover Letter - creating V4.0
  2. Use the Yellow Highlight Function"' in Microsoft Word - to Highlight in Yellow where you made changes / improvements
  3. Submit the Improved Version of Your Resume + Cover Letter V4.0 - to Canvas (as a Microsoft Word Document.
  • (Comment.gif: Cover Letter needs to be included and goes BEFORE your resume - and is bundled into a single (1) document.)
  1. Submit the Job Ad to Canvas - as a pdf
  • Name it Properly: First Name, Last Name and "Job Ad_Job Title" (i.e., Shawn Fisher Rutgers Ad Professor)

Memo / Progress Report (2 pages)

  • A 1st DRAFT that describes a current problem - i.e., documenting and quantifying the problem
  • Organize your research, presenting information clearly:
    • Points to a Problem (with a solution)
    • Affects People (i.e., specific audience / group of people)
    • Suggests lines of research (i.e., library research, other kinds of research)
    • Charts Progress to Date

Key Elements

  • Single spaced, not including Works Cited - (re: 500 words per page)
  • Represents initial correspondence to Project Committee / Leader
  • Addresses specific person by name
  • Uses Format:
    • To: Person's Name, Job Title
    • From: Your Name, Your Job Title
    • Date: January 27, 2019 (example)
    • Subject: Short 5 Word Description
    • Provide your Rutgers email address (for the Instructor)
  • Explains a current problem
  • Cites supporting research / evidence (Chicago Style)
  • Progress-to-date
  • Proposed Plan of Action (i.e., what you propose to do to solve the problem)

Tips for Better Grades

  • Adheres to proper letter or memo format
  • Discussions, documents and quantifies the problem
  • Highlights the reader's concerns about the topic
  • Cites specific facts and examples from your research
  • Briefly proposes a plan and provides rationale for it
  • Convinces reader to hear / learn more
  • Provides list of Works Cited (Chicago Style)
  • Proofread for errors and appearance

Briefing Note / Report - Final Paper (5 pages)

  • A proposed direction / solution for a specific audience to a well-defined problem, supported by primary and secondary research.
  • Use the Memo provided in Class - with the following changes:
  • In the Header, provide your name, cell phone number (w/code) and email address.
    • Remove Memo Details (Instructions provided in Class + Memo Formatting - Instead:
Briefing Note
Insert: Workplace Challenge
Organization / Unit / Location - City, State / Today's Date


Introductory / Context - 1/2 page

Stakeholder Groups - 2 pages

  • Identify and analyze impact of all stakeholder groups

Training Recommendation, Design & Plan for Implementation - 1 page

Financial - Budget Explained (which includes Anticipated Cost / Expenditures) - 1/2 page + Table - 1/2 page

  • Costs / Expenses
  • Highest Expenses first - in descending order

Communications & Reporting Results - 1/2 page

  1. What messages must be communicated regarding the purpose of the training - to your organization / leadership?
    1. How will you report results of the training?
  2. What messages must be communicated regarding the purpose of the training - to participants & supervisors?
    1. How will you report results of the training?

Evaluating Success - 1/4 page

  • How will you know if what you are training for will be successful?
  • How will you gather data from participants?
  • What formats (i.e., text, audio, video, 1-1, pairs, groups) will you use & why?

Continuous Improvement - 1/4 page

  • Now that you have established a baseline of performance for your training. how will you improve it?
  • (Comment.gif: Use different media, modes of delivery, content for different languages, cultures, learning styles; pedagogy and more.)

Tips for Better Grades

  • 5 pages (single-spaced), approx 500 words per page
  • avoid descriptions; instead be specific and drill down with details. You might give an example of what you mean - and explain it with 1 or 2 lines of extra detail.
  • tighten up previous writing - I want to see improvements on your initial Memo drafts
  • consistent professional tone - clarity, no run-on sentences / stream of consciousness; rambling
  • specifics, details and logical flow
  • clearly numbered pages
  • clearly distinguished headings and subheads - to guide the reader - easy comprehension
  • list items with bullets or numbers
  • label and number all graphics and figures
  • consistent typography, style
  • excellent punctuation
  • no orphan sentences (i.e., 1-3 words at the beginning of a line); or orphans on a single page (i.e., the majority of the page blank with 1 or 2 sentences at the top.)

Old Structure / Headings - FOR INSTRUCTOR USE ONLY

  1. Title Page / Image / Your Name (First, Last), Major, Email and Phone Number Information (1 page)
  2. Environmental Scan - Internal / External Context - (1 page)
  3. Recommended Change, Cost / Budget, Innovation/Originality & Rationale (1 page)
  4. Research / Evidence - Why Do You Think This Will Work? - (1 page)
    1. Change Impact: & Pros + Cons (5 bullet points each)
  5. Change / Risk Mitigation, Communications & M&E (1 page)
  6. Close - Call to Action / Invitation to Presentation (1-2 sentences)