Digital government, like many other areas of government service, involves extensive teamwork. The purpose of this assignment it to develop your teamwork skills via a group assignment on a specific e-government related project. In addition, it will require you to utilize your presentation skills in front of the rest of the class. We will be spending the last session on Day 1 (about two hours) getting you started on this. This will include: discussing potential topics; narrowing the topic list down to ones that groups can form around; getting together in groups; sharing preliminary thoughts about the project; assigning roles; and planning out specific activities for the time between July 1 and July 8. Although two hours of class time on July 1 are devoted to this, it will be helpful if you can think through which of the options listed below you might prefer, do the readings associated with this prior to July 1, and bring ideas for potential topics to class. You are encouraged to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to July 1 about ideas you might have for a project.
You will be working with the others in your group between July 1 and July 8 to develop your presentations, and giving the presentations on July 8. The group presentations should be between 15 and 20 minutes and must include visual aids. Things to think about for visual aids: contrast, background color (dark colors require a dark room), limiting red and green (colorblindness), font size, readability, universal design access. Any photographs or graphs/charts should have summary notes or legends describing what is being displayed.
Option A - Evaluate a set of government web sites against a self-developed set of criteria, taking into account current practices and methods for evaluating web sites. For this option, you should develop four to five evaluation criteria and apply them to each of the web sites you review. There are many different ways to evaluate web sites, so the challenge for you will be to develop some objective criteria, develop an evaluation process, and then carry that out for a given set of web sites that interests your group. You should come up your a methodology and criteria together. Each person should then review and score the sites separately. When reviewing the sites, think of the criteria; jot some notes, and consider assigning a number (a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, for example). Once each person is finished, you will want to get together again, compare notes, and prepare your presentation. Don’t just add the scores, but discuss your rankings and why you think the sites are good. In the end, your evaluation may have some qualitative aspects as well, particularly when you want to say what made a given site rise to the top. Web references to help you, from the list of class readings, are given below. Examples of presentations already done are located on the "Model Papers" link of the class web site.
Center for Digital Government > Best of the Web 2005 – lot’s of good ideas for potential web sites to evaluate here. There are both overall sites to look at, as well as specific types of applications and projects. You should explore the links on the right side of the page as well for potential ideas from winners in previous years.
Brown University > 2005 State/Federal e-Government Survey (pdf - 29 pp.) – This link will help you with ideas for criteria to use in evaluating government web sites. But don’t feel limited to the criteria contained here; you are free to choose from a variety of other possible criteria, as long as you can address the issue of objectivity in your presentation and paper.
Option B - Propose a concept for specific government service that could be delivered via the internet, and develop a business case for this project or idea. Some ways to go about this:
Center for Digital Government > Best of the Web 2005 – This is the same reference as for the website evaluation option. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see winners for a number of specific types of projects that should give you some ideas for one you would like to develop the concept for. You should explore the links on the right side of the page as well for potential ideas from winners in previous years.
State University of NY-Albany > And Justice for All: Designing Your Business Case for Integrating Justice Information
– Although there are a variety of business case references on the web,
this one from SUNY-Albany probably provides the best overall
perspective on business case development. Take a look at the home page,
and explore any of the links on the left column for information on the
major elements of a business case for an e-Government program. Section
2 - "Designing the argument: Approach, Rationale & Strategy" is
probably the most important link for you to view first. Also, check out
the “Model Papers” link for an example of what other students have done
at the “concept” level.
Your second major assignment will be a paper, which should be based on the same topic that you worked on for your in-class assignment. The paper should be between 4 and 5 pages, and summarize the results and findings of your project in a narrative fashion, as opposed to the power point type presentation you provided in class. In addition, you should address the questions listed below, as well as any class readings you think are appropriate.
Web Site Evaluation - If you chose this option for your assignment, address the following questions in your paper:
eGovernment Project Proposal - If you chose this option for your assignment, address the following questions in your paper:
Project papers are due by July 18. All papers should be typed, double spaced, 12 point font size. All written work should be of high quality, clear, grammatically correct and without spelling errors. If you require assistance with your writing, please notify the faculty and/or contact Sandy Yanone, Director of the Writing Center at TESC. (360) 867-6382.