Assignment instructions

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General Instructions for Each Assignment

Assignment Revisions


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.
  • 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.
  • 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


  • late or incomplete assignments including those that are not submitted properly, as instructed, via Canvas LMS, will be penalized five (5) points, per day, off the grade originally awarded.

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 PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE (5) POINTS OFF YOUR GRADE FOR THE ASSIGNMENT:

  1. 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; AND
  2. 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 will be a penalty.

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
    • Contributors who do not respond substantively to at least two peers - will be marked as incomplete - and forfeit credit for the week's post.

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

  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 three (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 / investment?

  • 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 - Research & Discovery Interviews

Who are you interviewing for your Discovery Interviews?

Week 10: Discussion - What You Learned from Your Discovery Interviews

For each of the people you interviewed, write up what you learned.

  • Person 1 - Name, Title, Organization, What You Learned
  • Person 2 - Name, Title, Organization, What You Learned
    • Be sure to share your assumptions, and whether these were true / valid or not true / invalid.
    • Share what you surprised to learn, what was new / interesting, and how your thinking / awareness has changed / evolved.
    • If you had the opportunity to interview them again, what would you ask? (Or, what do you wish you would / could have asked?) Why?

Week 11: Discussion - TBD

Week 12: Discussion - TBD

Week 13: Discussion: TBD

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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 (OPTIONAL STEP)
  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)

The purpose of the Memo, is considering the impact of Artificial Intelligence and/or Automation in the workplace, and how it affects different groups. Through the readings you will decide - it might be new software for the workplace, a robot to increase production of autos or fruit-picking - you decide.

The Memo is a Discussion Document for Management to consider making a 'Go / No Go' decision to invest in a particular piece of equipment or software. Your job is to examine and ANALYZE SPECIFIC impacts on different stakeholders. DO NOT SIMPLY DESCRIBE THE IMPACT.


(Comment.gif: A template will be provided for this assignment.)

  • Single spaced (i.e., 500 words per page) - not included Works Cited
  • 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, 2020 (example)
    • Subject: Short 5 Word Description
  • In the Header, Put Your Name, Cell Number and Email Address (top of the page)

Guiding Principles

  • Organize your analysis, presenting information clearly:
    • Points to a Problem (with a solution)
    • Affects People (i.e., specific audiences / group of people)
    • Suggests lines of research and areas for future exploration (i.e., interviews, academic research)
    • Tracks Progress


  • Identify Company Name & Industry and Size of Company (i.e., annual revenue, number of employees)
  • Write Context / Organization Type, Products / Services -
    • What is Changing / Proposed / For Whom? Why? When? How?


1. Write 3-5 bullet points for Each Stakeholder Group BELOW - and use Pros / Cons

  1. Company
  2. Employees / Labour
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Tip: Choose one (1) group of employees (i.e., marketing, sales, admin, finance / accounting, IT, manufacturing)

  1. Customers; Suppliers
  2. Investors
  3. Government/Regulatory
  4. Community
  • Who is affected? How? Where? Why?
  • Who is responsible? What will you be asking of him / her to help you make decisions
  • What is their likely response / challenges / resistance / motivations
  • (Comment.gif: Show PROs & CONs in a bulleted list (i.e., Make a heading for PROs, and add the bullet points; same for CONs. Example below:)
  • PRO - Faster call handling after hours
  • CON - Impersonal service that might cause the organization to lose customers.

Step 2: Write short, direct sentences from your bullet points (10 words or less)

Step 3: Polish up your sentences. Add specific details from your company / workforce.

  • State your observation / analysis, and then say, "For example, ..... Use the example to illustrate the previous sentence / claim that you are trying to make.

Step 4: For the Assignment, choose three (3) groups and write solid summaries / analyses for each - using Steps 1, 2 and 3 as a guide.

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
  • BE SPECIFIC: Use an actual company / industry to enable you to dive into details, specifics
  • Avoid vague, general descriptions – and wordy and repetitive. You need to analyze what is happening / going to happen, not merely describe it.

Assignment Tip Sheet

  • Choose one (1) group of employees (i.e., marketing, sales, admin, finance / accounting, IT, manufacturing)
  • Analyze the impact on this group - don't simply describe it.
  • Use an example to illustrate your understanding. You can say in your text - after you have analyzed the impact - For example, in California, in 2020, this situation occurred and this was the result - and then cite the reference. (Grimes, 2018)
    • Use Primary Research / Qualitative Research / Interviews as evidence to build you case, develop supporting evidence. (You can also use Secondary Research)
  • Identify the kind of Intervention / Program / Policy Change you propose to make
  • Identify and explain how you are going to evaluate the Intervention / Program / Policy Change + How Are You Going to Improve it (i.e., the program, etc.)

Alternate Version of Memo

Read the following articles: 1. Watch Out Workers: Algorithms are Coming to Replace You - Maybe

2.  The Race to Replace Farm Workers with Robots

  • Apply the readings to your Memos.
  • The 1st DRAFT of the Memo is due Thursday.

The instructions that follow are different than what is on the Syllabus, - so read carefully: You will use the template here - and explore the impacts for each of the stakeholder groups, with Pros & Cons. 

You will write two (2) of the Strongest Points for each of the Pros and Cons, for each stakeholder group.

Short sentences with specifics / detailed information illustrating your critical thinking and analysis of how Automation affects each group (Pro & Con).

Be sure to use the Active Tense. In the Memo Info Section - be sure to identify what company you are referring to. In other words, change the name and company info in the text, and use your own.

  • Write Context / Organization Type, Products / Services
  • Name of Company
  • What is Changing / Proposed / For Whom? Why? When? How?Employees / Labour; Customers; Suppliers; Investors; Government/Regulatory; Community;
  • Other ImpactsWho is affected? How? Where? Why? Think about who is responsible for decision-making.

What will you be asking of him / her to help you make a decision for or against workplace automation?What is their likely response / challenges / resistance / motivations

Be sure to bring three (3) Printed Copies to Class and we will review them. I will also provide feedback.

Background Note: Analysis & Recommendations (3 pages)

  • Put your Name, Email Address and Cell Phone Number on the Top of Each Page

Step 1 - Focus on Technology / Automation in the Workplace

Step 2: Research Company + Labor / Employee Perspectives

  • Use Primary Research for each perspective below (i.e., 2 interviews - 1 interview from from each perspective); and
  • Use Secondary Research popular (Internet) & academic resources (i.e., 4 sources total - (2) sources from each perspective)
  1. Company Executive / Leader perspective
  2. Employee / Labor Leader perspective


  • In SMLR, we use Chicago Style
  • Use RefWorks - available at Library

Step 3: Build an Argument / Thesis about Company OR Labor Perspective AND Do Additional Research to Back Up Your Argument / Decision


  • Summary - (1/4 page)
  • Research - Primary & Secondary (including Discovery Interviews) - 1 page
  • Analysis (1-page)
    • Acknowledge impact of the other side - what they may do / not do
  • Recommendation(s) - 1/2 page
  • Citations (single page at end of document)

Notes About Analysis & Recommendations Section

This paper is about credibly advancing your ideas to a decision-maker for action. You have to ensure well-thought through analysis to reduce the risks inherent in making any change - be they time, money, resources, impact on people, etc. (Comment.gif: This is NOT an academic paper, even though two (2) academic references are required.)

Propose a solution / intervention that is properly backed up in both analysis and recommendations. What intervention do you propose? Who implements it? Why? Who does it affect? Is it different for different groups of employees? What do different groups (i.e., men, women, functions, level of employee) receive / benefit? Who develops it and what point of view is expressed? What interventions are proposed, and for how long, and who / how is it evaluated for lessons-learned and application to a larger set of employees. Then, focus on modifications, measurement and application, and reporting to management and employees – degrees of success, failure and opportunities to improve / learn.

Make sure you go WELL BEYOND descriptions of how technology affects the workplace, rather than you suggesting a specific change, explaining how you would implement that change, who would be affected, what training would be developed / provided and what results you were trying to achieve. Then, you would evaluate the results at specific intervals.


Productivity is dropping at XYZ company, a home healthcare agency. Management is investigating the purchase of iPads with time-tracking software, to evaluate performance and value for money in the field - particularly for remote visits by caregivers. A one-hour hands-on training with Q&A will be developed. We will try this with 20% of caregivers in the greater NYC area, for a period of 3 months. Then, we will conduct surveys to measure impact and return on investment, and client satisfaction. An end of pilot project survey and qualitative research will follow. If the results are satisfactory, this will provide evidence / business case for further rollout of this solution to the entire company.

Reflection I: Course Learning & Real-World Application (1 page)

  • 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?
  • Real-World Application - how does what you learned APPLY to other situations you will encounter in your future, desired job - BE SPECIFIC - Tailor your answer, just as you tailored your Resume to a Specific Job

Reflection II: My Goals, SWOT Analysis and the Road Ahead (3-5 pages)

  1. Identify and explain your short, medium-term and long-term goals (use bullet points)
  2. Perform a SWOT Analysis of your personal and professional situation
  3. Share other information that does not present itself in the SWOT Analysis
    1. Be sure to identify GAPS in your experience, knowledge, emotional / physical / social / spiritual well-being
  4. Develop a game plan for how you will address, and achieve your Goals (Use the SMART Method - specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented and time-based)
  5. Identify by name, relationship and role - your sources of encouragement, mentorship and support - to help you achieve your SMART Goals)