Assignment 6 is due on Friday March 26, in class. It should be roughly 2000 words in length and is worth 15 marks. This is an individual mini-research-project or field study, due at the end of the term. Students will bring TWO copies of their assignment to class on March 26 and we will swap copies (see Assignment 6b), so that students will have the opportunity to learn new information of relevance to the course.
Identify a specific organization which has undergone change, through computerization (e.g. postal service, police, sports advisors, the handicapped, the medical profession); outline the changes which have occurred (present the before/after picture); discuss the benefits of computerization for this subgroup; discuss the potential concerns, problems; reach some conclusions about what should happen, in the future, for this subgroup. Important:: make sure that you balance your treatment of positive and negative impacts for the subgroup, so that your report does not simply focus on one of these two sides.
This assignment comprises several subtopics addressed in the course including computers and work, reliability, communication with those who are less technically experienced, etc. The aim is to have students go beyond merely thinking of some of the issues, to actually researching issues more thoroughly (including primary sources, such as interviewing and surveying and secondary sources such as reading published papers and studies). For graduate students only, primary research will be a requirement and an appendix must be added to the project which clearly indicates the questions asked during primary research. For undergraduate students, primary research is not required. It is merely an option for those topics where primary subjects are readily available. Researching written material already published should be done for this assignment, as was the expectation for earlier assignments.