Assignment 2 - Innovation Seminar

Issue date   Monday, 10 August 2020
Innovation submission   Monday, 24 August 2020, 23:59
Slides submission   Sunday, 6 September 2020, 23:59
Presentation   Monday, 7 September 2020, 18:30
Application critiques   Tuesday, 8 September 2020, 23:59
Mutual critiques   Sunday, 13 September 2020, 23:59

General Overview

In order to build good and original applications, it is important to learn what other people have already done — and think critically about what is good and bad, as well as explore ways to improve and to generate new ideas. In addition, it is important to learn how to articulate one’s ideas in a clear and succinct way both orally and in writing. The innovation seminar is designed to help students (i) identify innovative ideas; (ii) gain a better understanding of existing applications; (iii) learn how to present (or sell one’s ideas) and (iv) learn how to articulate their ideas in writing.

There is a French think-tank, funded by UNESCO and the French Senate that looks out for digital innovations worldwide called Netexplo. You will form groups of up to 4 people and each team please try to find a new innovation that has not yet been identified the past by Netexplo.

Before you meet as a group, each member is to try his/her hand at identifying a recent innovation. Your group is to then meet to discuss to finally decide on the most innovative application and make a presentation about it to the rest of the class on 7 Sep 2020. Each team is to put up their choice of the most innovative application on the innovation seminar groupings page on the Google Sheet as soon as possible (latest by 24 Aug 2020) because duplication is not allowed and it will be first come, first served. Please double check that your team’s choice has not been taken up by another group before you add to the Wiki. Tie-breakers would be decided based on the Wiki timestamps.

Grading and Admin

The presentations should attempt to cover the following points about the chosen application/innovation:

  1. Description of the application
  2. Why we should care about the application you chose
  3. How the application can be implemented if you had to do it (Describe the program organization by using high level views like logic flow, identifying technologies used where possible, etc)
  4. What is good, bad and ugly about the application
  5. Suggested improvements
  6. Commercial potential
  7. New app(s)/business models/ideas arising from studying the application

From our past experience, students tend to ramble on and on in their presentations. To control this we are using a format called Pecha Kucha. See for an example. It works like a charm. We will do the same this year.

In particular, each presentation is limited to 20 slides and each slide should have exactly 20 seconds of air time. This means that each presentation should be approximately 7 minutes long. Please stay within this time limit. You can choose to have a single person present or more than one but keep in mind that you have a limited time. The teaching staff WILL cut you off after 7 minutes.

Perhaps it is impossible to cover all the suggested points above in 7 minutes? Well, the point here is to make a thoughtful presentation. You need to work out as a group exactly what do if you can’t fit everything into 7 minutes. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes it’s not. Life is full of hard questions.

You can present using Powerpoint, Keynote or whatever tools you wish to use. Surprise us (in a good way) if you can. BEFORE submitting please ensure that your slides auto-advance every 20 seconds. No cheating! 😜

Following the presentation, there will be a short Q&A session opened to the rest of the class for a maximum of 3 minutes.

Application Critique

After listening to all the presentations, each student will be randomly assigned to write about two of the applications that were presented (but not his/her own presentation), and have to write about the following:

  1. Summary of what the presenting team said about the application that you think is most important. Don’t just regurgitate the entire presentation. Focus on say three points and explain why you are of the view that they are the most important points. (6%)

  2. Was the presentation effective? Did the group show that they fully internalize the presentation techniques discussed in Lecture 3 (PUNCH->WIIFY->Plan)? (6%)

  3. What are your (original) thoughts? (8%)

The fun part is that the assignment of the presentations each student has to write about will be done only AFTER all the presentations are over. This means that every student will have to pay attention to every presentation 😎. Those who like Russian Roulette are welcome to play and sleep for some presentations.

This is not a literature class and you are not required to write in poetry. We only ask that you think carefully about what you heard and express your ideas clearly. Points will not be taken off for typos or grammatical ideas as long as the ideas are expressed clearly and can be understood easily. There is no minimum length, but do have some mercy on your poor lecturer and try to keep each application critique within what would be 1-2 pages of A4 if it was a typed report. What matters is not how much you write, but the quality of your thoughts and ideas and how much you actually learnt from the process.

You are of course also welcome to write about other aspects of the app seminar and also about lessons learnt in addition to this assignment. The application critiques should be submitted on Coursemology by 8 September 2020 23:59 (i.e. the next day).

Response and Follow-up of Critique

Once all the application critiques are submitted, a new Forum will appear and you will post your critiques there. You will read the critiques written by your coursemates and have an online discussion. If your coursemates think that the innovation that your team picked is not innovative, then you should try to convince them otherwise.

Just bear in mind that goal of CS3216 is to learn. You do not do better in this segment of the assignment by being really nasty and running your coursemates down. Be civil. Be polite. Be kind. If others post comments disagreeing with you, do not be too defensive. All these comments should be posted by by 13 Sep 2020 23:59 (Sunday).

How many comments should you post? As many as you think is appropriate and sufficient to earn the 10% grade for this part of the assignment.

Remember: it will go well with you (and your grade) if you demonstrate that you actually learnt something and have approach this application seminar in a thoughtful way 😃.

You also get points if your friends come post stuff on your post. The idea here is that whether you can write stuff that is thoughtful enough to attract readers and people to post comments is a measure of “quality”.

Assessment Scheme

The following are the weightages for the two components:

  • 50% Group presentation
  • 40% Application critique x2 (what you write in your posts)
  • 10% Response and follow-up of critique (addressing critique on your chosen innovation and responses to your posts)

Overall, the application seminar is worth 10% of your final grade.

Mode of Submission

The slides for the presentation should be named group-<number>-seminar.{pptx|key} and uploaded to Coursemology by 2 Sep 23:59 (Sunday), because we will be downloading the slides to project on screen during class. The application critiques should be submitted within 24 hours of the innovation seminar, by 8 September 2020 23:59 (Tuesday). Your comments for the mutual critique part should be done by 13 Sep 2020 23:59 (Sunday).

Marks will be deducted if you fail to follow the submission instructions (e.g. incorrect file naming).

Clarifications and questions related to this assignment should be posted to the Coursemology Forum.

The way this assignment is structured, it might seem very stressful — but it’s really not quite as bad as it seems. It’s actually fun if taken in the right spirit.

Good luck and have fun!